LAWGENRL 459 : Special Topic: Race and the Law


2024 Summer School (1240) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Explores the relationship between race, power and the law in Aotearoa and beyond. Areas of focus will include the changing conceptualisations of race, racism, discrimination, implicit and institutional bias. Students will also examine approaches to racial justice (from Critical Race Theory to Abolition movements) and consider how they understand and address the issues facing communities of colour today.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: LAW 201 and 211 and 231 and 241 and 298; or LAW 201 and 211 and 231 and 241 and 299

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: People and Place
Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 8: Ethics and Professionalism
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Laws

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Critically discuss how we can define and understand race, racism and power (Capability 3.1, 3.2, 6.1 and 8.1)
  2. Critically discuss the history of race and racism in Aotearoa and globally (Capability 1.1, 3.1, 3.2, 6.1 and 8.1)
  3. Critically discuss the relationships between race, racism, power, politics and the law (Capability 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2 and 8.1)
  4. Understand and articulate the critical importance of intersectional lenses to understanding the relationship between race, racism, politics and the law (Capability 3.1, 3.2 and 8.1)
  5. Critically analyse laws and policies in terms of their treatment of race, racism and power (Capability 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1 and 8.1)
  6. Imagine and reimagine how the relationship between race, racism, politics and the law can be transformed for the liberation of communities of colour and all intersecting identities (Capability 1.2, 5.1 and 8.1)
  7. Critically discuss the law’s potential to achieve racial justice and equality in Aotearoa and beyond (Capability 1.2, 5.1 and 8.1)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Definitions and Introduction to Critical Race Theory Essay 40% Individual Coursework
(Re)-imagining Essay 60% Individual Coursework
Plan for Definitions and Introduction to Critical Race Theory Essay Individual Coursework
Plan for (Re)-imagining Essay Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Definitions and Introduction to Critical Race Theory Essay
(Re)-imagining Essay
Plan for Definitions and Introduction to Critical Race Theory Essay
Plan for (Re)-imagining Essay

Workload Expectations

This is a standard 15-point course. There will be around 36 hours of lectures in this course. As a general guide, you should expect a workload of three hours outside of the classroom for each hour spent in class. The guideline for the total workload for this course is 150 hours.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at lectures to complete components of the course. Lectures will be available as recordings. 

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

The classes and assessments for this year have been informed by feedback from students in previous years. 

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course director, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a Student Academic and Support Adviser as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 01/11/2023 10:59 a.m.