Equality Law (EQL-B)

Course description


Equality Law is an upper level elective course given in English at the Department of Law, Stockholm University. The course directors are Associate Professor Laura Carlson, and doctoral candidate, Paul Lappalainen. The course administrator is Ann Melin.

Course Objectives and Examination:

This upper level 15-credit elective course has the objective of providing students with the opportunity to gain deeper insight in the area of equality law. The course examines legal and policy responses to contemporary questions of inequality both domestically, on the European level and internationally. The grade on the course is based on class participation (P/F), the written and oral presentation of an essay (20 points), and the written and oral opposition of another student’s essay (5 points).

Course Content:

This 10-week course is divided into four blocks. The first block focuses on the overarching legal systems existing on the Swedish, EU and international levels addressing issues of discrimination. The second block addresses different grounds of discrimination. The third block addresses legal theoretical approaches to equality issues, including, for example, feminist legal theory, critical race theory, justice and intersectionality. The fourth block covers integrated topics combining existing legal structures and theoretical approaches, covering issues such as migration law, access to justice and wage discrimination.

Learning Outcomes:

After completing the course, the student should be able to:

– identify, apply, and analyze advanced and complex legal problems within the areas of equality and discrimination law from national, European and international perspectives;

– demonstrate a deepened knowledge of legal theory and methodology as to equality and discrimination law;

– demonstrate the ability to discuss, analyze, and assess equality and discrimination law in ethical and societal contexts; as well as

– independently plan, write and defend a legal essay as well as be the opponent with respect to another student’s essay.


The course consists of seminars and active student attendance is required at all seminars. Active attendance means that the student has prepared the seminar assignment and participates in the seminar discussions. A student can miss up to three seminars without having to state a reason. After that, excused absences will only be for good cause, such as illness as attested by a physician’s certificate. In the event a student misses a seminar, the student is to complete a written assignment in the form of a short paper on the topic of the seminar (600 words, two A4 pages, 12 pt, 1.5 spacing) which is due at the same time as the essay.

Required readings:

Each seminar has a list of required readings as set out in the course schedules. The readings are available digitally on the web.

Examination in the Course:

Course Grade:

The grade on the course is based on class participation (P/F), the written and oral presentation of an essay (20 points), and the written and oral opposition of another student’s essay (5 points). The course grade is based on a weighing of the individual presentations within the framework for the different examination moments. All of the course’s learning outcomes must be achieved and all activities passed in order to pass the course.

Grading Scale:

Grades are given on either the Swedish four-grade scale or the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) seven-grade scale. The Swedish grading scale is: Pass with distinction (AB), Pass without distinction (BA), Pass (B) or Fail (U). Students who submit a request at least a week prior to the exam to the course administrator are entitled to a grade on the ECTS sevengrade scale. The ECTS seven-grade scale is as follows: A (Excellent), B (Very good), C (Good), D (Satisfactory) or E (Sufficient). Failing grades are Fx (Insufficient) and F (Wholly insufficient).

Course Essays:

Each student is to present and defend an essay, as well as act as opponent with respect to another student’s essay, in the last week of the course. The presentation, defense and opposition of the essays at the final seminar are mandatory and cannot be made up.

Assessment criteria with respect to the course essay:

– subject and problem formulation

– knowledge of the subject and insight into the topic

– presentation

– materials and methodology

– analysis and argumentation including independence

– conclusions, sources and formal requirements (including deadlines), and

– language.

Assessment criteria with respect to the opposition summary:

– The opposition summary follows the form requirements.

– Contains objective, relevant and constructive feedback as to another student’s essay.

– The ability to independently and in a professional manner criticize and oppose in English another student’s academic work within the given timeframe.

Assessment criteria applicable to the oral presentations of the essay and opposition:

– ability to formulate legal problems

– ability to within a limited timeframe in a legally correct manner independently and systematically argue based on the problem formulation

– ability to arrive at legal conclusions as well as communicate them.

The Essay:

The student is to pick the topic for the paper based in part of the themes covered in the course in the seminars. The topic of the paper is to be approved by Laura or Paul orally or in writing by the date stated in the schedule.

The Formal Requirements for the Essay:
The essay is to be approximately 4,000-6,000 words including the title page and bibliography. The title page is to contain the title of the paper, the student’s name, course name, date and number of words. The spacing for the paper is to be 1.5, with Times New Roman 12 pt. Footnotes are to be used for references. The legal usage rules as found in the document, Legal English Checklist, as included below, and the Commission’s Style Guide on theCommission’s website are to be followed: ec.europa.eu/translation/english/guidelines/documents/styleguide_english_dgt_en.pdf.

Due Date:
The essay is to be submitted electronically by the time and date stated in the schedule on the course website. It is to be submitted to three persons, the course administrator, Ann Melin, EQL@juridicum.su.se, the student who is to be the opponent as well as the examiner (either Paul or Laura, but not both). An essay submitted after 13:00 is late and deductions willbe made from the grade. If you do not receive the essay you are to oppose in time, first check your spam mail, and if not there, let the course administrator know immediately.

Opposition Summary:
The oppositions summary is to be between 500-600 words total, bullet points are fine. It will be handed (only) to the examiner in class after the presentation and opposition of the essay.

Oral Presentations:
The presentations and oppositions will in accordance to the schedule posted on the website. For each 2-hour time slot, the time is to be allocated in the following manner:

- Student 1 presents the essay (about 8-10 minutes)

- Student 2 opposes the essay (about 8-10 minutes)

- Short break

- Student 2 presents the essay (about 8-10 minutes)

- Student 1 presents the essay (about 8-10 minutes)

Individual feedback is then given by the examiner. However, the grade and grading protocol are not released at this time (to allow for reassessment by the examiners together).


Change semester  

Course title:
Equality Law
Semester: Autumn term 2019
Study period: 1
Rate of studies: 100%
Credits: 15.0
Language of instruction: English


Course contact:
Course coordinator:
Ann Melin
Course manager:
Laura Carlson
Paul Lappalainen


Blekemo Annika
Carlson Laura
Dane Louise
Anna Bruce
Maria Grahn Farley
Mpoki Mwakagali
Paul Lappalainen
Paula Lejonkula
Yamam Al Zubaidi