Questions of Justice in Law, Literature and the Arts

Language and culture

About this minor

Questions of justice are not only the concern of legal professionals, politicians and activists, they also permeate culture at large. Literature, Cinema, Music and Artworks often revolve around questions about rights, justice and fairness, raising a wide range of issues, such as: how do we understand animal rights? What does it mean to do justice to our environment? Does technology force us to rethink key notions of politics and ethics? Do new, hybrid, forms of warfare undermine our received understanding of the definition of war crimes? What is the role of forgiveness in processes of reconciliation?

This minor aims to offer students an understanding of the intersections of law, politics, culture and society by studying: 1) how questions of (social) justice are broached by cultural artefacts (works of literature, art, drama, and film); and: 2) how concepts and categories that were developed in the humanities can help to reflect on the moral, legal and political dilemmas of our times. The minor consists of an introductory course that gives an overview of current academic debates about the concept of justice; three thematic seminars on contemporary dilemmas of justice (with regard to issues of technology, ecology and human rights) and concludes with a series of workshops which aim to familiarize students with conducting interdisciplinary research in the field.

Good to know

The 30 EC version consists of the following courses, all offered in Semester 1:

  • Law, Literature, Culture: Core Concepts (10 EC version, Semester 1)
  • Arts, Ecology, Animal Rights (5 EC, Block 1)
  • Law, Cinema, Technology (5 EC, Block 1)
  • Human Rights, Legal Personhood, Literature (5 EC, Block 2)
  • Making a Case: Research Project (5 EC Block 2)

The 15 EC version consists of the following courses, all offered in Semester 1, Block 1:

  • Law, Literature, Culture: Core Concepts (5 EC version)
  • Arts, Ecology, Animal Rights (5 EC)
  • Law, Cinema, Technology (5 EC) In order to opt for 15 EC, register for this minor and contact the minor coordinator.

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Leiden University.


  • Start date

    1 September 2024

    • Ends
      2 February 2025
    • Term *
      Minor semester 1
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    Enrolment period closed
These offerings are valid for students of Leiden University