• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Humanities
  • Areas of interest Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Development Studies, History, Museums and Collections
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Winter Session 2014
    See Future Offerings

This course introduces students of anthropology and development to the law, politics and ethics of human rights in both peace and war. The course has eight sections, each of which will be generally be covered in one morning.  The first section introduces students to the concept of universality (the idea that human rights are the same everywhere for all people), and critiques such as cultural relativism.  The second section ensures that students are familiar with the architecture of the human rights system, including the United Nations Human Rights Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and treaty bodies such as the Human Rights Committee.  The third section looks at particular rights, grouping them into the three traditional categories of civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; and group rights, with a focus on the right to development.  Section four looks at regional human rights systems, with a focus on ASEAN.  The fifth and sixth sections introduce students to international humanitarian law (the human rights law applicable during armed conflict), the operations of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the relationship between military intervention for humanitarian reasons and humanitarian aid or assistance.  Section seven introduces students to international refugee law.  The course concludes with a look at the role of national legislation in protecting human rights, comparing the South African constitutional bill of rights with the debate about a bill of rights for Australia.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

At the end of this course, students will: 

  1. understand the concept of universality of human rights and be able to critique and defend it;
  2. understand how international human rights law is made and monitored, and to assess the United Nations human rights system’s strengths and weaknesses;
  3. appreciate the differences, tensions and fundamental linkages between the traditional categories of rights – civil and political; economic, social and cultural; and group rights, particularly the right to development;
  4. have a basic knowledge of the particular bodies of human rights law applicable in times of armed conflict and to refugees, and their relationship with development issues;
  5. understand the role of national legislation in protecting human rights;
  6. be able to marshal an argument concerning human rights that is relevant to issues of development.

Indicative Assessment

Two ‘rapid reaction’ papers (1000 words, orally presented as well as submitted in writing, 20% each)[LO 1-5]; Class participation (10%)[LO 1-6]; Research essay (4000 words, 50%) [LO 1-6].

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


26 Contact Hours (Intensive Delivery). Students are expected to commit a further 104 hours of independent study (total 130 hours).

Prescribed Texts

Materials prepared by instructor.

Assumed Knowledge

5 full days (9.30 am to 5 pm).  Workload is 28 hours class work, 42 hours reading for class, 50 hours independent research and writing.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1542
2014 $2478
2013 $2472
2012 $2472
2011 $2424
2010 $2358
2009 $2286
2008 $2286
2007 $2286
2006 $2286
2005 $2286
2004 $1926
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $3618
2014 $3762
2013 $3756
2012 $3756
2011 $3756
2010 $3750
2009 $3618
2008 $3618
2007 $3618
2006 $3618
2005 $3618
2004 $3618
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
5784 30 Jun 2014 04 Jul 2014 04 Jul 2014 18 Jul 2014 In Person N/A

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