• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Asian Studies, Human Rights, Politics

Despite the large number of international human rights conventions ratified by Southeast Asian nations, across the region, the violation of human rights and unequal application of and access to the law are common. Citizens and migrants face arbitrary detention, torture, disappearance and death at the hands of state, para-state, and other actors. Yet simultaneously, new strategies of redress have emerged, including the growth of human rights organizations and transitional justice processes in East Timor and Cambodia. The tensions of law, human rights, democratic consolidation, and economic development in the region both offer a rich body of evidence to examine and demand the development of new analytic categories.  Through a series of case studies, grounded in political theory and Southeast Asian history, this course will examine the recent past and present of human rights across the region. 

Learning Outcomes

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

At the completion of the course, students will have a firm grasp of the current landscape of human rights across the Southeast Asian region. In addition, students will have developed their analytic and writing skills through regular blogging and the completion of two longer writng projects, including one proposal.  The course will be designed to help students think as both scholars and potential human rights practitioners.

Indicative Assessment

Class presentation: 750 words 10%
Class blog entries: 750 words 20%
Mid-term essay: 1500 words 25%
Final proposal: 2000 words 40%
Participation: 5%

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.


  • 3 contact hours per week
  • Approximately 100 pages of reading per week
  • Regular participation in class discussion
  • Regular entries on the class blog

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed ASIA1025 and ASIA1030

Prescribed Texts

  • Emergency Powers in Asia: Exploring the Limits of Legality, edited by Victor Vridar Ramraj and Arun K. Thiruvengadam (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).
  • Living Silence: Burma Under Military Rule, by Christina Fink (London: Zed Press, 2001).
  • Policing America’s Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State, by Alfred W. McCoy (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009).
  • Online U.N. documents, such as reports by the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Detentions
  • Online reports of nongovernmental organizations working around issues of human rights and law in Southeast Asia, including the Asian Human Rights Commission, Forum Asia, and the Asian Federation for Free Elections
  • Online documents of the trials of former Khmer Rouge, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC)




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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. 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
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9439 18 Jul 2016 29 Jul 2016 31 Aug 2016 28 Oct 2016 In Person N/A

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