• Offered by Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest International Relations, Law, Human Rights
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Ryan Goss
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Winter Session 2015
    See Future Offerings

This is an advanced human rights law course, focusing on the international and comparative law of civil and political rights. Civil and political rights are at the heart of many of the most exciting contemporary battles over human rights law, its strengths and weaknesses, and directly shape the ways in which human rights law interacts with politics and the broader world. It is an enthralling and cutting-edge area to be thinking about, and vital to any understanding of human rights law.
This course in Advanced Civil & Political Rights is a course that builds on LAWS8234 (International Human Rights Law) in considering ways in which we can all 'do human rights law better'. This is a course designed for those students who found LAWS8234 rewarding and challenging, and who wish to go broaden and deepen the understanding of human rights law gained in that course with a particular focus on civil and political rights.
In Advanced Civil & Political Rights students will be encouraged to continue thinking about international human rights law from first principles, but to do so in the context of ‘deep dives’ into a number of cutting edge areas of considerable controversy in the contemporary international and comparative law of civil and political rights (including, for example, freedom of speech, capital punishment, and the rights of prisoners to vote).
In undertaking these deep dives, the course classes and reading materials will encourage you to consider and reconsider many assumptions commonly made about human rights law, and to think about the extent to which international human rights law may be considered consistent, predictable, internally coherent, and capable of acting as a guide to states, citizens, lawyers, officials, and judges. Our emphasis will be on examining examples of human rights reasoning in particular fields in fine detail, especially at the regional level. Students will be encouraged to read cases and primary sources closely and critically, and to build on skills and knowledge from the classroom in their research essays.
Criticism of the quality of legal reasoning in human rights documents/judgments will not be discouraged, and it will not be assumed that broader, more expansive, legal protection of human rights is always a good thing.

Learning Outcomes

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

By the conclusion of this course, it is expected that students who have successfully completed all of the course requirements should be able to:

(a)     Define, explain, distinguish and apply the basic concepts and advanced terminology used in international and comparative human rights law;

(b)     Define and contrast the different ways in which international and domestic legal systems protect and restrict certain basic civil and political rights;

(c)      Recognise and appraise the strengths and weaknesses of argument and analysis in primary and secondary sources with a significant level of nuance;

(d)     Explain and demonstrate, through expert critical analysis of particular cases and particular types of cases, the ways in which broader themes and ideas are applied or misapplied in the international and comparative law of civil and political rights;

(e)      Select and apply a range of approaches in written communication, and apply the sophisticated and technical critical thinking required to undertake creative analysis of complex legal problems at the most significant and specialised level; and

(f)      Use, interpret and apply a wide range of primary and secondary research materials, and in so doing demonstrate the ability to locate, identify and utilise relevant resources in the international and comparative law of civil and political rights.

Other Information

This is an intensive course with a 4 day compulsory intensive (see LLM timetable for dates).
Approximately 6 weeks after  the completion of the intensive your final assessment will be due. Contact with fellow students and the convenor - both prior to the intensive and after it - is conducted via the Wattle course site.

Indicative Assessment

Students must rely on the Course Study Guide which will be available on the Wattle course site approximately 4 weeks prior to the commencement of the course. 

  1. 70% research essay (6,000 words);
  2. 30% from quizzes and/or in-class tests.

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 hours of face to face teaching (4 day intensive). The course will also require advanced preparation through assigned readings. In total, it is anticipated that the hours required for completion this course (class preparation, teaching and completion of assessment) will not exceed 120 hours.

For the current LLM course timetable please go to LLM Masters Program

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed LAWS8182 Principles of International Law and be studying a: Master of Laws (7300XLLM, MLLM), Master of Laws specilising in International Law (7300SINTL), Master of Laws specilising in Law, Governance and Development (7300SLGD), Master of Laws specialising in Environmental Law (7300SENVL), Master of Laws specialising in Government and Commercial Law (7300SGCL), Master of Laws specialising in International Security Law (7300SISL), Master of Laws in Migration (NLLML), Master of Laws in International Law (NLLIL), Master of Laws in Environmental Law (NLLEN), Master of Laws in Law, Governance & Development (NLLGD), Master of Laws in International Security Law (NLLSL), Master of Laws in Government and Regulation (NLLGR), Master of Laws (Legal Practice) (7312XLLMLP), Master of Diplomacy/Master of Laws (7883SINTL, 7883XLLM), Master of Diplomacy/Master of International Law (7893XMINTL), Master of International Law (7310XMINTL), Master of Environmental Law (7309XMENVL), Master of Law, Governance & Development (7317XMLGD), Master of International Security Law (7318XMISL), Master of Government and Commercial Law (7313XMGCL), Master of Legal Practice (MLEGP), Master of Legal Studies (7305XMLEGS). OR Must be studying a Juris Doctor (7330XJD, 7330HJD or MJD) and completed or be completing five LAWS1000 level or 6100 level courses, and LAWS2250 International Law or LAWS6250 International Law OR Must be studying a Graduate Certificate of Law (CLAW) and have completed or be completing LAWS8586 Law and Legal Institutions and LAWS8182 Principles of International Law

Prescribed Texts

The prescribed textbook will be International Human Rights by Philip Alston and Ryan Goodman, published 2013 by Oxford University Press. (NB that on some databases, this book is listed as a 2012 publication. If there is any confusion, check the ISBN code on the relevant website or in-store; the correct ISBN code for the prescribed book is ISBN-13: 978-0199578726).

Assumed Knowledge

This course is designed as an advanced course following on from LAWS8234 International Human Rights Law.


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 $2958
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4146
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
1713 06 Aug 2015 06 Aug 2015 21 Aug 2015 02 Oct 2015 In Person N/A

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