• Class Number 4531
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Dorota Gozdecka
    • Dr Dorota Gozdecka
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course aims to provide students with a critical understanding of international human rights law and practice. Topics to be covered include:

  • historical development of international human rights law;
  • international humanitarian law (the law of armed conflict) and its relationship with the international law of human rights;
  • human rights ‘enforcement' mechanisms: the UN Human Rights Council, the human rights treaty bodies and human rights regional mechanisms;
  • the rights of women and the rights of indigenous peoples;
  • threats to rights, particularly counter-terrorism measures;
  • application of international human rights law in Australia, including refugee issues; and
  • the future development of rights, including collective rights and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBT) rights. 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. outline, summarise and/or synthesise a coherent and advanced knowledge of the underlying principles and significant norms of the international law of human rights;
  2. analyse critically these norms and the flawed mechanisms for their implementation;
  3. analyse, consolidate and synthesise knowledge to identify and provide solutions to complex problems with intellectual independence;
  4. advocate effectively the progressive development of the international law of human rights;
  5. outline, summarise and/or synthesise a clear and coherent exposition of knowledge and ideas appropriately for a variety of audiences;
  6. define, plan and conduct legal research on international human rights law with some independence.

Research-Led Teaching

Dorota specialises in issues of human rights and has acted as an external expert for such international organisations responsible for human rights policies as the Council of Europe. She has published extensively on human rights and minorities and on critical perspectives on rights.

Required Resources

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Extensions late submission and penalties - https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/extensions-late-submission-and-penalties

Deferred examination: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/deferred-examinations

Special consideration: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/special-assessment-consideration

Penalties for excess word length: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/word-length-and-excess-word-penalties

Distribution of Grades Policy: Effective from Winter Session and Second Semester 2018 (and until further notice), the current Grading Distribution Policy has been suspended pending the development of a new policy. For further information about the interim policy please see: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/grading

Further Information about the Course: is available from the course WATTLE page. Students are required to access the WATTLE site regularly throughout the course for details on weekly classes and any announcements and updates relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to the course. Where do human rights come from? The debates about the origins of human rights. Sources of international human rights law.
2 Civil and political rights
3 Economic, social and cultural rights
4 UN system of protection
5 Australia’s interaction with the UN Human Rights System
6 Regional systems of human rights protection: IACHR and ACHPR
7 Regional systems of human rights protection: ECHR and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
8 Human rights in court: The European Court of Human Rights
9 Terrorism, torture and liberal democracies Human rights and armed conflict
10 Indigenous people and human rights. Minorities and ILHR
11 Women and IHRL, Children’s rights in IHRL
12 Critical perspectives Course wrap-up

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Attendance 0 % 27/06/2019 27/06/2019 2, 3, 4, 5
Participation 10 % 31/05/2019 04/07/2018 2, 3, 4, 5
Presentation 20 % 31/05/2019 04/07/2018 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Research essay 70 % 07/05/2019 27/06/2019 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


The development of the course skills set will require at least 4 hours of reading per class. You will need to read beyond the prescribed reading to perform satisfactorily in the research essay. The course also requires active participation in lectures. In order to take better advantage of the discussion which will occur, you should read the required readings for the class prior to attending. In addition, you should seek to read as much as you can of the recommended reading for the week. Students are expected to prepare for classes and to engage critically in the discussion that takes place there. It is, in part, by means of such engagement and the feedback you get from that that you will be able to evaluate and enhance the quality of your learning of the course content and skills.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 0 %
Due Date: 27/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 27/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 4, 5


Details of Task: Students are required to attend 50% of classes throughout the semester. A class roll will be kept. It is each student's responsibility to ensure that they have been marked present for each class.

Nature of Task Compulsory. Failure to attend 50% of classes will result in 5 mark penalty.

Weighting: A possible 5% deduction from the overall marks for the course.

Due Date: Ongoing. If you are unable to attend a class due to exceptional circumstances, then you should contact the convener and provide documentation.

Estimated Return Date: N/A

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 31/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2018
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 4, 5


Details of Task: Students are expected to participate in classes throughout the semester. Each week will provide an opportunity to participate either in a class discussion, group exercises and possibilities of individual contribution. Students will be provided a sheet on which they can mark their activity each week.

Nature of Task: Failure to participate will result in a 0 for this task.

Weighting: 10%.

Release Date: Ongoing

Due Date: Ongoing

Estimated Return Date: The final mark will be released on Wattle at the end of semester.

Assessment Criteria: Students who actively participate in class discussions will be marked on the frequency and quality of their contributions.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 31/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2018
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Brief Description of Task: This is a group task.The presentation is an advocacy exercise (Ted talk style) on a human rights issue of the group's choice. The presentations should not exceed 6 mins. Presentations will be recorded.

Nature of task: Compulsory. Failure to give a presentation will result in a 0 for this assessment item.

Weighting: 20%

Due date: Depending on the amount of enrolled students, the presentations will begin in the first tutorial after the semester break and continue until all groups have given a presentation. Late submissions (with or without an extension) will not be permitted.

Estimated return date: The marks will be returned progressively for each group of presenters. The marks will be available 2 weeks after the presentation at the latest. Late presentations without extension will not be permitted.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Verbal group presentation on the topic of group's choice
  • Effective verbal communication and delivery (volume, tone, length, precision of language, clarity of expression etc)
  • Style that needs to be engaging and persuasive.
  • Ability to respond to questions.
  • Argument supported by evidence such as theory, policy, law or empirical data.

Individual assessment in group activity: Unless students elect otherwise, all students in the group receive the same mark. If the student wishes to be assessed individually, students must inform the convener and their assigned group if they wish to choose this option before the beginning of the semester break and before any presentations have been given.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 70 %
Due Date: 07/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 27/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Research essay

Details of task: A research essay on a topic of the student's choice.

Nature of task: Compulsory. Non-completion of the research essay will result in a 0 for this assessment task.

Weighting: 70%

Due date: Friday 07 June at 9am via the course Wattle site (Turnitin). Late submissions (without an extension) will be permitted, although late penalties will apply.

Word limit: 3500 words.

Estimated return date: 27 June via Turnitin.

Assessment Criteria

  • Research: Research papers must show significant independent research, including research in primary materials, such as the reports of relevant treaty bodies, and use of secondary materials as appropriate. The paper must be properly referenced and footnoted with a bibliography. 
  • Argument: The essay must have a clear argument that is supported by evidence and reaches a convincing conclusion.
  • Critical analysis: The essay must demonstrate critical analysis of either primary or secondary materials.  
  • Literacy and structure: All research papers must have an introduction outlining the argument and the structure of the paper. Your paper must have a conclusion that sums up your argument. Use of subheadings is advisable. The research paper should demonstrate the writing and literacy skills of a contribution to a quality refereed law journal. Typographical errors, poor proofreading and spelling mistakes will lead to a lower mark.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Dorota Gozdecka
6125 0859

Research Interests

Dr Dorota Gozdecka

Tuesday 15:00 17:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions