• Class Number 6763
  • Term Code 2950
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Ryan Goss
    • AsPr Ryan Goss
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 01/08/2019
  • Class End Date 20/09/2019
  • Census Date 16/08/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/08/2019
SELT Survey Results

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:

  1. Explain, distinguish and apply core and advanced concepts and terminology of the foreign and/or international law of civil and political rights as used in the key primary and secondary sources;
  2. Design, implement and review a range of theoretical approaches to the primary and secondary source material;
  3. Identify and use a range of research principles, methods and tools appropriate to respond to a complex question of the foreign and/or international law of civil and political rights;
  4. Identify and critically examine in written and oral form a range of perspectives and values that are relevant to the foreign and/or international law of civil and political rights;
  5. Explain and examine whether, and if so, to what extent, the foreign and/or international law of civil and political rights provides coherent predictable consistent guidance to states, courts, lawyers, officials, and citizens; and
  6. Plan and execute a research project with independence in order to produce original scholarship on a particular identified area of foreign and/or international law of civil and political rights.

Research-Led Teaching

In this course students will be encouraged to think about human rights law from first principles. The course classes and reading materials will encourage you to consider and reconsider many assumptions commonly made about human rights law, but also to answer this question: to what extent is the body of international human rights law consistent, predictable, internally coherent, and capable of acting as a guide to states, citizens, lawyers, officials, and judges? In so doing, the course is driven by A/Prof Goss' research on human rights law, and students are expected to frame independent research papers on the basis of this approach. Guidance will be provided on appropriate research techniques and methodologies.

Additional Course Costs

This course is an intensive course taught at the ANU Acton Campus in Canberra. Students will need to cover costs associated with travel, accommodation, meals etc, if attending from out of State.

Examination Material or equipment


Required Resources

There is no prescribed textbook. Wattle will provide guidance on readings.

There is no prescribed textbook. Wattle will provide guidance on readings.

Staff Feedback

Feedback in this course will take a variety of forms:

In class, students will be provided with feedback on comments, arguments, and questions by the lecturer and (it is hoped) by their fellow students;

After the Short Quiz and the Research Essay, students will be provided with general feedback about common strengths and weaknesses that appeared in the class’ work overall;

After the Research Essay has been marked, students will also be provided with specific feedback about their own written work, with an emphasis on constructive feedback that may be used by the students to improve their performance in future written work as part of their studies in this course or other courses.

  • Please don’t let the dry mandatorily-bureaucratic language of these documents fool you: this is an exciting course about some fundamental legal questions, and it’s designed to be as interesting and thought-provoking as possible. NB that A/Prof Goss also teaches a second masters-level course, LAWS8234 International & Comparative Human Rights Law. That course is next intended to run in 2020, and is in many ways a companion course to CCPR.

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 interim scaling guideline applies to all courses in the LLB (Hons) and JD programs. 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 relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Class Workshop: Prisoners’ voting rights & thinking about civil & political rights (1.4)
2 European Workshop: Gisting (2.4)
3 European Workshop: Evidence obtained in violation of human rights (3.4)
4 (Student Research Paper Consultations) (4.4)

Tutorial Registration


Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Short Quiz 20 % 14/08/2019 30/08/2019 1,4,5
Research Essay 70 % 22/09/2019 25/10/2019 1,2,3,4,5,6
Class Participation 10 % 09/08/2019 30/08/2019 1,4

* 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.


See above



Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 14/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 30/08/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,4,5

Short Quiz

Nature of Task: This is a short online quiz which will comprise three short-answer questions. Compulsory. Failure to complete will lead to a mark of 0/20.

Weighting: 20%

Word limit: Answer length will vary according to the question, but the expectation is that each answer will be no longer than 250 words.

Duration: As will be explained in more detail in class, students will have up to 90 minutes to complete the Short Quiz

Release: The Short Quiz will become available on Friday 9 August at 6pm

Due Date: Given the nature of this assessment item, no submission after Wed 14 August at 11.59pm without an extension will be permitted

Estimated return date: The expectation is that results will be available by 30 August, subject to final course numbers.

Assessment Criteria: (all applied in the context of this particular task)

a) Content

-       answering the question asked

-       identification of the legal issues raised from the questions

-       legal principles states/explained with accuracy

-       legal principles stated/explained in appropriate detail

-       relevant facts recognised and linked to the legal principles

-       recognition and evaluation of judicial and statutory ambiguities and

-       originality/innovation in approach to issues

-       clear conclusions

b) Structure/organisation

-       emphasis on the significant issues

-       answer is coherent and structure logical

c) Expression

-       good use of structure, section headings and paragraphs

-       clarity and conciseness of expression, interesting and engaging of reader

-       use of appropriate terminology and correct grammar, syntax and

-       spelling

Assessment Task 2

Value: 70 %
Due Date: 22/09/2019
Return of Assessment: 25/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Research Essay

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Failure to complete will lead to a mark of 0/70.

Weighting: 70%

Word limit: 4,250 words maximum.

Release: A number of potential research assignment topics will be released by no later than 8 August. Students may elect to research a question from this list of topics, or may elect to adjust one of these topics and research that adjusted topic, or may elect to research a topic of their own. However, if a student elects to adjust one of the topics or to research a topic of their own, approval must be sought by email before 22 August.

Due date: 11.59pm on Sunday 22 September.

Estimated return date: Marks and feedback will be available via Wattle by Friday 25 October at the latest (and much earlier if at all possible).

Assessment Criteria:  (all applied in the context of this particular task)

a)        Understanding of the Issues

·        addresses the question and covers all the important points

·        evidence of close consideration of the question and the research materials drawn on

·        issues raised by the topic are clearly and concisely identified

·        material chosen relates clearly to the topic and is analysed not just summarised or quoted extensively

b)        Communication & Development of Argument

·        clear theme or argument, ideally outlined at the beginning of the piece and running throughout

·        arguments logical and well-organised in support of the clear theme or argument

·        ideas/paragraphs linked coherently in support of the clear theme or argument

c)        Argument/Analysis

·        originality of ideas and critical analysis of the material

·        complexity and insight in dealing with theory/ideas

·        suggestions for change where appropriate

·        interdisciplinary perspective where appropriate

·        addressing opposing arguments

·        well-reasoned conclusions

d)        Research

·        research covering primary materials and relevant secondary materials

·        good organisation of sources and ability to synthesise all the research materials used

·        use of theoretical material where appropriate

·        range of research sources

·        integration of material from research resources into the essay

e)        Presentation, style and referencing

·        good use of structure, section headings and paragraphs

·        clarity and conciseness of expression, interesting and engaging of reader

·        use of appropriate terminology and correct grammar, syntax and spelling

·        full and accurate footnotes together with a bibliography

·        style according to Australian Guide to Legal Citation

·        adherence to word limit

·        adherence to principles of academic honesty and academic integrity

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 09/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 30/08/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,4

Class Participation

Nature of Task: Class participation. Failure to participate may lead to a mark of 0/10.

Weighting: 10%

Release: n/a. Opportunities for participation commence on the first day of the course.

Due date: n/a. Opportunities for participation end on the final day of the course.

Estimated return date: Participation marks should be available via Wattle by 30 August at the latest.

Assessment Criteria: (all applied in the context of this particular task)

a)   Preparation and understanding of the material

·       Consulting and reading pre-assigned materials in advance of the lectures/seminars

·       linking material between various aspects of the class and different lectures

b)        Thinking critically about the material

·        Looking at questions from different angles

·        questioning assumptions

c)        Expressing ideas clearly

·        So that other students and the instructor can understand them

·        Use of relevant examples

d)        Engaging with other students and the lecturer in the discussion

·        Including encouraging others to speak

·        responding to what other students, and the lecturer, have said

·        being respectful for a range of views and opinions

e)        If possible, linking material with your own background and knowledge

·        Which involves relating the material to your own personal and professional experience

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

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.

Returning Assignments

Research Assignments will be returned by the ANU Law administrators by post or in person.

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).

AsPr Ryan Goss

Research Interests

Human Rights Law, Constitutional Law

AsPr Ryan Goss

AsPr Ryan Goss
+61 2 6125 3483

Research Interests

AsPr Ryan Goss

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