The course examines the extent to which and how international human rights standards are present in, or affect, Australian law.
The course considers history, philosophy and theories of human rights. It discusses the absence of - and analyses the need for - national human rights legislation in Australia, and reviews where and how human rights are found in Australian law. This involves considering legislative, executive and judicial action in all jurisdictions, ranging from a National Human Rights Action Plan and the powers of the Australian Human Rights Commission, to human rights legislation in the ACT and Victoria and nationwide anti-discrimination laws. Particular attention will be paid to various actors such as NGOs and public interest lawyers.
After a thorough examination of 'domestic' human rights, the course looks at the way Australia engages with the international system of human rights, where its conduct is subjec to scrutiny by UN committees.
The course will focus on the human rights of certain groups of people whose human rights are vulnerable in Australia, and will analyse case studies. The course will feature at least one practical exercise inviting students to engage in human rights action as means of better understanding the material.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:1. evaluate how human rights standards are relevant to, and operate in, Australian law;
2. Critically analyse issues and solutions in relation to human rights standards in the specific context of particular groups of people in Australian society; and
3. Undertake research that compares the challenges of working with the law to protect and promote human rights in Australia by constitutional, statutory, common law and/or administrative means.
4. Research and present findings to a variety of audiences and contribute to debates in and around Human Rights Laws
Indicative Assessment50% research project
20% oral presentation
30% written exam
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WorkloadThree contact hours per week. Students are generally expected to devote at least 10 hours overall per week to this course.
Requisite and Incompatibility
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.