A participant who has successfully completed this course should have a clear understanding of:
• the conventional and customary law obligations of States in respect of refugees and other asylum-seekers and of the rights of applicants
• the protection mechanisms, both national and international, that operate for the immediate and long-term protection of refuge-seekers and the policy considerations that affect contemporary State attitudes to such groups
• the legal problems affecting national interpretations and application of refugee concepts, with particular emphasis on definitional problems, status determination procedures and non-refoulement.
The course will focus mainly on the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol, supplemented by additional materials that assist in the interpretation, construction and critique of these instruments. Particular attention will be paid to national implementation of refugee protection and status determination procedures in Australia, comparing and contrasting the approach taken, where appropriate, with that of other nations.
Addressed will be the origins of the international system of protection, its limitations and deficiencies; the role and relevance of UNHCR; definitional problems; exclusion and cessation of refugee status; core concepts of protection (including complementary protection), asylum, non-refoulement, penalization and refugee rights; asylum, temporary refuge, temporary protection and burden-sharing; durable solutions; protracted refugee situations; status determination procedures; detention; 'deflection' techniques; other categories such as 'environmental' refugees and internally displaced persons; and a consideration of possible future directions for refugee law.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Critically evaluate the substance, rationale, and history of the legal norms that govern the international protection system for refugees, the rights international law bestows upon them and the obligations of States in this area.
- Critically analyse the legal problems caused by definitional and operational issues under the provisions of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and propose solutions to such complex problems.
- Review and debate the various policy issues raised by the implementation of international and domestic protection systems in light of contemporary circumstances.
- Critically reflect on the operation of the refugee law regime in Australia, including relevant legislation, case law, policy and determination.
- Plan, design and execute refugee law research and communicate findings to a variety of audiences in a variety of written formats
- Critically reflect on the roles refugee lawyers can play in promoting refugees’ access to justice and equality before the law.
- A 15-minute class presentation; or 1200 word legal submission on behalf of a hypothetical claimant (20) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
- A 3,800 — 4,200 word research assignment on an approved topic of the student’s choice; or 3,800 — 4,200 word law reform submission (domestic or international) on an approved topic (70) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
- A class participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
- A class attendance requirement (at least 20 of the 26 classes; 5% penalty) (5) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
- One online Pass/Fail quiz to familiarise students with the refugee definition and its application, to identify issues and relevant case law. The quizzes can be taken repeatedly until passed. (0) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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.
Classes offered during semester periods are expected to have 3 contact hours per week.
Classes offered in non-standard sessions will be taught on an intensive base with compulsory contact hours (approximately 26 hours of face to face teaching). The course will also require advanced preparation through assigned readings. In total, it is anticipated that the hours required for completion of this course (class preparation, teaching and completion of assessment) will not exceed 120 hours.
Click here for the LLM Masters Program timetable.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Students must rely on the approved Class Summary which will be posted to the Programs and Courses site approximately 2 weeks prior to the commencement of the course.
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.
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.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.