- Class Number 3600
- Term Code 3140
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery Online or In Person
- AsPr Ryan Goss
- AsPr Ryan Goss
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 07/04/2021
- Class End Date 28/05/2021
- Census Date 16/04/2021
- Last Date to Enrol 07/04/2021
This is a course on international and comparative human rights law. It is a course that aspires to consider ways in which we can all ‘do human rights law better’.
In this course students will be encouraged to think about international and comparative 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 human rights law consistent, predictable, internally coherent, and capable of acting as a guide to states, citizens, lawyers, officials, and judges?
In considering these questions, emphasis will be on examining examples of international human rights reasoning in fine detail, especially at the regional level. Students will be encouraged to read case extracts, and full cases, closely and critically. The extremely influential jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights will receive particular attention.
Criticism of the quality of legal reasoning in human rights documents/judgments will be encouraged, and it will not be assumed that broader, more expansive, legal protection of human rights is always a good thing.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Explain, distinguish and apply core and advanced concepts and terminology of international and comparative human rights law as used in the key primary and secondary sources;
- Design, implement and review a range of theoretical approaches to the primary and secondary source material;
- Identify and critically examine in written and oral form a range of perspectives and values that are relevant to international and comparative human rights law;
- Identify and use a range of research principles, methods and tools appropriate to respond to a complex question of international and comparative human rights law;
- Explain and examine whether, and if so, to what extent, human rights law provides coherent predictable consistent guidance to states, courts, lawyers, officials, and citizens; and
- Plan and execute a research project with independence in order to produce original scholarship on a particular identified area of human rights law.
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.
There is no prescribed textbook. Wattle and documents available on Wattle will provide extensive guidance on readings, and suggestions for textbooks to consult if appropriate.
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 generalfeedback 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 specificfeedback 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.
Pleasedon’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, LAWS8247 Comparative Civil & Political Rights.
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.
This is a postgraduate masters-level law course. Course expectations reflect this.
Extensions late submission and penalties - https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/extensions-late-submission-and-penalties
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.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Class Introduction & Framework, & Comparativism||Intention is for this to be available, recorded and online before class dates. TBC.|
|2||UN Bodies & Regional Human Rights Institutions||Intention is for this to be available, recorded and online before class dates. TBC.|
|3||The exceptions that prove the rule, and introducing proportionality||Intention is for this to be available, recorded and online before class dates. TBC.|
|4||The right to life||Intention is for this to be Live and non-recorded on Wed 7 April. Attendance via Zoom compulsory. TBC.|
|5||Torture and inhuman & degrading treatment or punishment||Intention is for this to be Live and non-recorded on Wed 7 April. Attendance via Zoom compulsory. TBC.|
|6||Intro to freedom of expression||Intention is for this to be Live and non-recorded on Wed 7 April. Attendance via Zoom compulsory. TBC.|
|7||Cultural relativism and the margin of appreciation||Intention is for this to be Live and non-recorded on Thurs 11 April. Attendance via Zoom compulsory. TBC.|
|8||ICHRL & Gender||Intention is for this to be Live and non-recorded on Thurs 11 April. Attendance via Zoom compulsory.TBC.|
|9||Proportionality Case Law Workshop Exercise||Intention is for this to be Live and non-recorded on Thurs 11 April. Attendance via Zoom compulsory. TBC.|
|10||Intro to ESC Rights||Intention is for this to be Live and non-recorded on Fri 12 April. Attendance via Zoom compulsory.TBC.|
|11||Definitional workshop: Thinking about deprivations of liberty||Intention is for this to be Live and non-recorded on Fri 12 April. Attendance via Zoom compulsory.TBC.|
|12||SPCtHR Workshop Exercise||Intention is for this to be Live and non-recorded on Fri 12 April. Attendance via Zoom compulsory.TBC.|
|13||IHRL in the Domestic Sphere||Intention is for this to be available after class dates, either pre-recorded or live and recorded, likely Wed 14 April but TBC.|
|14||Deep Dive Seminar||Intention is for this to be available after class dates, either pre-recorded or live and recorded, likely Wed 14 April but TBC.|
|15||Research Essay Technique/Methods & Course Conclusion||Intention is for this to be available after class dates, either pre-recorded or live and recorded, likely Wed 14 April but TBC.|
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Short Quiz||30 %||18/04/2021||03/05/2021||1,4,5|
|Research Assignment||70 %||10/05/2021||31/05/2021||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:
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 Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.
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.
For all courses taught in any mode (whether face to face or online), the ANU College of Law considers participation in the classes offered to be an important part of the educational experience of the graduate program. Students are expected to attend all classes.
If circumstances arise which are beyond a student’s control and they are unable to attend a class, the student should contact the Course Convenor in advance (where possible), so that the convenor can adjust their expectations in relation to numbers for that class. If it is not possible to give advance notice, students should send the convenor an email as soon as possible with evidence to support the reason for failure to attend.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,4,5
Nature of Task: Short online quiz.
Word limit: Answer length will vary according to the question, but the expectation is that each answer will be no longer than 250 words.
Release: TBC but likely Wed 14 April at 6pm
Due date: TBC but likely Sun 18 April at 11.59pm. Due to the nature of this task extensions are not possible, so don't leave this quiz to the last minute to complete.
Estimated return date: The expectation is that results will be available by Mon 3 May.
- 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
- emphasis on the significant issues
- answer is coherent and structure logical
- 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
- adherence to word limit, if such a limit has been set.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6
Nature of Task:
Word limit: 4,250 words maximum.
Release: TBC but a number of potential research assignment topics will be released by no later than Fri 9 April. 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 Friday 23 April.
Due date: 5pm on Mon 10 May. Late submission is permitted, but a mark penalty will be imposed.
Estimated return date: Marks and feedback will be available via Wattle by Mon 24 May.
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
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
- 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
- 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
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
Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.
The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.
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.
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.
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.
Research Assignments may 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. Extensions may be granted 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.
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).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
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- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
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I'm a Queenslander at the ANU Law School working on constitutional law and human rights law. My bio, research interests, etc, can all be found on my ANU Law School site.
AsPr Ryan Goss