Advanced International Human Rights Law

10 Units

This course is designed to expose students to the laws dealing with the protection of individuals and groups against violations by governments of internationally guaranteed human rights. There will be advanced consideration of the theoretical, political and socio-economic issues associated with human rights discourse, structures and processes through which human rights norms are established and transformed into rights, relationship of human rights norms to domestic legal systems and techniques for the implementation of human rights on the domestic and international sphere. The course will also consider contemporary issues in human rights, such as national security, terrorism and limitation on rights, the role of non-state actors and the international human rights principles in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Faculty Faculty of Business and Law
School Newcastle Law School
Availability Semester 1 - 2014 (Sydney Bathurst Street)

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate advanced understanding of the complex theoretical, political, socio-economic and policy issues associated with international human rights;
  2. Critically evaluate the processes through which international human rights norms are created and enforced.
  3. Demonstrate advanced understanding of the leading categories of international human rights;
  4. Demonstrate advanced understanding of the specific techniques for implementing human rights in the domestic and international spheres;
  5. Exhibit advanced understanding of the relationship between international human rights norms and the Australian legal system;
  6. Display advanced skills in legal research, using oral and written communication, critical analysis of primary and secondary legal materials in the preparation of oral and written arguments.

The topics in this course include the following:

  1. The International Human Rights Movement
  2. History, Philosophy and Critiques of Human Rights
  3. The United Nations and the International Bill of Human Rights
  4. Categories of Rights—Civil/political and economic, social and cultural rights
  5. Universalism and Cultural Relativism
  6. Relevant Human Rights Treaties and UN Treaty Bodies
  7. UN Investigation of Human Rights Abuses
  8. Domestic Implementation of Human Rights in Australia
  9. Enforcement Mechanisms and Humanitarian Intervention
  10. Terrorism, national security and limitation on rights
  11. The role of non-state actors and non-governmental organizations
  12. The rights of women and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against Women (‘CEDAW’)
  13. Self Determination and Indigenous Peoples
  14. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Replacing Course(s) NA
Transition NA
Industrial Experience 0
Assumed Knowledge Nil
Modes of Delivery Internal Mode
Teaching Methods Seminar
Assessment Items
  • Essays / Written Assignments - Research Essay
  • Group/tutorial participation and contribution - Class Participation. Students will receive a participation mark which will be assessed on the basis of the following: (a) Evidence that the prescribed readings have been completed; (b) Active engagement and willingness to participate in seminar discussion and activities, responses, questions or other contributions that indicate a comprehension of the relevant material and thoughtful and intelligent consideration of the issues it raises; (c) Responses, questions or other considerations that indicate an awareness of the broader legal and policy issues.
  • Presentations - Class -
Contact Hours
  • Seminar: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Compulsory Components
  • Requisite by Enrolment: This course is only available to students enrolled in the Master of Laws.
Course Materials None listed
Timetable 2015 Course Timetables for LAWS6044

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