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Unit Summary

Unit type

PG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

9

Level of learning

Intermediate

Former School/College

Former School of Education

Unit aim

Focuses on how the Australian legal system and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child enhance the well-being and rights of children and young people. Explores historical trends in family law and the current role of family justice professionals, Family Relationship Centres, and the Courts in parenting disputes over the care of children. A range of education, health, welfare, and youth justice issues are also considered, together with the effectiveness of recent child-inclusive initiatives. Primarily aimed at a non-legal audience, the unit's theoretical framework and socio-legal nature will also enrich lawyers' existing legal knowledge and experience.

Unit content

  • Key features of the Australian legal system and their application to child, youth and family issues.
  • Historical trends in family law and the influence of the changing conceptions of childhood on statutory provisions and judicial decisions over time.
  • The role of the UNCRC (international law) in enhancing children's well-being and rights through its impact on domestic law, policy and practice.
  • How a range of professionals and the Courts are involved in parenting disputes relating to children and young people (parental responsibility, residence, contact, family violence, neglect and abuse, relocation, abduction), and in relation to financial issues affecting children following parental separation, education/schooling, consent to medical treatment, and adoption.
  • How professionals and the Courts are involved in a range of juvenile justice issues in statutory and community contexts relating to children, young people and their families.
  • Initiatives in enhancing children and young people's participation in decisions affecting them.
  • Areas of legal policy and practice which require reform to better meet the needs of children, young people and their families.

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: , GA2: , GA3: , GA4: , GA5: , GA6: , GA7:
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 explain the key features of Australia's legal system (or other legal system) and its application to child, youth and family issues
2 critically analyse the historical trends in child and family law and the influence of the changing conceptions of childhood on statutory provisions and judicial decisions over time, including the role of the UNCRC in enhancing children's rights
3 explain how professionals and the Courts are involved in a range of family law and juvenile justice issues relating to children, young people and their families
4 critically evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives seeking to enhance children and young people's participation in decisions affecting them
5 identify areas of legal policy and practice which require reform to better meet the needs and rights of children, young people and their families.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. explain the key features of Australia's legal system (or other legal system) and its application to child, youth and family issues
    • GA4:
  2. critically analyse the historical trends in child and family law and the influence of the changing conceptions of childhood on statutory provisions and judicial decisions over time, including the role of the UNCRC in enhancing children's rights
    • GA1:
    • GA4:
  3. explain how professionals and the Courts are involved in a range of family law and juvenile justice issues relating to children, young people and their families
    • GA3:
    • GA4:
  4. critically evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives seeking to enhance children and young people's participation in decisions affecting them
    • GA1:
    • GA3:
    • GA4:
  5. identify areas of legal policy and practice which require reform to better meet the needs and rights of children, young people and their families.
    • GA1:
    • GA3:
    • GA4: