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Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

Unit aim

Examines the principles of human rights from international, Australian, comparative and theoretical perspectives. Discusses the international human rights regime, the method by which human rights are protected and the question of whether Australia should have its own Constitutional or legislative Bill of Rights. Will analyse the common theoretical critiques of human rights and will study some selected human rights issues.

Unit content

Module 1: The international human rights legal system

Module 2: Human rights in Australia

Module 3: Specific human rights issues – Indigenous Australians and asylum seekers

Module 4: Should Australia have a Bill of Rights?

Module 5: Emerging human rights issues – the right to privacy and the right to a healthy environment

Module 6: Critiques of human rights

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.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:
1 recognise the main features of the international human rights legal regime
2 appraise the express and implied constitutional protection of human rights in Australia, and assess the other forms of protection of human rights in the Australian legal and political system
3 identify and analyse the arguments for and against whether Australia should have a constitutional or a legislative Bill of Rights
4 give an account of and discuss various topical human rights issues.

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

  1. recognise the main features of the international human rights legal regime
  2. appraise the express and implied constitutional protection of human rights in Australia, and assess the other forms of protection of human rights in the Australian legal and political system
  3. identify and analyse the arguments for and against whether Australia should have a constitutional or a legislative Bill of Rights
  4. give an account of and discuss various topical human rights issues.

Prescribed texts

  • Paula Gerber and Melissa Castan (eds) , 2020, Contemporary Perspectives on Human Rights Law in Australia Vol 1, 2nd, Thomson Reuters, Sydney. ISBN: 9780455243566.
Prescribed texts may change in future teaching periods.