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Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Advanced

Former School/College

Former School of Law and Justice

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

Part 1 - Introduction to the international human rights system 
Topic 1 The historical and philosophical foundations of human rights 
Topic 2 The international human rights legal system 
Topic 3 Other United Nations mechanisms for protecting human rights 
Topic 4 The role of other entities in the protection of human rights 
Part 2 - Human rights in Australia 
Topic 5 Express and implied constitutional rights in Australia 
Topic 6 The role of the common law and international human rights in human rights protection in Australia 
Topic 7 Specific legislative provisions for human rights protection in Australia 
Topic 8 Should Australia have a Bill of Rights? 
Part 3 - Specific human rights issues 
Topic 9 Refugees 
Topic 10 Terrorism and 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.

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 recognise the main features of the international human rights legal regime
2 identify, classify and evaluate the main international human rights instruments and other international mechanisms (both legal and non-legal) to advance human rights
3 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
4 identify and analyse the arguments for and against whether Australia should have a constitutional or a legislative Bill of Rights
5 describe and critically assess the common criticisms of human rights by critical legal advocates, feminists and cultural relativists
6 give an account of and discuss the human rights issues with respect to refugees and terrorism, and
7 demonstrate their skills in legal research, critical analysis and the written presentation of research and argument.

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

  1. recognise the main features of the international human rights legal regime
    • GA4:
  2. identify, classify and evaluate the main international human rights instruments and other international mechanisms (both legal and non-legal) to advance human rights
    • GA4:
  3. 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
    • GA4:
  4. identify and analyse the arguments for and against whether Australia should have a constitutional or a legislative Bill of Rights
    • GA1:
  5. describe and critically assess the common criticisms of human rights by critical legal advocates, feminists and cultural relativists
    • GA2:
    • GA4:
  6. give an account of and discuss the human rights issues with respect to refugees and terrorism, and
    • GA1:
    • GA2:
    • GA4:
  7. demonstrate their skills in legal research, critical analysis and the written presentation of research and argument.
    • GA1: