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LA1027 - Human Rights Law

Credit points: 3
Year: 2020
Student Contribution Band: Band 3
Administered by: College of Business, Law & Governance

A social justice perspective will be utilised to encourage students to gain a critical understanding of the role of law in society and an appreciation of how the law and lawyers can contribute to ensuring that power is not unfettered. The assertion of human rights is a direct challenge to the status quo by demanding that governments ensure the protection of the rights of its citizens. From a human rights perspective governments that fail to protect their citizens' rights are simply failing to ensure social justice. Students will study the origins of Human Rights, the international Bill of Human Rights, the universality of human rights, the argument for cultural relativism and the international monitoring and enforcement of human rights. Students will also study a number of specific human rights such as; the right to life, freedom of expression, freedom from slavery, the right not to be tortured, the rights of children, the right to adequate housing, the rights of prisoners, the rights of asylum seekers and the rights of Indigenous peoples. In addition the subject will examine how international human rights instruments are utilized in the interpretation of domestic legislation, the significance of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibility Act 2006 (Vic) and the role of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 (Cth). Finally the Commonwealth and Queensland anti-discrimination legislation will be examined. The assessment is designed to encourage students to develop their statutory interpretation skills, their legal research skills and their writing skills.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify and explain the roles of the relevant international human rights bodies;
  • Explain and analyse Human rights Law as it relates to the rights contained in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economical, Social and Cultural Rights;
  • Conduct legal research of domestic and international materials;
  • Apply statutory interpretation principles to international and domestic human rights instruments;
  • analyse and critique judicial decisions addressing human rights issues.

Subject Assessment

  • Invigilated > End of semester exam - (40%)
  • On-course assessment - (60%).

Special Assessment Requirements

Tutorial attendance is mandatory in this subject. A student who fails to attend at least 70% must meet with the Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching and provide evidence as to why he or she should be permitted to sit the final exam or submit the final assessment task.



Townsville, Internal, Study Period 2
Census Date 27-Aug-2020
Coordinator: Mr Malcolm Barrett
Workload expectations:

The student workload for this 3 credit point subject is approximately 130 hours.

  • 26 hours lectures
  • 13 hours workshops/Seminars - On-line Materials
  • assessment and self-directed study

Cairns, Internal, Study Period 2
Census Date 27-Aug-2020
Coord/Lect: Mr Malcolm Barrett.
Workload expectations:

The student workload for this 3 credit point subject is approximately 130 hours.

  • 26 hours lectures
  • 13 hours workshops/Seminars - On-Line Materials
  • assessment and self-directed study

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.