Skip to content | Change text size

LAW4155 - International human rights 406

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Law

Leader: Semester Two: Adam McBeth


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


Topics include: introduction to the basic relevant concepts of public international law; the concept of 'international human rights'; international enforcement machinery; the Human Rights Committee and relevant human rights Charter bodies; specific human rights (including, inter alia, freedom from torture, the principle of non-discrimination; economic, social and cultural rights); limitations to human rights (eg derogation in time of emergency, limitations due to reasons of public order, national security); the impact of international human rights law on the Australian domestic scene.


Students completing this unit should

  1. have a broad knowledge and understanding of international human rights enforcement mechanisms (including UN activity, universal treaties such as the International Covenants on Human Rights and regional treaties such as the European Convention on Human Rights) and be able to evaluate their effectiveness;
  2. have a detailed knowledge of the content of various human rights, such content being identified, inter alia, by reference to the case law of the UN Human Rights Committee and the European Court of Human Rights and
  3. understand some of the philosophical bases of and problems with international human rights law. Students should be able to use such knowledge to identify and understand the implications of international human rights law for Australian domestic law and practice, as well as its relevance in international affairs.


Research paper (4,000 words): 50%
Examination (1 hour writing time plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 50%
OR student placement, consisting of assessment by external supervisor: 20%
Report (2,000 words): 30%
Examination (1 hour writing time plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 50%
OR Examination (2 hours writing time plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 100%

Contact hours

Three hours of lectures per week


LAW1100 or LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104