Faculty of Law

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedCity (Melbourne) Trimester 3 2012 (Day)


For postgraduate Law discontinuation dates, please see http://www.law.monash.edu.au/current-students/postgraduate/pg-disc-dates.html


This unit will examine the existing international law that promotes/protects human rights and freedoms of indigenous peoples and locate this law within their culture and traditions. Historical and cultural perspectives. A study will be undertaken of the major international instruments that protect and promote the rights of indigenous peoples. Draft United Nations declaration will be discussed. Main focus of discussion will include definition of indigenous peoples, right of self-determination, collective as opposed to individual rights, anti-discrimination, land and resource rights, civil and political participation, rights to language and education


At the end of the course the student will be able to:

  1. identify the key issues regarding the recognition, protection and enforcement of indigenous rights by way of international law and international fora
  2. research the major theoretical and practical issues regarding the protection of indigenous rights
  3. comment on prospect for reform on the legal rights of indigenous peoples, in the light of current legislative, judicial and political developments
  4. present written and oral analysis of complex problems involving the rights of indigenous peoples in international law.


Seminar participation: 10%
Literature review (equivalent to 800 words): 10%
Research paper (6,000 words): 80%

Chief examiner(s)

Ms Melissa Castan

Contact hours

24 contact hours per semester (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements). Students will be expected to do reading set for class, and to undertake additional research and reading applicable to a 6 credit point unit.