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
OfferedNot offered in 2012
Coordinator(s)Dr Angela Ward


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


In recent years, we have witnessed increased public debate about the status of governmental guarantees of civil and other human rights. In the context of international focus on the "war on terror", there is widespread concern about the possibility of infringement of civil liberties by governments and third parties alike. This debate is particularly relevant in Australia, which is alone amongst comparable common law jurisdictions in its lack of a bill of rights. In 2005, the Victorian State government followed the lead of the ACT, New Zealand and the United Kingdom in proposing the introduction of a State Charter of Rights and Responsibilities, that was enacted in 2006.


On completion of this unit students should:

  1. have a sound understanding of the content of and case law under the domestic bills of rights in the ACT and Victoria
  2. have the ability to compare the implementation of bills of rights in Australia with those of other countries, particularly the UK and New Zealand
  3. have a sound understanding of the history and processes behind the "Europeanisation" of United Kingdom human rights law, and its relationship with common law protection
  4. understand in detail the technique of incorporation of the European Convention of Human Rights under the United Kingdom law Human Rights Act 1998 (UK), and its place in the United Kingdom Constitution
  5. understand the human rights jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, and how it is applied under United Kingdom law
  6. assess the extent to which, in key substantive fields, Australian and United Kingdom human rights law have come to diverge due to the influence of "Europe" on the latter. Particular reference will be made to the Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT), and the Victorian Charter of Rights and Responsibilities
  7. understand how the Bill of Rights Act 1990 (NZ) has secured the implementation of the ICCPR under New Zealand law
  8. understand the extent to which the Bill of Rights Act 1990 (NZ) has impacted on New Zealand public law, with a particular emphasis on remedies and the principle of proportionality
  9. be able to identify or find the relevant principles, laws and precedents and apply them to resolve issues relating to bills of rights
  10. further develop legal research, writing, and legal argument skills in the area of bills of rights
  11. further develop oral articulation of legal argument during class discussions.


Research paper (7,500 words): 100%
Research paper (3,750 words): 50%
Take-home exam (3,750 words): 50%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Angela Ward

Contact hours

24 contact hours per semester (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements)