Faculty of Law

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 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

To find units available for enrolment in the current year, you must make sure you use the indexes and browse unit tool in the current edition of the Handbook.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedCity (Melbourne) Term 3 2013 (Day)



This unit will examine issues such as the rights of the disabled at work, the rights of older workers, compulsory retirement age, flexible working practices, the right to return to work/part time work from maternity leave, sex, race and other types of discrimination at the workplace, right not to be sexually harassed at work, and the right to join, or not join, a trade union.

This unit studies Federal and Victorian legislation which have brought into the workplace anti-discrimination rights issues explored by international human rights covenants and conventions. The unit explores issues including whether human rights are inherent; the social, industrial and legal context of anti-discrimination law; the historical development of anti-discrimination statutes in the Federal and Victorian systems; the use of the external affairs Constitutional power; how well the legislation protects human rights in the workplace; values, culture, equal opportunity, anti-discrimination and affirmative action; the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 and Victorian and Federal law reform; and the impact of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) on workplace discrimination and freedom of association.


Upon completion of this unit, students should have acquired:

  1. knowledge of the law relating to anti-discrimination, equal opportunity and harassment in the workplace at federal level in Australia and an understanding of the theoretical and philosophical bases underpinning the legislation
  2. knowledge of the role of state laws including the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act in anti-discrimination and human rights in the workplace
  3. knowledge of the operation in practice of the law of anti-discrimination and an ability to apply the law to workplace anti-discrimination problems
  4. an understanding of the current and potential issues facing anti-discrimination law and practice in Australia, informed where relevant by international developments.


Research assignment (3,750 words): 50%
Take-home examination (3,750 words): 50%
In appropriate cases determined by the lecturer where a student has experience in the practice of anti-discrimination law, assessment may be one research assignment (7,500 words) for 100% of the marks.

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

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


Students who have successfully completed LAW7129 Law and Discrimination are prohibited from undertaking this unit.