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

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FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedCity (Melbourne) Trimester 2 2013 (Day)



This course aims at providing an introduction to the Victorian Charter of Rights and Responsibilities through analysis of how bills of rights have been grafted into constitutional and administrative law in comparable overseas jurisdiction. This exercise is particularly significant to a Victorian context, given that the Victorian Charter has borrowed heavily from legal techniques developed in overseas jurisdictions for securing fundamental rights protection. The course therefore provides not only invaluable experience in the comparative method in the context of human rights law, but also important insight into the genesis of core principles of the Victorian Charter.


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 Victoria
  2. have the ability to compare the implementation of bills of rights in Australia with those of other countries, particularly the UK, New Zealand and Canada.
  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 Victorian Charter of Rights and Responsibilities

  1. understand how the Bill of Rights Act 1990 (NZ) has secured the implementation of the ICCPR under New Zealand law
  2. 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
  3. understand how the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has secured human rights enforcement in Canada.
  4. be able to identify or find the relevant principles, laws and precedents and apply them to resolve issues relating to bills of rights
  5. further develop legal research, writing, and legal argument skills in the area of bills of rights
  6. 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)

Contact hours

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