Faculty of Law

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedPrato Term 2 2015 (Day)



The unit will begin with a philosophical overview of the concept of human dignity and then enter into a historical examination of why human dignity has emerged as an important constitutional principle in international law and some jurisdictions. International and national experiences with human dignity as a constitutional and/or human rights principle will be critically examined. Particular attention will be paid to the role of human dignity in the so-called Arab Spring and its aftermath.


On completion of this subject, students will be able to:

  • apply knowledge and understanding of the ways in which human dignity is codified and adopted in legal decision-making in select jurisdictions;
  • investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information concerning the various theories and approaches to human dignity;
  • conduct research into theoretical and practical approaches to the use of human dignity in legal decision-making;
  • use cognitive, technical and creative skills in articulating the relationship between human dignity as a legal concept and social, political and economic forces that impact upon the ways in which human dignity is understood and adopted in a given jurisdiction; and
  • provide and make use of feedback to assess their own capabilities and performance and to support personal and professional development.


1. Class participation: 20%
2. Reflective essay (1500 words): 20%
3. Research paper (4500 words): 60%

Workload requirements

Students are required to attend 36 hours of lectures over the duration of this semi-intensive unit.

Chief examiner(s)