Faculty of Law

print version

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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



Quota applies

Postgraduate programs are based on a model of small group teaching and therefore class sizes need to be restricted.


Not offered in 2016


The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is the key global human rights treaty which addresses civil and political rights. It is the key treaty for the purposes of the operation and interpretation of existing human rights legislation in Australia in Victoria (the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities), the ACT (The Human Rights Act), and at the federal level (the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act). It is also a key treaty for the purposes of the operation of the interpretative principle under which judges should interpret statutes, where possible, in light of Australia's human rights obligations.

The unit will cover all elements of the ICCPR, including general principles (eg. brief history, the role of the UN Human Rights Committee, the impact of cultural relativism, positive and negative obligations, obligations of conduct and obligations of result), and admissibility criteria under the Optional Protocol (eg. requirements regarding subject matter jurisdiction, personal jurisdiction, and territorial jurisdiction; the rule regarding the exhaustion of domestic remedies). The case law and other jurisprudence with regard to key civil and political rights will then be analysed (eg freedom of expression, the right to privacy, the right to life, the right to liberty and security of the person, the right to a fair trial, freedom from discrimination, as well as rights regarding immigration and Indigenous peoples.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  • Apply knowledge and understanding of recent developments in relation to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional practice and/or for further learning;
  • Investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in relation to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
  • Conduct research in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights based on knowledge of appropriate research principle and methods; and
  • Use cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate at an abstract level complex ideas and concepts relevant to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.


Research assignment (3,750 words): 50%
Take-home examination (3,750 words): 50%
Research assignment (7500 words): 100%
(subject to the approval of the Chief Examiner)

Workload requirements

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