LAW5639 - Comparative indigenous rights - 2017

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.



Unit guides



  • Term 2 2017 (Day)


The unit is a comparative law unit, analysing and discussing the rights of Indigenous peoples in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States. The main topics to be covered are Indigenous sovereignty, European acquisition of sovereignty, land and resource rights, self-government, and constitutional issues. The course will be taught from a critical perspective, comparing and assessing the treatment of Indigenous rights in the four jurisdictions.


On completion of the unit students will be able to:

  1. Apply knowledge and understanding of the rights of Indigenous peoples in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States, with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional practice and/or for further learning
  2. Investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in relation to the protection of Indigenous rights in four jurisdictions.
  3. Conduct research in, and compare and assess, the treatment of indigenous rights in four jurisdictions based on knowledge of appropriate self-government and constitutional issues, property law, and research principles and methods.
  4. Use cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate at an abstract level complex ideas and concepts relevant to the rights of Indigenous peoples.


Attendance requirement: students who fail to attend at least 80% of the classes in this unit (ie who miss 3 or more classes) will receive a result of 0 N for the unit. Students who are unable to meet this requirement due to severe illness or other exceptional circumstances must make an application for in-semester special consideration with supporting documentation.

  1. Seminar presentation: 10%
  2. Report (1125 words): 15%
  3. Research assignment (5625 words): 75%

Workload requirements

Students enrolled in this unit will be provided with 36 contact hours of seminars per semester whether intensive, semi-intensive, or semester-long offering. Students will be expected to do reading set for class, and to undertake additional research and reading applicable to a 6 credit point unit.

Chief examiner(s)


LAW5000 Australian legal reasoning and methods

LAW5001 Principles of criminal law and procedure

LAW5002 Principles of contract law A

LAW5003 Principles of torts

LAW5004 Principles of public law and statutory interpretation

LAW5005 Principles of contract law B

LAW5006 Principles of property law

LAW5007 Principles of constitutional law

LAW5008 Principles of equity

LAW5009 or LAW5018 Advanced property law

LAW5010 Principles of trusts

LAW5011 or LAW5016 AND LAW5017 Principles of company law

LAW5012 Principles of evidence


LAW5348 Indigenous rights and international law

LAW5451 Indigenous people and the law