LAW4684 - Comparative indigenous rights - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Chief examiner(s)

Prof Marilyn Pittard Researcher ProfileResearcher Profile (

Not offered in 2018


For students who commenced their LLB course prior to 2015: LAW1000 or LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104; LAW2101; LAW2102; LAW 2201; LAW2202; LAW3101; LAW3301.

For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) course in 2015 or later: LAW1111; LAW1112; LAW1113; LAW1114; LAW2101; LAW2102; LAW2111; LAW2112.


LAW4158Not offered in 2018 Indigenous peoples and the law

LAW4197Not offered in 2018 Current issues in Indigenous rights


The unit is a comparative law unit, analysing and discussing the rights of Indigenous peoples in four jurisdictions of 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 subject students should:

  1. understand and appraise indigenous rights in four jurisdictions, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and United States;
  2. have knowledge of the significance of Indigenous sovereignty, European acquisition of sovereignty, land and resource rights and self-government;
  3. critique the relevant legal and constitutional issues;
  4. debate and critically analyse the treatment of indigenous rights in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and United States;
  5. research and apply the law studied to new and emerging contemporary problems in Indigenous rights.


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 (750 words): 15%
  3. Take home examination (3750 words): 75%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information