LAW5348 - Indigenous rights and international law - 2018

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.



Chief examiner(s)

Ms Melissa Castan Researcher ProfileResearcher Profile (

Quota applies

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

Unit guides


City (Melbourne)

  • Trimester 2 2018 (On-campus block of classes)



Please note that the prerequisite subject can be waived in consultation with the Chief Examiner. For example, the subject may be waived if the candidate has gained sufficient knowledge through prior learning or experience, or a clear willingness to do adequate reading in advance of this subject.


For postgraduate Law discontinuation dates, please see

For postgraduate Law unit timetables, please see

Previously coded as LAW7260


This unit will examine the existing international law that promotes/protects human rights and freedoms of Indigenous peoples and locate this law within their culture and traditions, as well as within the international law context. The major international instruments that protect and promote the rights of Indigenous peoples will be evaluated. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and work in other UN fora will be discussed. Australia forms the basis of case study. Includes focus on legal and community definitions of Indigenous peoples, understanding the right of self-determination, collective as opposed to individual rights, anti-discrimination, land and resource rights, civil and political participation, rights of identity, language and education.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

Apply knowledge and understanding of recent developments in relation to recognition, protection and enforcement of Indigenous rights in context of international law and international fora, 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 protection of Indigenous rights at international law.

Conduct research in Indigenous rights based on knowledge of appropriate international law research principles and methods.

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 in international law.


Seminar participation: 10%

Literature review (equivalent to 800 words): 10%

Research paper (6,000 words): 80%

Workload requirements

24 contact hours per semester (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements). Students will be expected to do reading set for class, and to undertake additional research and reading applicable to a 6 credit point unit.