LAW5370 - Discrimination law and human rights at work - 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 Joanna Betteridge Personal ProfilePersonal 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 3 2018 (On-campus block of classes)


For postgraduate Law discontinuation dates, please see

For postgraduate Law unit timetables, please see

Previously coded as LAW7327


This unit will examine topics such as the rights of the disabled at work, the rights of older workers, compulsory retirement age, flexible working practices, the right to return to work/part time work from maternity leave, sex, race and other types of discrimination at the workplace, right not to be sexually harassed at work, and the right to join, or not join, a trade union.This unit studies Federal and Victorian legislation which have brought into the workplace anti-discrimination rights issues explored by international human rights covenants and conventions. The unit investigates issues including whether human rights are inherent; the social, industrial and legal context of anti-discrimination law; the historical development of anti-discrimination statutes in the Federal and Victorian systems; the use of the external affairs Constitutional power; how well the legislation protects human rights in the workplace; values, culture, equal opportunity, anti-discrimination and affirmative action; the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 and Victorian and Federal law reform; and the impact of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) on workplace discrimination and freedom of association.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  • Apply knowledge and understanding of recent developments in relation to the law relating to anti-discrimination, equal opportunity and harassment in the workplace at federal level in Australia and an understanding of the theoretical and philosophical bases underpinning the legislation with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional practice and/or further learning
  • Investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in relation to discrimination law and human rights at work
  • Conduct research in discrimination law and human rights at work based on knowledge of appropriate research principle and methods
  • Use cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate at an abstract level complex ideas and concepts relevant the law of anti-discrimination and an ability to apply the law to workplace anti-discrimination problems.


Research assignment (3,750 words): 50%

Take-home examination (3,750 words): 50%

In appropriate cases determined by the lecturer where a student has experience in the practice of anti-discrimination law, assessment may be one research assignment (7,500 words) for 100% of the marks.

Workload requirements

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