LAW5345 - Business and human rights - 2019

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)

Professor Sarah Joseph

Quota applies

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

Not offered in 2019



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 LAW7253


This unit focuses on the impact upon human rights of business activities, particularly those of multinational enterprises, and accountability mechanisms for those impacts in international, transnational and domestic law. This topic is one of the most dynamic within the field of human rights, especially since the enactment of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in 2011. It is widely recognised that businesses cannot ignore the human rights impacts of their operations.


  • Apply knowledge of the human rights impacts of businesses to propose new approaches for addressing human rights concerns
  • Identify, investigate and explain a contemporary case involving the real life practice of business and human rights
  • Conduct investigative research, analysis and synthesis of human rights concepts as applied to business practices using appropriate research principles and methods
  • Use cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate, articulate and evaluate complex ideas and concepts relevant to business and human rights.


  1. Engagement (10%)
  2. Presentation (20%)
  3. Written paper (1000 words plus footnotes and diagrams etc) (20%)
  4. Research essay (3500 words) (50%)

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.