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LAWS13-553: Human Rights Law January 2019 [Standard]

General information

Human Rights Law is an elective subject in undergraduate programs offered by the Faculty of Law. The subject examines the extent to which human rights are legally protected in Australia. The subject begins with an analysis of the nature of a 'human right'. Thereafter, it covers the range of principal human rights and the extent to which they are protected: (a) domestically by the Australian Constitution and Commonwealth, State and Territory legislation; and (b) internationally by treaties and other international instruments and bodies.


Academic unit:Faculty of Law
Subject code:LAWS13-553
Subject title:Human Rights Law
Subject level:Undergraduate
Semester/Year:January 2019
Credit points:10

Delivery & attendance

Delivery mode:


Workload items:
  • Seminar: x12 (Total hours: 36) - Seminar 1
  • Personal Study Hours: x12 (Total hours: 84) - Recommended Study Hours


Prescribed resources:
  • Paula Gerber,Melissa Castan (2012). Contemporary Perspectives on Human Rights Law in Australia. Australia: Thomas Reuters
After enrolment, students can check the Books and Tools area in iLearn for the full Resource List.
[email protected] & Email:[email protected] is the online learning environment at Bond University and is used to provide access to subject materials, lecture recordings and detailed subject information regarding the subject curriculum, assessment and timing. Both iLearn and the Student Email facility are used to provide important subject notifications. Additionally, official correspondence from the University will be forwarded to students’ Bond email account and must be monitored by the student.

To access these services, log on to the Student Portal from the Bond University website as

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


Restrictions: ?

Must be admitted into a Bachelor Law degree OR Bachelor of Laws combined degree OR be an approved Study Abroad OR Exchange Law Student.

This subject is not available as a general elective. To be eligible for enrolment, the subject must be specified in the students’ program structure.

Assurance of learning

Assurance of Learning means that universities take responsibility for creating, monitoring and updating curriculum, teaching and assessment so that students graduate with the knowledge, skills and attributes they need for employability and/or further study.

At Bond University, we carefully develop subject and program outcomes to ensure that student learning in each subject contributes to the whole student experience. Students are encouraged to carefully read and consider subject and program outcomes as combined elements.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Program Learning Outcomes provide a broad and measurable set of standards that incorporate a range of knowledge and skills that will be achieved on completion of the program. If you are undertaking this subject as part of a degree program, you should refer to the relevant degree program outcomes and graduate attributes as they relate to this subject.

Find your program

Subject Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject the learner will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of international human rights instruments and their content, knowledge of the jurisprudence of the United Nationals Human Rights Committee, knowledge of the impact of international human rights law on Australian law, knowledge about the protection of human rights within Australia by Australian laws and institutions (including the Commonwealth, States and Territories), and detailed knowledge about specific human rights topics which are key areas of practice in Australia and globally.
  2. Develop communication skills.
  3. Develop skills for professional practice in the field of human rights.


Assessment details

TypeTask%Timing*Outcomes assessed
Essay Final Assignment: The essay titles will be provided early in the term to allow students to plan their own work. It is envisaged that the topic guidelines will be broad to ensure students are able to commence work early in the term (i.e. you will not have to wait for the completion of week 10 to begin your assignment). 80% Week 11 1, 2, 3.
Presentation Presentation: Student presentations can take the form of a parliamentary submission, a speech or submission to an international body on behalf of a particular nation. The workload will be equivalent to a 15-20 minute presentation for each student. 20% To Be Negotiated 1, 2, 3.
  • * Assessment timing is indicative of the week that the assessment is due or begins (where conducted over multiple weeks), and is based on the standard University academic calendar
  • C = Students must reach a level of competency to successfully complete this assessment.

Assessment criteria

High Distinction 85-100 Outstanding or exemplary performance in the following areas: interpretative ability; intellectual initiative in response to questions; mastery of the skills required by the subject, general levels of knowledge and analytic ability or clear thinking.
Distinction 75-84 Usually awarded to students whose performance goes well beyond the minimum requirements set for tasks required in assessment, and who perform well in most of the above areas.
Credit 65-74 Usually awarded to students whose performance is considered to go beyond the minimum requirements for work set for assessment. Assessable work is typically characterised by a strong performance in some of the capacities listed above.
Pass 50-64 Usually awarded to students whose performance meets the requirements set for work provided for assessment.
Fail 0-49 Usually awarded to students whose performance is not considered to meet the minimum requirements set for particular tasks. The fail grade may be a result of insufficient preparation, of inattention to assignment guidelines or lack of academic ability. A frequent cause of failure is lack of attention to subject or assignment guidelines.

Quality assurance

For the purposes of quality assurance, Bond University conducts an evaluation process to measure and document student assessment as evidence of the extent to which program and subject learning outcomes are achieved. Some examples of student work will be retained for potential research and quality auditing purposes only. Any student work used will be treated confidentially and no student grades will be affected.

Study information

Submission procedures

Students must check the [email protected] subject site for detailed assessment information and submission procedures.

Policy on late submission and extensions

A late penalty will be applied to all overdue assessment tasks unless an extension is granted by the subject coordinator. The standard penalty will be 10% of marks awarded to that assessment per day late with no assessment to be accepted seven days after the due date. Where a student is granted an extension, the penalty of 10% per day late starts from the new due date.

Policy on plagiarism

University’s Academic Integrity Policy defines plagiarism as the act of misrepresenting as one’s own original work: another’s ideas, interpretations, words, or creative works; and/or one’s own previous ideas, interpretations, words, or creative work without acknowledging that it was used previously (i.e., self-plagiarism). The University considers the act of plagiarising to be a breach of the Student Conduct Code and, therefore, subject to the Discipline Regulations which provide for a range of penalties including the reduction of marks or grades, fines and suspension from the University.

Bond University utilises Originality Reporting software to inform academic integrity.

Feedback on assessment

Feedback on assessment will be provided to students within two weeks of the assessment submission due date, as per the Assessment Policy.

Accessibility and Inclusion Support

If you have a disability, illness, injury or health condition that impacts your capacity to complete studies, exams or assessment tasks, it is important you let us know your special requirements, early in the semester. Students will need to make an application for support and submit it with recent, comprehensive documentation at an appointment with a Disability Officer. Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Office at the earliest possible time, to meet staff and learn about the services available to meet your specific needs. Please note that late notification or failure to disclose your disability can be to your disadvantage as the University cannot guarantee support under such circumstances.

Subject curriculum

Where do rights come from? Reflecting on key conflicts between the common good and rights, security and rights etc. Also: are human rights truly universal?

The Human Rights Landscape in Australia. Why are rights so controversial? This week, we also discuss the status of indigenous peoples in Australian society, a recurring theme across the subject.

The International System of Human Rights Protection. Effective or Not?

Look at how a refugee is defined in Australian and international law.

We assess the accessibility of education, workplaces and other social settings in Australia. Is Australia living up to its international law obligations?

This week we will look at the issue of prohibition of torture and the compatibility of anti-terrorist legislation with international human rights law.

In what circumstances can an asylum seeker be returned to their home country? Is the interception of boats at sea legal under international human rights law?

This week we look at gender, family responsibilities and the workplace. To what extent must a workplace provide reasonable accommodation for particular circumstances? To what extent is gender discrimination present in the Australian workplace?

A discussion of the differing conceptions of rights and discrimination underlying the debate on section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. We will seek to locate this debate in the context of minorities in Australia.

We analyse the possible tensions between individual freedom and cultural & religious communities, evaluating how international and domestic law can struggle with debates between secularism and diversity.

Here we will look at the rule of law in Australia with a particular focus upon the broad powers of security and immigration agencies. This year we will look at the breadth of terrorism offences, restrictions on media reporting/whistleblowers and the stripping of citizenship from Australians.

Approved on: Nov 8, 2018. Edition: 1.4
Last updated: Nov 11, 2018.