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Human Rights Law and Advocacy - JURD7582
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Faculty: Faculty of Law
School:  Faculty of Law
Course Outline: See below
Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Postgraduate
Units of Credit: 6
EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)
Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 4
Enrolment Requirements:
Prerequisite: LAWS1001 and LAWS1011 and Corequisite: LAWS2311; Prerequisite: JURD7101 and JURD7111 and Corequisite: JURD7211
Excluded: LAWS3182
Fee Band: 3 (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


This course involves an examination of the fundamental legal standards and institutions of international human rights, through the medium of contemporary human rights concerns. It will familiarize you with the basic principles of international human rights law and the mechanisms for its enforcement. Particular attention will be given to current issues such as terrorism, globalisation and its impact on economic and social rights and the changing role of the United Nations. Special attention is also given to the expanding role of multinational corporations in the global economy, the death penalty, genocide, "cultural relativism", the protection of human rights in Australia and the role of non-government organizations in promoting and protecting human rights. The course will benefit from the input of several guest speakers on discrete topics. This course is part of a general offering of human rights and social justice topics within the UNSW Law School and aims to provide students with an introductory approach to human rights.

Recommended Prior Knowledge


Course Objectives

At the end of this course students should:
  • Have a sound knowledge of the main legal concepts and principles of international human rights law
  • Explain in your own words the meaning of legal concepts, doctrines and principles we have studied
  • Analyse the primary sources of human rights law
  • Demonstrate an ethical understanding of the nature of human rights law and be aware of on-going and future issues in the area of human rights
  • Demonstrate your ability to think critically and to justify your ideas in a reasoned manner, rather than purely by way of dogmatic assertions or emotional responses communicate effectively in speaking and in writing

Main Topics

  • What are human rights? Contemporary concerns with human rights
  • Framework of the international human rights system
  • Major international human rights instruments and their enforcement
  • Other thematic topics covered year to year include: Genocide and the responsibility to protect; Death penalty; Human rights and terrorism: clash between rights and security; Universalism and cultural relativism; Human rights in Australia; Refugees: international standards and protections; International law of equality and discrimination; Globalisation and human rights; and UN reform


Class participation 15%
Research essay 40%
Exam 45%

Course Texts

Steiner, Alston and Goodman International Human Rights in Context; Law, Politics and Morals Oxford University Press, 3rd ed

Refer to reading list in the course guide. The further reading listed each week is optional and is not contained in the Course Materials. It is available online or at the UNSW Law School Library references. If you are seeking resources, you can obtain assistance from the UNSW Library. One starting point is:

URL for this page:

© The University of New South Wales (CRICOS Provider No.: 00098G), 2004-2011. The information contained in this Handbook is indicative only. While every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, the University reserves the right to discontinue or vary arrangements, programs and courses at any time without notice and at its discretion. While the University will try to avoid or minimise any inconvenience, changes may also be made to programs, courses and staff after enrolment. The University may also set limits on the number of students in a course.