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Contemp Issues in Int'l & Domestic Indigenous Law - LAWS8415

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: 2
Enrolment Requirements:
Pre-requisite: Academic Program must be 9200 or 9210 or 9230 or 5740 or 9220 or 5750 or 9211 or 5211.
Excluded: JURD7415
CSS Contribution Charge:Band 3 (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


This course, offered for the first time in December 2008, examines contemporary issues in law and policy affecting Indigenous peoples, organisations and communities in Australia. Rapid changes have occurred domestically in recent years. The course looks at some of these and contextualises the changes with an examination of developments in international law and at the United Nations, as well as comparative perspectives from overseas jurisdictions. Case studies in areas such as welfare reform, land and economic development, public law recognition and family violence will allow students to review recent local developments in specific policy areas and integrate international perspectives. Participants will be better placed to draw their own conclusions about the contemporary legal position of Indigenous peoples in Australia and possible directions in the foreseeable future.

This course is also available to students undertaking relevant postgraduate non-law degree programs at UNSW, provided such enrolment is approved by the appropriate non-law Faculty.

LLM Specialisations

Recommended Prior Knowledge


Course Objectives

This course aims to enable participants to develop:
  • a sharper awareness of the structures, approaches and ideas that shape contemporary Indigenous law and policy in Australia
  • a greater appreciation of the major currents in international law of relevance to Indigenous peoples in Australia
  • a deeper understanding of law and policy in several areas of contemporary domestic relevance, informed by international and comparative as well as local perspectives
  • more specialised knowledge of a particular aspect of contemporary Indigenous law and/or policy through the production of a research essay.

Main Topics

  • Australian Indigenous Law and Policy post-1967
  • The Contemporary Influence of International Law
  • The Battle of Ideas in Contemporary Indigenous Law and Policy
  • Case Studies in areas such as welfare reform, public law recognition, land and economic development and family violence


 Class Participation (preparation for and engagement in class)  20% 
 Research Essay (6000 - 8000 words)  80%

Course Texts


Course Materials will be available for purchase from the UNSW Bookshop prior to the course.


Refer to Course Outline, which will be available by November 2008.


Refer to Course Outline, which will be available by November 2008.

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© 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.