LAW 7120 - Human Rights: International Perspectives (PG)

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2017

The aim of this course is to have students consider the legal, philosophical and sociological underpinnings of human rights; students will be encouraged to think critically about the views they hold and the values reflected in the international legal system. The course will focus on the United Nations and its role in formulating, interpreting and monitoring human rights.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 7120
    Course Human Rights: International Perspectives (PG)
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites Students without a Bachelor of Laws must have completed LAW 7177
    Assessment Likely to include Research paper and class participation
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Laura Grenfell

    The course will be taught by John Pace.
    John has had a long and distinguised career at the UN (1966-1999) in the field of human rights.
    During his time, John served as Head of Special Procedures, of Technical Cooperation, Research and Right to Development. From 1978-1991 and 1993-1994 he was Secretary to the Commission on Human Rights and coordinator of the lankmark World Conferences on Human Rights which brought together 171 nation states and hundreds of NGOs. From 2000-2002 he was the Director of the Australian Human Rights Centre at UNSW. Between 2004-2006 he served as Chief of the Human Rights Office of the UN Assistance Mission to Iraq. Since this time he has been involved in missions to various countries in the field of human rights and humanitarian law.
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Students successfully completing this course will be able to:

    (1) Critically evaluate the various theories proposed as the basis for the protection of human rights

    (2) Critically analyse primary sources of human rights law ie. treaties and cases, and secondary materials relating to the principles of human rights law

    (3) Critically assess the structure, major institutions and jurisprudence of the international human rights system;

    (4) Communicate clearly, concisely and effectively in written fom about the principles of human rights law

    (5) Communicate clearly and effectively in oral form about the principles of human rights law;

    (6) Understand and critically assess social and cultural diversity and the operation of Australian human rights law and public international law in that context.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    No textbook will be prescribed. Materials will be made available at least two weeks before classes commence.
    Online Learning
    MyUni will be used to post announcements, post additional lecture materials (including slides, and where available, audio recordings of lectures) and announce assignment tasks. Students are expected to check MyUni regularly to keep up to date with these materials and additional learning resources throughout the course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Learning and Teaching Activities amounting to 24 hours (across lecture, seminar and structured learning activity formats) will be offered to students in this course.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. This means that you are expected to commit approximately 9 hours of private study in addition to your regular classes.
    Learning Activities Summary
    The course will be taught intensively on Level 5 of the Ligertwood, from 10am-5pm (with a lunch break)

    Course stage Learning Activity
    Day 1
    Thursday the 16th March
    Introduction to Human Rights Law
    Day 2
    Saturday the 18th March
    Principles of Human Rights Law
    Day 3
    Thursday the 23rd March
    International Institutions and Human Rights Law
    Day 4
    Friday the 24th March
    Class Presentations

    Specific Course Requirements
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Item Due date % of Final mark Redeemable Length Course Learning Outcomes
    Participation continuous 10 No N/A 1, 2, 3, 5, 6
    Class presentation During the course - TBA 20 No N/A 1, 2, 3, 5, 6
    Final Research Essay Monday 24th April 2pm 70 No 5000 words 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
    Assessment Detail

    1. Participation (10%)
    Students are expected to attend and participate in all parts of the course.  The participation mark will be based on the student's informed contribution to classroom discussions. This contribution should reflect on both the course readings and other course materials in the form of lectures etc.

    2. Class presentations (20%)
    Each student will be expected to present to the class for 20 minutes.  Students will be given some choice of topic at the begining of the course. Presentations will take place in the second half of the course.
    Half of the mark (ie 10%) will be for the actual presentation while the other half (10%) will be for the visual aids used to assist the presentation (eg powerpoint, handouts, quizzes etc). A copy of these visual aids will be handed up to the lecturer at the end of the presentation. 

    3. Final Research essay (70%)
    Each student will submit a final research paper of 5000 words maximum (not including citations and bibliography) by Monday, 24 April 2017 at 2pm.
    Students will be given some choice of topic during the course.

    Standard Adelaide Law School submission requirements apply. Specific information will be provided in the assessment instructions for each item of assessment.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
    The University Writing Centre provides academic learning and language development services and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.

    The Centre offers practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, time management, oral presentation skills, referencing techniques and exam preparation for success at university through seminars, workshops and individual consultations.

    For more information please check out the Writing Centre website at

    Lex Salus Program

    Lex Salus was founded in 2013 by Adelaide Law School Wellbeing officers Ms Corinne Walding, Ms Kellie Toole and Dr Mark Giancaspro. Lex Salus is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at raising law student awareness of the importance of mental, physical and nutritional health across all year levels of the degree, and of the various counselling, disability and equity services both within and outside the University that can provide help. Research shows that law students, both in Australia and in many jurisdictions around the world, experience the highest levels of stress, anxiety and depression out of any other discipline. Many do not get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet or achieve a realistic work/life balance. Making matters worse, they are unwilling or afraid to speak up for fear of feeling 'weak' or because of the negative stigma that attaches to seeking help. Lex Salus is dedicated to tackling these problems head-on.

    Counselling Service

    The University Counselling Service provides a free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Counselling service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life. More information is available at

  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

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