Not currently available in 2020

Unit description

Focuses on how the Australian legal system and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child enhance the well-being and rights of children and young people. Explores historical trends in family law and the current role of family justice professionals, Family Relationship Centres, and the Courts in parenting disputes over the care of children. A range of education, health, welfare, and youth justice issues are also considered, together with the effectiveness of recent child-inclusive initiatives. Primarily aimed at a non-legal audience, the unit's theoretical framework and socio-legal nature will also enrich lawyers' existing legal knowledge and experience.

Unit content

  • Key features of the Australian legal system and their application to child, youth and family issues.
  • Historical trends in family law and the influence of the changing conceptions of childhood on statutory provisions and judicial decisions over time.
  • The role of the UNCRC (international law) in enhancing children's well-being and rights through its impact on domestic law, policy and practice.
  • How a range of professionals and the Courts are involved in parenting disputes relating to children and young people (parental responsibility, residence, contact, family violence, neglect and abuse, relocation, abduction), and in relation to financial issues affecting children following parental separation, education/schooling, consent to medical treatment, and adoption.
  • How professionals and the Courts are involved in a range of juvenile justice issues in statutory and community contexts relating to children, young people and their families.
  • Initiatives in enhancing children and young people's participation in decisions affecting them.
  • Areas of legal policy and practice which require reform to better meet the needs of children, young people and their families.

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Teaching and assessment


Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2020 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 1

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.