OnlineSession 1Session 1

Unit description

Examines the principles of human rights from international, Australian, comparative and theoretical perspectives. Discusses the international human rights regime, the method by which human rights are protected and the question of whether Australia should have its own Constitutional or legislative Bill of Rights. Will analyse the common theoretical critiques of human rights and will study some selected human rights issues.

Unit content

Part 1 – Introduction to the international human rights system
Topic 1 The international human rights legal system – an overview
Topic 2 The historical and philosophical foundation of human rights
Topic 3 A hierarchy of rights?
Topic 4 Critiques of human rights

Part 2 – Human rights in Australia
Topic 5 Express and implied constitutional rights and the role of the common law in Australia 
Topic 6 Specific legislative provisions for human rights protection in Australia 
Topic 7 Should Australia have a Charter of Rights?

Part 3 – Specific human rights issues
Topic 8 The right to privacy
Topic 9 The human rights of Indigenous Australians
Topic 10 The human rights of asylum seekers

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

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • Gerber, P & Castan, M (eds), 2012, Contemporary Perspectives on Human Rights Law in Australia, Thomson Reuters. ISBN: 9780455229973.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Workshop online 2 hours (weekly)
Short written response30%

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.