Human Rights Law

Unit code: BLB4145 | Study level: Undergraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
City Campus
Online Real Time
BLB1101 - Australian Legal System in Context
BLB1114 - Legal Research Methods
(Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


This unit will familiarise students with the international human rights system and the institutions and mechanisms that enforce human rights law. This course takes a thematic approach, considering the sources and scope of international Human Rights Law, major issues and dilemmas in human rights enforcement and the emergence of new themes within the human rights movement. The unit begins by considering the legal foundation and scope of human rights and then outlines the international institutions and mechanisms that seek to enforce human rights norms and law. Finally, it examines contemporary issues and developments in Human Rights Law.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Contextualise theoretical and technical knowledge of international human rights law and international institutions and enforcement mechanisms under the UN system through collaboratively analysing of contemporary issues;
  2. Analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of international institutions in terms of functions, processes and outcomes;
  3. Identify and analyse the challenges associated with, complex problems in human rights law from theoretical and practical perspectives and propose creative alternatives;
  4. Contextualise and interpret the interface between international and domestic law and, the implications of international human rights law for Australian domestic law and practice; and
  5. Advocate creative solutions by generating and transmitting cultural awareness around concepts of universality of human rights and the substance of universal human rights in diverse cultural contexts.

Study as a single unit

This unit can be studied on its own, without enrolling in a full degree.

Learn more about single units of study at VU


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Test
Grade: 10%
Online Quiz
Assessment type: Essay
Grade: 40%
Research Essay
Assessment type: Examination
Grade: 50%
Final Examination

Required reading

The international law of human rights
McBeth, A., Nolan, J., & Rice, S. (2017).| Oxford University Press.

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