law, Rights & Social Justice

law, Rights & Social Justice

Order Description


This subject brings together a range of theoretical approaches to understanding law, rights and social
justice, with a focus on both the limits and the potentials of rights rhetoric in law and politics. The
subject critically evaluates the role that law plays in promoting, protecting, hindering and violating
fundamental rights through an examination of both domestic and international laws. We consider a
range of different but interrelated issues, including: Indigenous rights and self-determination; women
and girls in western and non-western worlds; poverty and homelessness; refugee rights; counterterrorism;
torture; armed conflict, genocide, humanitarian intervention and transitional justice; and
environmental and animal rights.
The subject is structured around a 2-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial discussion. This Subject
Syllabus (including reading list), weekly PowerPoint slides, hand-outs, assessment information and all
other relevant materials, are available via the LMS.
Contacting Tutors/Lecturers
All students are welcome to contact their tutor/lecturer/subject coordinator for advice and assistance
throughout the semester. Students can drop in without an appointment during the advertised
consultation times (see details of these times above; this information is also posted on the office
door). You can alternatively make an appointment outside of consultation times. The best way to do
this is to send an email to arrange an agreeable time to meet. Generally, student emails will be
responded to within two working days, however, do not expect a response in the evenings,
weekends or public holidays.
Students are strongly encouraged to seek help from the subject coordinator if undergoing personal
difficulties. This is particularly important during the assessment period as there are penalties for
handing in late work (see pp. 22-23). Please also note that you can only apply for an extension before
the assessment deadline (unless there are exceptional circumstances).
It is important that you keep up with your readings each week. We have tried to reduce the amount
of reading that you need to do on a weekly basis. Please note, that for some weeks, there is more
reading than other weeks due to the timing of the semester and the importance of the readings for
the essays.
The required readings are essential in this subject because:
? The readings will assist assessment activities (you will be expected to engage with the required
readings in all components of your assessment).
? The readings will form the basis of tutorial discussion each week.
? The weekly quizzes will test your understanding of the readings.
? The readings will help you stay focused and engaged with the subject and may help in other
relevant subjects.
You must do the required readings prior to attending the lecture and tutorials each week.
The reading material has been placed on e-reserve. This means you will either need to read the
material online and/or print the material yourself. The list of required readings can be found on pp. 9-
14. Please ensure that you check the page range that you are required to read (see list of required
readings below). For example, sometimes in e-reserve an entire article or chapter will be available,
but students will only be required to read parts of it. To locate these readings, please visit: the LMS
page for the subject, and on the right-ha??d side u??de?? ??Li????a???? ‘esou????es?? ??ou ??ill ??e di??e??ted to the
list of readings for the semester. Please make sure you bring the readings with you to tutorials.
Further Readings
Students must go beyond the required readings in preparation for their assessment in this subject.
Students can find their own articles, books etc through Google Scholar and/or the library database
It is essential that you log on to LMS regularly (i.e. at least once a week) because important
information related to this subject will be posted here, including messages, announcements,
assessment information, hand-outs, PowerPoint slides and other relevant materials. You will also do
your weekly quizzes via the LMS site.
To access:
1. Go to the La Trobe University home page at:
2. “ele??t ??“tude??ts?? ??at the top of the page??
3. “ele??t LM“ f??o?? eithe?? the ??“tud?? tools?? se??tio?? to take ??ou to the login page
To skip steps 1-3, simply click on:
4. Enter your user name and password
5. “ele??t use?? t??pe: ??stude??ts?? a??d the?? ??li??k ??logi????
6. For user guides and help with LMS, please refer to:
Students who complete the subject should:
? Demonstrate a good understanding and application of the critical perspectives on rights
(quizzes; essay).
? Demonstrate familiarity and understanding of domestic and international human rights law
(quizzes; essay).
? Have awareness and understanding of contemporary debates on human rights and social
justice issues within domestic and international contexts (weekly reflections; quizzes; essay).
? Demonstrate the capacity to think and write critically about rights and social justice from both
a practical and theoretical perspective (weekly reflections; quizzes; essay).
? Demonstrate the capacity to critically assess the efficacy of law for resolving rights issues,
particularly in terms of whether law is an effective means of contributing to social justice and
injustice (essay).
? Be able to apply complex interdisciplinary approaches to understanding a case study or case
studies (essay).
? Show active engagement with issues on a weekly basis across the semester (weekly
reflections; quizzes).
? Demonstrate good team-work and oral skills (tutorial/lecture discussions).
? Show improvement in writing, research and critical thinking skills (weekly reflections; essay
(including optional essay draft)).
? Exhibit good administrative and organisational skills (e.g. meeting deadlines; attending
lectures and tutorials) (weekly reflections; quizzes; essay).
? Develop research skills (e.g. in the use of library and online technologies) and the ability to
work independently (weekly reflections; essay).
? Show an appreciation of culture and diversity (tutorial/lecture discussions; weekly reflections;
This su??je??t is pu??posefull?? ??ha??ds-o????. I?? othe?? ??o??ds, it has ??ee?? desig??ed to ??a??i??ise stude??t
interaction, attendance and participation. Assessment is tied to both the lecture and tutorial
attendance, so it is critical to the success of the subject that students attend both the lecture and
tutorials on a weekly basis.
There are a couple of key points to take note of:
(1) Lecture Attendance – While the lectures will be recorded each week, the recording will not be
available on LMS until after the weekly quiz closes. You will therefore need to attend the lecture
each week (and do your readings) in order to be able to do the quiz. The weekly quizzes will need to
be completed within 24 hours after the end of the lecture. The quiz will open at 9am on Wednesdays
and close at 9am on Thursdays. After this time, the answers to the quizzes will be available via LMS
and the lecture recordings will be available for download at this time. Please also note that only in
exceptional circumstances will quizzes be reopened for students. Documentation will be required in
this situation as it is time-consuming reopening a quiz after it has closed.
Across the semester there will be a total of 10 quizzes – these begin in Week 2 (on 5th August). Please
see pp. 16-17 for more details. The quizzes will be based on the required readings and the lecture
material so it is essential that you attend the lecture each week. Students will a lecture clash will be
given special access to the lecture recording and slide each week – please contact the subject
coordinator if you have a lecture clash.
(2) Tutorial Attendance –
The tutorials in this subject are not recorded and students are required to attend the tutorials on a
weekly basis. Students are required to submit a weekly reflection during the tutorial as part of the
assessment for this component. These reflections will not be accepted outside of the tutorial time
unless there are exceptional circumstances for non-attendance (in which case a medical certificate or
similar documentation or explanation will be required). See pp. 15-23 for more information on the
assessment tasks in this subject.
It is highly recommended that students take a general library tour and/or training session. See for details and to make a booking. Students with a disability,
or those who suffer from illness, anxiety, depression or any other physical or psychological condition
are encouraged to contact the Subject Coordinator and/or tutor and/or the Equality and Diversity
Centre (EDC): (visit for more details).
1. Eight 100-word weekly reflections (worth 10%) – to be submitted in tutorials from 4 August
2. Ten weekly quizzes (worth 15%) – starting from 4 August 2015.
3. One 1000-word essay abstract, annotated bibliography and essay plan (worth 15%) – due
Monday 7th September 2015.
4. One 3000-word research essay (worth 60%) – due Thursday 22nd October 2015.
Information on assessment is provided on pp. 15-23.
Grade Distribution
A: 80%+
B: 70-79%
C: 60-69%
D: 50-59%
N: <49% (fail)
4 August Weekly Reflection 1/ Quiz 1 (opens 5th Aug)
11 August Weekly Reflection 2/ Quiz 2 (opens 12th Aug)
18 August Weekly Reflection 3/ Quiz 3 (opens 19th Aug)
25 August Weekly Reflection 4/ Quiz 4 (opens 26th Aug)
1 September Weekly Reflection 5/ Quiz 5 (opens 2nd Sept)
7 September Essay Abstract, Annotated Bibliography and Essay plan due
8 September Weekly Reflection 6/ Quiz 6 (opens 9th Sept)
15 September No tutorials this week/ Quiz 7 (opens 16th Sept)
22 September Weekly Reflection 7/ Quiz 8 (opens 23rd Sept)
28 September – 4 October Mid-Semester Break
6 October Research/study week: no lectures or tutorials this week)/ Quiz
9 (opens 7th Oct)
13 October Weekly Reflection 8/ Quiz 10 (opens 14th Oct)
15 October Essay draft due (optional)
22 October Research Essay due
* Please also see LSJ Calendar 2015 on p. 25.
Week 1 28 July Introduction: What are Rights?
No tutorials
Week 2 4 August Righting Wrongs: Theory, Philosophy, Practice
Tutorial 1 (Aug 4)/Quiz 1 (Aug 5)
Week 3 11 August What is Wrong with Rights?: A Critique
Tutorial 2 (Aug 11)/Quiz 2 (Aug 12)
Week 4 18 August Human Rights in Australia: Self-Determination &
Indigenous Rights
Tutorial 3 (Aug 18)/Quiz 3 (Aug 19)
Week 5 25 August Are Women Human?: Provocative Questions
about Women, Girls & Rights
Tutorial 4 (Aug 25)/Quiz 4 (Aug 26)
Week 6
1 September The Right to Dignity: Socio-economic Rights &
World Poverty
Tutorial 5 (Sept 1)/Quiz 5 (Sept 2)
Week 7
8 September Crossing Borders: Refugee Rights
Tutorial 6 (Sept 8)/Quiz 6 (Sept 9)
Week 8 15 September Civil & Political Rights: Terrorism, Torture & Law
No tutorials/Quiz 7 (Sept 16)
Week 9
22 September The Right to Intervene? Humanitarian
Intervention for War Crimes, Genocide & Crimes
Against Humanity
Tutorial 7 (Sept 22)/Quiz 8 (Sept 23)
Mid-Semester Break (28 September – 4 October)
Week 10
6 October Study/Research Week (no lecture/tutorials)
Quiz 9 (Oct 7)
Week 11 13 October Beyond Anthropocentric Rights: The Environment
Tutorial 8 (Oct 13)/Quiz 10 (Oct 14)
Week 12
20 October Beyond Anthropocentric Rights: Animal Rights
No tutorials
The required readings are compulsory for the tutorials, quizzes and assessment. Tutorial topics run
the sa??e ??eek as le??tu??e topi??s. All ????e??ui??ed ??eadi??g?? is a??aila??le ??ia the LST3LSJ Reading List on the
library website.
The descriptions below outline the activities and topics for the lecture and tutorials.
Week 1 – 28 July 2015
Introduction: What are Rights?
The topi?? of ????ights?? is o??e that has att??a??ted ??u??h atte??tio?? i?? ??oth histo??i??al a??d ??o??te??po??a????
contexts, from a wide range of thinkers from diverse disciplines such as law, philosophy, history,
politics, gender studies, economics, sociology and anthropology. The language of human rights, and
the legal and political frameworks for (supposedly) protecting rights, is pervasive and allencompassing,
particularly in western societies. Indeed, some would argue that rights underscore our
e??ti??e li??e??al s??ste?? of la?? a??d politi??s. I?? toda????s le??tu??e, ??e ??ill ??egi?? to e??plo??e the de??elop??e??t
a??d e??olutio?? of ??ights, ??ith a spe??ifi?? fo??us o?? ??hu??a?? ??ights??. We ??ill also go th??ough the su??je??t
guide and assessment. Please note, the reading for this week must be included in your research essay.
Readings for week 1:
– F??ase??, N ????????, ??‘ef??a??i??g Justi??e i?? a Glo??alisi??g Wo??ld??, New Left Review, vol. 36, pp. 1-19.
Week 2 – 4 August 2015
Righting Wrongs: Theory, Philosophy, Practice
Buildi??g o?? f??o?? last ??eek, i?? this le??tu??e ??e ??ill fo??us o?? the ??o????ept of ????ights??. Whe??e do ??ights
come from? Why are rights important? We will trace the development and origin of human rights in
order to understand their contemporary relevance. Students will also be introduced to the distinction
a??d ??ele??a????e of ????atu??al ??ights?? a??d ??positi??e ??ights??. This disti????tio?? ??ill ??e helpful fo?? the??
understanding national and international regimes for the protection and promotion of human rights
and social justice. Students will gain an understanding of the application of an array of international
legal treaties and conventions in international human rights law. We will also spend some time
discussing how well Australia protects human rights both in theory and in practice.
Tutorials start this week. In the tutorial, we will begin with basic introductions so we can get to know
each other. Tutorials are discussion and debate focused and it is vital that students feel comfortable
expressing their views, so the first tutorial is desig??ed to ??????eak the i??e.?? This subject is designed to be
student-driven; your tutor is only there to guide the discussion. Therefore is essential that you take
responsibility for your learning in this subject. A lot of the material that we will be discussing is
contentious and confronting, and you are expected to contribute to class discussions each week and
ask questions.
Readings for week 2:
– Donnelly, J 2003, ??The ??o????ept of hu??a?? ??ights??, Universal human rights in theory and practice,
2nd edn, Cornell University Press, Ithaca; London, pp. 7-21.
– Madse??, M a??d Ve??s??h??aege??, G ????????, ??Maki??g Hu??a?? ‘ights I??telligi??le: A?? I??t??odu??tio?? to a
Sociolog?? of Hu??a?? ‘ights??, i?? M. Madse?? a??d Ve??s??h??aege??, G ??eds?? Making Human Rights
Intelligible: towards a sociology of human rights, Hart Publications, Oxford: Portland, pp. 1-14.
Week 3 – 11 August 2015
What is Wrong with Rights?: A Critique
Human rights are often defined as the rights that we have because we were born human. This
??u??i??e??salist?? pe??spe??ti??e o?? hu??a?? ??ights sou??ds good i?? theo????, ho??e??e??, i?? p??a??ti??e, the??e is g??eat
controversy surrounding the idea of human rights. There is disagreement about what constitutes a
hu??a?? ??ight; ??hethe?? ??ights a??e i??posed f??o?? p??i??ileged pe??so??s f??o?? ??a??o??e??; ??hethe?? hu??a??
rights are western in both origin and development; whether human rights can sit alongside other
cultural, religious and political traditions; whether human rights are overly individualistic or
community-oriented; and how to weigh competing rights. For example, is hate speech freedom of
expression or defamation? Does abortion and euthanasia violate the right to life? Does the right to
national security trump the right to a fair trial and the right not to be arbitrarily detained? Does the
right to privacy mean that women can be violated by their partners in their own home? Does the right
to consume pornography violate the rights of women? Do the rights of the child override the rights of
Indigenous people to be protected against racial discrimination? Does the environment have rights?
These are some of the interesting debates that we will have across this semester. Therefore,
understanding the limits of human rights (and even their harmful implications and consequences) will
help to make sense of contemporary debates on significant and emerging issues of local and global
Readings for week three:
– B??o????, C ????????, ??U??i??e??sal hu??a?? ??ights: a ????iti??ue??, The International Journal of Human Rights,
vol. 1, pp. 41-65.
– Brown, W ????????, ????The ??ost ??e ??a?? hope fo??…??: hu??a?? ??ights a??d the politi??s of fatalis????, The
South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 103, pp. 452-463.
– Douzi??as, C ????????, ??The pa??ado??es of hu??a?? ??ights??, Human rights and empire: the political
philosophy of cosmopolitanism, Routledge-Cavendish, New York, pp. 8-15.

Week 4 – 18 August 2015
AUSTRALIAN HR/Self-Determination & Indigenous Rights
Self-dete????i??atio?? ??the ??ight to dete????i??e o??e??s fate?? is ??o??side??ed to ??e a ??hu??a?? ??ight?? ???? so??e,
but not others. It remains one of the most controversial rights issues, particularly within postcolonial
states, like Aust??alia. I?? toda????s le??ture we will examine the issue of human rights within Aboriginal
Australia, using our critiques from last week as our analytical framework, and focusing on issues such
as the Northern Territory Intervention; family violence; and land rights (and more generally on
colonialism and Indigenous rights).
Readings for week four:
– Beh??e??dt, L, Cu????ee??, C & Li??es??a??, T ????????, ??A ??e?? o??de??: self-dete????i??atio????, Indigenous legal
relations in Australia, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic, pp. 295-314.
– Rice, S ????????, ??Hu??a?? ??ights do????t ??atte?? i?? ou?? pu??li?? de??ate – but they should??, The
Conversation, June 24th 2015, available at:
– Williams, G 2007, ??Aust??alia??s hu??a?? ??ights ??e??o??d??, A charter of rights for Australia, University of
New South Wales Press, Sydney, NSW, pp. 18-34.
Week 5 – 25 August 2015
Are Women Human?: Provocative Questions about Women & Rights
This week we examine the controversial issue of women and rights, drawing on universalist and
cultural relativist perspectives. We will examine the issues of female genital cutting; child marriage
and other related gender issues within international human rights discourse. We will also examine
whether violence against women within our own backyard constitutes a human rights violation.
Readings for week five:
– Bu??ti??g, A ????????, ??“tages of de??elop??e??t: Ma????iage of gi??ls a??d tee??s as a?? i??te????atio??al hu??a??
??ights issue??, Social and Legal Studies, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 17-38.
– Charlesworth, H 2010 ??Inside/Outside: Women and the Inte????atio??al Hu??a?? ‘ights “??ste???? in The
Diversity of International Law, Brill Online Books and Journals, pp. 383-398.
– Kapur, R 2002, ??The t??aged?? of ??i??ti??izatio?? ??heto??i??: ??esu????e??ti??g the ????ati??e?? su??je??t i??
international/post-??olo??ial fe??i??ist legal politi??s??, Harvard Human Rights Journal, vol. 15, pp. 1-
Week 6 – 1 September 2015
The Right to Dignity: Socio-economic Rights & World Poverty
If human rights are the rights we have to live a life of dignity, then how can a society that condones
and/or contributes to global poverty be justified? Put another way, to what extent should a society be
organised in order to let every member participate fully in the activities that constitute a decent life?
Should there even be a right to development, education, welfare, food or healthcare if individuals or
states fail to deliver these rights? This week we examine the enduring disagreement over the proper
status of economic, social and cultural rights, with a focus on global poverty and inequality.
Readings for week six:
– Pogge, T 2005, ??Wo??ld po??e??t?? a??d hu??a?? ??ights??, Ethics and International Affairs, vol. 19, pp. 1-7
(only read pages 1-7).
– Otto, D 2002, ??Ho??eless??ess a??d hu??a?? ??ights: engaging human rights discourse in the Australian
context, Alternative Law Journal, vol. 27, pp. 271-281
– “alo??o??, M ???????? ??I??t??odu??tio????, Global responsibility for human rights: world poverty and the
development of international law, Oxford University Press, Oxford: New York, pp. 1-12.
Week 7 – 8 September 2015
Crossing Borders: Refugee Rights
Does Australia have a global, legal and moral responsibility to protect and respect the rights of asylum
seekers to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution? In the lecture today, we will explore the political,
legal and moral arguments underlying the asylum seeker debate. We will also examine whether
human rights are a useful framework for thinking about the rights of asylum seekers. In the tutorials,
stude??ts ??ill ask to ??o??e up ??ith ??solutio??s?? to ??hat has ??e??o??e a?? e??plosi??e political issue.
Readings for week seven:
– Helto??, A ????????, ??What is ??efugee p??ote??tio??? A ??uestio?? ??e??isited?? i?? M. Gi????e??, G. Loes??he??
and N. Steiner (eds) Problems of protection: the UNHCR, refugees and human rights, New York,
Routledge, pp. 46-73.
Week 8 – 15 September 2015
Civil & Political Rights: Terrorism, Torture & Law
Terrorism is not a new phenomenon, however, since September 11, 2001, terrorism has been
presented as one of the greatest challenges of our time. This concerns not simply preventing the acts
of terrorism to p??ote??t hu??a?? life, ??ut ??o??eo??e??, ho?? do ??e defi??e ??te????o??is????? Ho?? should ??e deal
with acts of terrorism? What are the politics of terrorism discourse? And to what extent should or do
governments infringe on civil and political liberties to protect against terrorist threats? Finally, we will
also e??a??i??e ??hethe?? to??tu??e is e??e?? a justifia??le ??e??ha??is?? i?? the p??ote??tio?? of ????atio??al se??u??it????.
Readings for week eight:
– Lu??a??, D ????????, ??The ??a?? o?? te????o??is?? a??d the e??d of hu??a?? ??ights??, Philosophy and Public
Policy Quarterly, vol. 22, pp. 9-14.
– P??adha??, ‘ ????????, ??Te????o??is?? a??d Hu??a?? ‘ights??, i?? ‘. P??adha??, Terrorism, Rule of Law and
Human Rights, New Delhi : Mangalam Publishers, pp. 117-130.
Week 9 – 22 September 2015
The Right to Intervene? Humanitarian Intervention for War Crimes, Genocide &
Crimes Against Humanity
The nature of global capitalism and the massive and growing inequalities between rich and poor
countries has forged both good and bad connections between people in disparate parts of the globe.
Put simply, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes (all defined under what is known as
International Humanitarian Law) are of significant global concern due to both the causes of conflict
and the responses to this conflict. This week we will look at first humanitarian intervention – what is it
and is it ever justified in order to halt hostilities and prevent gross human rights violations? Second,
we will examine post-conflict justice, focusing on international war crimes trials.
Readings for week nine:
– M??Milla??, N ????????, ??Ou?? sha??e: i??te????atio??al ??espo??si??ilit?? fo?? the ‘??a??da?? ge??o??ide??,
Australian Feminist Law Journal, vol. 28, pp. 3-28.
– M??Ada??, J ????????, ??F??o?? hu??a??ita??ia?? dis????etio?? to ??o??ple??e??ta???? p??ote??tio??: ??efle??tio??s o??
the emergence of human rights-based refugee protection in Australia, Australian International
Law Journal, vol. 18, pp. 53-76.
Mid-Semester Break (28 September – 4 October 2015)
Week 10 – 6 October 2015
Study/Research Week
There are no classes this week (no lecture; no tutorials – for LSJ only). Instead, students are required
to use the 3 hours they would normally have in class to work on their essays for this subject. Please
note there is a quiz this week.
Week 11 – 13 October 2015
Climate change, human rights, and international law
Climate change represents one of the greatest challenges in the history of humankind – described by
one s??ie??tist as ??the g??eatest t??aged?? the hu??a?? spe??ies has e??e?? e??a??ted??. Cli??ate ??ha??ge is a?? issue
of growing importance for human rights and social justice discourse. A failure to respond, it is argued,
will have massive ramifications that will be felt most a??utel?? ???? the ??o??ld??s poo??, futu??e ge??e??atio??s
and other species on Planet Earth. This week we will discuss and critique the notion of rights as
inherently anthropocentric, and examine whether the natural environment has rights, and the
limitations of the law to enforce these rights.
Readings for week eleven:
– “tei??e??, H J, Alsto??, P & Good??a??, ‘ ????????, ??Hu??a?? ??ights, de??elop??e??t a??d ??li??ate ??ha??ge??,
International human rights in context: law, politics, morals: text and materials, Oxford
University Press, New York, pp. 1433-62.
– Vi????e??t, A ????????, ??Is E????i??o????e??tal Justi??e a Mis??o??e????? i?? D. Bou??he?? a??d P. Kell?? ??eds?? Social
Justice from Hume to Walzer, Routledge, London: New York, pp. 120-140.
Week 12 – 20 October 2015
Beyond Anthropocentric Rights: Animal Rights and the law
Animal rights have become increasingly visible on the political agenda. In recent years we have seen
massive political movements in Australia to ban the live export of cattle to parts of the Middle East
and South East Asia, there have been huge efforts to ban testing on animals with New Zealand
recently recognising all animals as sentient beings. In addition, more and more people are demanding
ethical produced animal food products, such as free-range eggs and meat, and the numbers of people
turning vegetarian and vegan around the world is increasing. Drawing on the the??es f??o?? last ??eek??s
lecture about climate change, and those across the semester, this week we take a further look at nonanthropocentric
rights and discuss some contentious issues regarding our relationship to non-human
animals. We examine to what extent should non-human animals be protected under the law; what
rights they do have; what rights they ought to have; and is it possible to grant the same rights to nonhuman
Readings for week twelve:
– O??“ulli??a??, “ ????????, ??Ad??o??ati??g fo?? A??i??als E??uall?? f??o?? Withi?? a Li??e??al Pa??adig????,
Environmental Politics, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 1-14.
Please refer to the Student Learning page: This
provides information on how to write essays; reference books and articles; prepare for exams; use
grammar and punctuation; and avoid plagiarism.
1. Weekly Reflections (10%)
Due: 100-??o??d ????efle??tio??s?? due weekly over 8 weeks
Worth: 10% of final grade
Submission: All weekly reflections must be handed in to your tutor during the tutorial (not via
Each week when there is a tutorial for this subject, students will be required to specifically to
comment on the article(s) for that week in the reader (see list of topics below). The comment may
be a summary of the key arguments; it may also include some key questions that are raised for you; it
may reflect on the relevance of the article(s) to the subject or the subject themes; and/or you might
also like to ??efle??t o?? ????eal-??o??ld?? e??e??ts i?? ??ou?? life o?? i?? the ??o??ld ??o??e ge??e??all??. There is a
template for how you might like to structure your weekly reflection on the LMS.
Make sure you keep copies of weekly reflections if possible.
Please Note:
? You do not need a ??state??e??t of autho??ship?? fo???? or a checklist.
? Word limit: it??s fi??e if ??ou ??a??t to ????ite ??o??e tha?? ?????? ??o??ds.
? Ideally the reflections should be typed and references should be provided.
The purpose of this assessment is to encourage students to:
a. Make ??o????e??tio??s ??et??ee?? the su??je??t the??es a??d ??hat is happe??i??g i?? the ????eal ??o??ld??.
b. Reflect on various themes of the subject.
c. Write on a weekly basis (which in turn will help with essay writing).
d. Engage more with other students in the tutorials.
e. Attend tutorials on a weekly basis.
f. Engage with the readings in the subject reader.
Weekly Reflection Topics:
The topics and dates for weekly reflection submission are as follows:
1. 4 August (what are rights?)
2. 11 August (critique of rights)
3. 18 August (self-determination/Indigenous rights)
4. 25 August (women & rights)
5. 1 September (socio-economic rights)
6. 8 September (refugees/asylum seekers)
7. 22 September (Humanitarian intervention)
8. 13 October (climate change or animal rights)
Can the weekly reflections ??e ha??ded i?? u??de?? the tuto??’s doo?? o?? ??ia e??ail?
No. The weekly reflections must be handed in during the tutorial that week. We will not accept it a
week later or under our doors or as an email attachment.
What happe??s if I a?? si??k a??d ??a??’t ha??d i?? ??y work?
If ??ou a??e si??k a??d ??a????t atte??d a tuto??ial a??d the??efo??e ??a????t ha??d i?? o??e of ??ou?? weekly reflections,
then you must provide a medical certificate and talk to your tutor about making alternative
2. Weekly Quizzes (15%)
On: 5 August; 12 August; 19 August; 26 August; 2 September; 9 September; 16 September; 23
September; 7 October; and 14 October (total of 10 quizzes). Students will have 24 hours to complete
the quiz. The quiz will open at 9am on Wednesdays and close at 9am the day after on Thursdays.
Duration: 10-15 minutes each quiz
Worth: 15% of final grade (each quiz is worth 1.5%)
On each of the dates listed above, students will be required to log into LMS and sit a simple multiple
choice/true/false/short answer quiz. The quiz will test your knowledge of both the weekly readings
AND/OR the lecture material. Therefore, you are required to (a) do your readings before attending
the lecture each week and (b) attend the lecture each week. Please note that lecture recordings will
not be put up on LMS until after the close of the quiz (i.e. 9am on Thursdays).
There are a total of 10 quizzes across the semester. Students MUST complete EIGHT of these. If a
student sits more than 8 quizzes, we will calculate their 8 best scores for their final grade at the end of
the semester.
I have a timetable clash and I am unable to attend the lecture – how can I access the lecture
If you have another lecture on at the same time, then you will need to contact the subject coordinator
as soon as possible to set up special permission to access the lecture recording on LMS. Please note,
you must provide documentation as evidence of an unavoidable timetable clash in order to be
What happe??s if I a?? si??k o?? out of a??tio?? a??d ??a??’t sit a ??uiz?
We can reopen the quiz for you if you are sick (in which case a medical certificate is required) or if you
have another issue where a medical certificate is not possible to produce. Please note: only in
exceptional circumstances will the quiz be reopened after the close of the quiz.
What happens if I have technical problems with my computer?
If you have technical problems, you must contact the subject coordinator while the quiz is still open
(not afterwards). If the technical problem is at our end, we will make alternative arrangements for
you to do another quiz.
I do??’t ??a??t to atte??d the le??tu??es ea??h ??eek a??d ??ould ??athe?? liste?? to the?? o??li??e, ??ut I still ??ant to
do the quizzes each week – what can I do?
While it is helpful to have lecture recordings immediately available to students, increasingly many
students are not showing up to lectures or tutorials, their grades suffer immensely and they fail to
connect to their peers. The quizzes are an easy way to receive a high grade for 15% of the overall
assessment. The quizzes require some energy and effort, but you will be nicely rewarded for this.
Moreover, the weekly pressure to do the readings, attend the lecture and sit the quizzes will help you
to stay engaged and up-to-speed with the work.
3. Abstract, Annotated Bibliography and Essay Plan (15%)
Due: 7 September 2015 (1000 words)
Word Limit: 1000 words
Worth: 20% of final grade
Submission: Submit via Turnitin only by 11.55pm (no hard copy submission required)
Students must submit an essay abstract, annotated bibliography and essay plan by 7 September 2015
for marking and brief feedback. Your essay abstract will provide an overview of what you will discuss
in your research essay which includes the topic of your essay, your argument, and how you intend to
advance your argument. The annotated bibliography will be a list of relevant books and articles (at
least 10) that you plan to use for your research. The references list must conform to the style guide
(e.g. be presented alphabetically with correct punctuation and bibliographic details) and be
accompanied by a short description of the content of each reference (e.g. a 30-word
description/concise summary – in your own words). The description MUST summarise the main
argument of the source. Your essay plan should online what you intend to discuss in each section of
your essay, noting where you references fit within these points. As a rough guide, the abstract should
be approximately 200 words, the annotated bibliography 300 words (not including the reference
itself), and the essay plan should be approximately 500 words.
Please see below for list of essay questions that you may choose from. Also note that while it is not
??e??o????e??ded, if ??ou ??ha??ge ??ou?? ??i??d a??out ??hat ??ou??d like to ????ite ??ou?? essa?? o??, ??ou ??a??
change your essay topic after you submit your annotated bibliography, abstract and essay plan.
Please ensure that your ten references are substantive sources (e.g. academic journal articles, books
or book chapters OR governmental or non-governmental reports). Do not include newspaper articles
and/or web-based documents. You must include the Nancy Fraser reading from week one,
??‘ef??a??i??g Justi??e i?? a Glo??alised Wo??ld?? i?? ??ou?? a????otated ??i??liog??aph?? a??d essa?? pla??.
A sample essay abstract and annotated bibliography is available on LMS for you as a guide. More
advice and guidance will be given throughout the semester. For tips on writing an annotated
bibliography, see the following site:
Marking criteria for essay abstract/annotated bibliography/ essay plan:
Ability to write in an accessible, clear and coherent style (using your own words)
Careful and relevant selection of references for your chosen topic (including going beyond
the required readings in this subject)
Ability to set out references in a clear and consistent manner
Attention to essay abstract (including an engagement with the key concepts of rights and
social justice; articulation of argument; and demonstrated ability to narrow down the
Ability to accurately summarise main argument(s) of each source
Ability to map out and develop an argument using appropriate resources (essay plan)
The purpose of this assessment is to encourage students to:
a. Start their essays early.
b. Make plans for the essay argument and research.
c. Reflect on their referencing system.
d. Demonstrate correct referencing formatting.
e. A????u??atel?? su????a??ise autho??s?? ??ai?? a??gu??e??ts.
4. Research Essay (60%)
Due: Thursday 22nd October 2015
Word Limit: 3000 words
Worth: 60% of final grade
Submission: Submit via Turnitin only by 11.55pm (no hard copy submission required)
Please choose ONE question below.
Question 1: Theoretical critique of human rights
Is it possible to maintain a universal human rights movement but at the same time acknowledge and
respect cultural difference, and avoid cultural imperialism? Is a human rights framework a
p??o??le??ati?? ??o?? e??e?? da??ge??ous?? ideolog?? that ??o??st??u??ts the ??othe???? as ??a??k??a??d a??d ??ep??essi??e, o??
is it a promising moral and legal framework that can improve the quality and dignity of human life?
In this question you should consider key concepts/theories of: universalism; progress; emancipation;
cultural relativism; post-colonial theory. You ??ight ??a??t to dis??uss this usi??g a ????ase stud???? f??o?? the
subject to support your argument.
Question 2: Human rights in Australia
We are constantly being fed by the media and politicians that Australia is a country which upholds the
values and principles of human rights. However Australia has a very contentious relationship with
human rights, specifically the historical (and arguably contemporary) treatment of Indigenous
Australians. The processes of colonisation and dispossession, terra nullius, their ambiguous position
within the legal and political system, and the Stolen Generation are just some examples of the
historical violations of I??dige??ous Aust??alia????s hu??a?? ??ights. Although the Vi??to??ia?? Cha??te?? of ‘ights
and Responsibilities highlights the importance of Aboriginal people in Victoria, relative to nonindigenous
Australians, Indigenous Australians continue to have poorer health outcomes, continue to
be financially disadvantaged, lack access to education, and are socially and culturally disempowered.
In addition, Australia is the only Western democracy that does not have a charter of rights. The
explicit rights of Indigenous Australians thus remain largely unprotected and unrecognized under
Australian law.
Reflecting on some of the criticisms of human rights, such as cultural imperialism, ethnocentrism, and
post-colonial theory, this question asks you to consider whether or not a human rights framework is
the best solution for protecting the rights of Indigenous Australians? You should discuss this question
using a case study such as: socio-economic rights, political, social and cultural rights, and selfdetermination.
Question 3: Women, girls and human rights
The establishment of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women
??CEDAW?? i?? the ???????? ushe??ed i?? a ??e?? e??a a??d fo??us o?? ??o??e????s so??ial, politi??al a??d legal ??ights
globally. Some however, ha??e a??gued that su??h a hu??a?? ??ights f??a??e??o??k u??i??e??salizes ??o??e????s
experiences, ignoring their different socio-cultural situations.
Reflecting on feminist critiques of human rights and the concepts of universalism; progress;
emancipation; cultural relativism; post-colonial theory, this question asks you to consider whether or
??ot ????o??e???? ??a di??e??se, hete??oge??eous so??ial a??d politi??al g??oup?? should ha??e thei?? o???? spe??ifi?? set
of human rights? Are internatio??al ??o??e??a??ts that seek to p??ote??t ??o??e????s ??ights, like CEDAW, a fo????
of cultural imperialism and ethnocentrism?
In this question you should draw on a case study from the subject to help illustrate your argument
(e.g. female genital cutting, child marriage, reproductive health rights, violence against women
(including sexual), bodily integrity, political representation).
Question 4: Socio-economic rights and human rights
Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states that: ??Everyone has the right to
a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself [sic] and his [sic] family,
i????ludi??g food, ??lothi??g, housi??g, ??edi??al ??a??e a??d ??e??essa???? so??ial se????i??es.?? And the International
Covenant on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights (ICESCR) protects core economic, social and cultural
rights. For example, rights to employment, fair wages, safe and healthy working conditions, equal
work opportunities, reasonable working hours, trade unions and strike, social security, and maternity
leave. However, the gap between the rich and the poor is increasingly widening not just between the
Global North and the Global South, but within states a????oss the ??de??eloped?? ??o??ld.
This question asks you reflect on whether or not socio-e??o??o??i?? ??ights a??e ??hu??a?? ??ights??? Do the??
conflict with liberty rights? If there is no way of ensuring their delivery, should they even be referred
to as rights? Dis??uss, usi??g a ????ase stud???? to suppo??t ??ou?? a??gu??e??t ??e.g. I??dige??ous ??ights issues;
global poverty; homelessness; welfare; or access to education).
Some additional questions/issues you might discuss for any of the above questions:
? What are rights? What are human rights? (including reflections on the problems with rights).
? How should different, conflicting rights be weighed against each other? How might we
reconcile or resolve conflicting rights?
? Is there a hierarchy of rights? In other words, should some rights be considered more
important than others?
? What role does law play in protecting rights and resolving conflict?
? In what ways does law restrict or limit rights?
? How are rights currently protected in Australia and internationally?
The purpose of this assessment is to encourage students to:
a. Co??du??t ??esea????h o?? a spe??ifi?? a??ea ??????ase stud?????? of ??hoi??e/i??te??est ??elati??g to hu??a?? ??ights
and social justice;
b. Explore the theoretical underpinnings of important concepts;
c. Apply a theory or theories to understanding a human rights or social justice issue;
d. Construct a carefully thought-out argument;
e. Write a polished, academic research essay with consistent referencing; an introduction and a
conclusion; an imaginative title to the essay; a well-organised structure; and a clear and
coherent writing style;
f. Think critically about the concept of rights and the role of law.
Word Count and Design:
? You ??ust i????lude the Na?????? F??ase?? ??eadi??g, ??‘ef??a??i??g Justi??e i?? a Glo??alised Wo??ld?? f??o?? ??eek
one in your research essay.
? The essay must be 3,000 words (+/- 300 words ok) – please indicate on the checklist the word
count of your essay. Include as the cover page of your essay when you submit to Turnitin.
? If you are using Harvard style, the word count includes in-text references, but it excludes your
alphabetical references list at the end of the document. Also, please note that quotes do not
count towards your final word count either, so please make sure that you use them sparingly, or
preferably, paraphrase.
? If you are using footnotes (Oxford style) as your referencing system, the footnotes and
bibliography are excluded from your word count (see below for more details on references).
? Bibliography/references list – NOT included in the word count for either styles.
? The abstract you have already put together for the first component of this assessment does not
need to be included although you can include it if you like.
? It is fine if you change your mind about your topic, approach etc after submitting your abstract
and annotated bibliography. We expect therefore that the abstract you hand in in September may
differ from the content of the essay you hand in later, in October.
? Do not use too many quotations or rely on quotes as a substitute for your own words.
? Be su??e to app??op??iatel?? ??efe??e????e othe?? people??s ideas a??d ??o??ds – please refer to the policy on
? The essay must be typed, double-spaced or 1.5 spacing and in 12 font. Page numbers must be
? There is a study/research week on 6 October.
The three essential features of your essay are:
1. Structure: There should be a clear and coherent flow of ideas; you might want to use
subheadings to help you to organise your material; make sure you have an introduction and a
2. Clarity: There should be a clear writing style, including distinct and coherent paragraphs.
3. Argument: The ideas or argument contained in each paragraph should flow on and build from
the one before; be clear about what you will be looking at the very beginning in your
The essay must be submitted via Turnitin by 11.55pm on Thursday, 22nd October.
Late submission via Turnitin will attract a penalty based on the policy of 5% per day (see below). If
your essay is submitted over 5 working days late without an extension, your essay may not be
You may also submit an optional essay draft and receive an additional 1% to their final essay grade
(due via Turnitin only by 11.55pm on 15th O??to??e?? ??????????. It is the tuto????s dis????etio?? o?? ??hethe?? to
award you the 1% for the essay draft. This decision will be based on whether you have submitted a
genuine essay draft. A series of dot points and/or quotes will not be accepted as a genuine draft. An
incomplete reference list or other similar absences is fine. Unfortunately, your tutor will not be able
to read through your essay draft (based on Department policy), however, completing the draft before
the actual essay submission date will give you the opportunity to make improvements to your essay
and/or get someone else to read through it and offer any advice.
I have been sick but would like to hand in the essay draft, what can I do?
You must provide a medical certificate in order to qualify for an extension. All extensions must go
through your tutor.
What happens if I hand in my essay draft late without an extension?
If you submit your essay draft late without an extension, you will not be eligible for the extra 1%
reward. However, you are encouraged to do an essay draft anyway before you submit the final
I do??’t ??a??t to do the essay d??aft. Will I ??e pe??alised?
No. You ??ill ??ot ??e pe??alised i?? a???? ??a?? at all if ??ou de??ide that ??ou do????t ??a??t to ha??d in an essay
draft as it is purely optional.
Referencing and Citation:
The citation of sources for all of your assessment, also called referencing, must adhere to a proscribed
style guide. You may use one or the other; not both and not a mixture of styles. You have a choice
between: (1) In text references (also called Harvard style – where the reference in the text of the essay
is enclosed by a bracket with the last name of the author, the year of publication and if necessary, the
page number); OR (2) Footnotes (also called Oxford style – where the citation is located after the
punctuation, which then corresponds to the reference at the bottom of the page called a footnote).
Both styles require you to put together a references list at the end of your essay that provides the full
bibliographic details of each book/article (etc) that you have cited in your work. The lay-out of the
references list will vary depending on which style you adopt (again, please look through one of the
styles guides carefully for advice on how to do this). Note: Links to both style guides are also available
via LMS.
Marking criteria for essays:
Conceptual analysis
Essay structure
Expression, clarity & grammar
Punctuation & spelling
Creativity & innovation
Summary of Assessment
Assessment Due Date(s) Worth Turnitin Hard Copy
Statement of
Quizzes Weekly 15% X X X X
Weekly 10% X In tutorials X X
7 Sep 15% ? X X X
Essay Draft** 15 Oct N/A ? X X X
Essay 22 Oct 60% ? X ? ?
**The checklist only needs to be handed in for the final essay and will attract a 1% reward to final essay grade.
*** The Essay Draft is optional and will attract a 1% reward to final essay grade.
ALL students must submit their work (abstract/annotated bibliography/essay plan; essay draft and
essay) via Turnitin (plagiarism software). You can submit your work multiple times via Turnitin
(leading up to the due date). Please note that any work with a percentage over 25% will be checked
for plagiarism. Note that in some cases students can generate a high Turnitin report but not have any
issues ??hatsoe??e?? ??ith plagia??is??, so do????t ??o?????? if that happe??s to ??ou ????ou ??o????t ??e pe??alised??.
Policy on Extensions & Special Consideration Applications
Students should note that extensions will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. If you are
unable to submit your assessment by the due date you should consult the subject coordinator
beforehand to see if there are grounds for an extension. Extensions are normally granted for medical
reasons or other serious interruptions in your ability to work. They are not granted based on time
management and work practices. Having multiple essays due around the same time, or having a
massive weekend planned before the essay is due, or having too many shifts at work the week before
the essay is due, are not legitimate reasons. Extensions and applications for special consideration
must be sought on the appropriate form and backed up with appropriate documentation. The essay
extension form and special consideration application form can be downloaded from the LMS site.
Policy on Late Submissions
Students who submit their essay after the due date without an extension will be penalised according
to the new La Trobe School of Social Sciences policy (@ 5% per working day, excluding weekends).
The essay will not be accepted after FIVE working days after the due date if you do not have an
extension. All assessment must be typewritten and students must keep a copy of their submitted
work. Students must follow La Trobe University guidelines on the presentation and submission of all
assessable work.
Learning Outcomes
Subject Intended Learning Outcomes
Example of Teaching and Learning Activities for this ILO
Aligned to
which FGC(s)?
1 Critically discuss the definition, efficacy
and scope of human rights law and
practice, including discussing the concept
of human rights, reflecting on the
p??o??le??s of ??oth ????o??fli??ti??g ??ights?? a??d
hu??a?? ??ights as ??ideolog????, a??d usi??g
complex theories on rights from the
Lectures; tutorial readings, discussions & activities; essay 1, 3, 4, 7
2 Illustrate an understanding of domestic
and international human rights law and
how they relate to each other
Lectures; tutorial readings, discussions & activities;
1, 3, 8
3 Write about the role of law in protecting
human rights and preventing future
human rights abuses, as well as the
efficacy of law as a defender of human
Lectures; tutorial readings, discussions & activities;
1, 4, 7, 8
4 Appl?? ??o??ple?? theo??ies to e??a??i??e ????ase
studies, demonstrating an understanding
of the problem of universalism, cultural
relativism and human rights
Lectures; tutorial readings, discussions & activities;
1, 3, 4, 5, 7
5 Locate relevant Internet material on
human rights and social justice matters,
summarise this material and then
identify problems and/or issues raised
Preparation and production of weekly reflections 3
6 Edit written work to a high standard
based on feedback given
Preparation and production of weekly reflections 1, 8
7 Write coherently on the gap between
law in theory versus law in practice in
relation to human rights and social
justice, reflecting on both ideals and
Lectures; tutorial readings, discussions & activities;
essay; preparation and production of weekly reflections
1, 3, 4, 8

Is this question part of your Assignment?

We can help

Our aim is to help you get A+ grades on your Coursework.

We handle assignments in a multiplicity of subject areas including Admission Essays, General Essays, Case Studies, Coursework, Dissertations, Editing, Research Papers, and Research proposals

Header Button Label: Get Started NowGet Started Header Button Label: View writing samplesView writing samples