International Human Rights Law (LAWS5134)


This unit of study introduces students to the principles and practice of international human rights law - a species of international law and policy and a field of ever-expanding dimensions. It will introduce students to some key concepts, debates, documents and institutions in this field, while encouraging critical examination of these from a variety of angles. In summary, this unit considers the question: What happens when we regard a situation or predicament as one involving a breach of international human rights law? What possibilities and problems does this entail? Addressing these questions, we will look at: (a) particular fora where international human rights law is being produced (international tribunals, domestic courts, multilateral bodies - including United Nations organs - regional agencies, non-governmental organisations, academic institutions, and the media); (b) particular settings where international human rights law is being deployed (in Australia and elsewhere); and (c) particular identities/subjects that international human rights law aspires to shape, regulate or secure.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


2x2-hr seminars/week for 10 week


3000wd essay (50%) and 3000wd take-home exam (50%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


LAWS2005 or LAWS1018 or LAWS1023 or LAWS5005


LAWS3034 or LAWS3434

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.