LAWS6846 - Human Rights and the Global Economy

The questions of whether and how the global economy and human rights interrelate and interact have excited much recent controversy on the streets, in the courts and legislatures, in corporate board rooms and in the corridors of the UN and the international trade and financial organizations.

It is a controversy that will almost certainly intensify over the next few years. The debate is controversial because it is important, and it is important because it involves two great globalizing forces namely, the promotion of free market ideology through trade liberalization and the protection of human rights through the universalization of the norms that underpin human dignity.

On the face of it the two projects do sit easily together. Are they, in fact, implacably opposed to each other? Where or how do they overlap and what are the consequences or opportunities presented thereby?

What role can the law play in regulating their interaction whether it be domestic or international law, 'hard' or 'soft' law. And what or who are the real actors behind the economic and human rights power blocs on the global stage?

This unit seeks both to frame these questions and to address them by reference to the most recent discussion, thinking and action in the area.


Semester 2 Intensive
15, 16 & 29, 30 August 2014

The timetable is subject to frequent changes. Please refer to the latest version of the Postgraduate Timetable.


  • Class Participation (20%)
  • 5,000 Word Essay (80%)

Additional Information

Master of Law and International Development students may undertake this unit as an elective or capstone unit.

LAWS5134/LAWS5178/LAWS3434 - International Human Rights Law or equivalent

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

You can credit this unit towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Units of study that are part of Sydney Law School’s Postgraduate Program meet the necessary Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) of the Law Society of New South Wales and the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements of the New South Wales Bar Association. You may complete this unit of study by enrolling on a non-degree basis or on an audit basis only with no assessment via Single Unit Study.

Courses this unit is available in

Master of Laws | Graduate Diploma in Law | Master of Global Law | Master of Law and International Development | Master of Business Law | Graduate Diploma in Corporate, Securities and Finance Law | Master of International Law | Graduate Diploma in International Law