Refugee Law

Subject 730-437 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008. Search for this in the current handbook Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: One 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: Estimated total time commitment of 144 hours.
Prerequisites: Principles of Public Law; Constitutional Law; Administrative Law or in each case their equivalent. Students will find it advantageous to have studied or be studying International Law.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr M Foster
Subject Overview:

This subject will introduce students to both international and domestic aspects of refugee law. The subject will begin with an historical introduction to international refugee law, before turning to consider the key international instruments for the protection of refugees including the Refugee Convention and Protocol (including the role of the UNHCR); regional instruments; customary international law; and international human rights treaties. The course concentrates primarily on the 1951 Convention, exploring the key controversies in interpreting the refugee definition and extent of international protection afforded to refugees. Examination of these issues will involve reference to comparative case-law, particularly from superior courts in other common law countries (including the US, Canada and the UK). This provides a framework for considering the implementation of the Refugee Convention in Australian domestic law. The course will examine constitutional power with respect to 'aliens' and the relevant provisions of the Commonwealth Migration Act 1958, focusing particularly on the procedures for decision-making in Australian refugee law, including merits review before the RRT and judicial review of administrative decisions. Specific topics in domestic law will include the detention of asylum seekers and the 'Pacific solution'. The course will conclude by considering proposals to reformulate the international refugee protection regime.

Assessment: Research assignment of 5000 words, 100% (due end of semester). Attendance at 75% of classes and one class presentation is a hurdle requirement to pass this subject.
Prescribed Texts: Printed materials will be issued by the Faculty of Law.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of Refugee Law, students should have developed the following generic skills:

-The capacity for close reading of a range of sources;

-The capacity for critical and independent thought and reflection;

-The capacity for deductive analysis;

-The capacity to solve problems through the synthesis and evaluation of information;

-The capacity to communicate, both orally and in writing;

-The capacity to undertake independent legal research;

-Intercultural sensitivity and understanding

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