Reproductive Rights and Sexual Health

Subject 730-265 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Two hours of seminars per week
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours

Legal Method and Reasoning; Principles of Public Law or in each case their equivalent

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:

Subject Overview:

This subject investigates law's role in protecting and promoting reproductive rights and sexual health. The subject introduces relevant historical and contemporary perspectives and practices, and reviews a range of regulatory strategies that variously harm or protect and promote reproductive rights and sexual health.

We will examine selected case studies that highlight contemporary issues in the reproductive rights and sexual health field. The case studies will vary from year to year and may draw on the following areas of law: family, tort, medical, criminal, immigration and human rights law.

Case studies may be chosen from the following topics:

  • Access to sex education, contraception and infection prevention
  • HIV/AIDS, STIs: rights and regulatory frameworks
  • Abortion and embryo destruction and 'foetal rights'
  • Wrongful birth and wrongful life
  • Discrimination and service provision
  • Reproductive technologies and genetic screening
  • Female genital mutilation, circumcision and cosmetic surgery
  • Reproductive rights and sexual health at international law

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

(1) demonstrate an understanding of the law’s role in protecting and promoting reproductive rights and sexual health

(2) apply analytical, critical, theoretical and evaluative skills to legal and social policy issues associated with reproductive rights and sexual health

(3) demonstrate an understanding of the application of the law in practice; and

(4) demonstrate an awareness of the forces that affect policy formulation and law reform processes in relation to reproductive rights and sexual health.


Written research assignment of 5000 words, due week 12 of semester 1 and worth 100% of the final mark in the subject.

Hurdle requirement: attendance and participation in at least 75% of classes.

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

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

  • attitudes towards knowledge that include ethics associated with knowledge creation and usage
  • the capacity for close reading and analysis of a range of sources
  • the capacity for critical and independent thought and reflection
  • the capacity to analyse and solve problems, including through the collection and evaluation of information
  • the capacity to communicate, both orally and in writing
  • the capacity to plan and manage time
  • the capacity to design and undertake independent research.

In addition, on completion of this subject students should have developed the following skills specific to the discipline of law:

  • case reading and analysis, including an ability to:
    • extract important features from judgments;
    • reconcile judgments;
    • evaluate the development of legal principles; and
    • apply legal principles arising from case law to new situations;
  • statutory reading, interpretation and analysis, including an ability to:
    • extract important features from statutes;
    • evaluate the development of statutory rules; and
    • use, interpret and apply statutory provisions to new situations.
  • understanding of law reform processes;
  • ability to apply analytical perspectives to a practical problem.

Download PDF version.