Master of Public and International Law

Course 511AA (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Year and Campus: 2012 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 075001A
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Professor Cheryl Saunders and Professor Gerry Simpson


For more information, contact the Melbourne Law Masters office.

Email or phone +61 3 8344 6190.

Alternatively, visit our website:

Course Overview:

Melbourne Law School’s extensive program in public and international law comprises a substantial selection of subjects across this broad legal area. The program has wide-ranging appeal to legal practitioners in the international arena as well as those working in economics and trade, government and the public sector or international development and not-for-profit organisations. The scope of subjects available means that students can specialise in a particular area of public and/or international law, or choose a range of subjects from across the specialisation to gain a broader perspective.


The Master of Public and International Law focuses on:

  • The changing knowledge base in public and international law
  • The analysis and resolution of complex public and international law problems from a theoretical and practical perspective
  • The context within which public and international law operates, including the impact of globalisation
  • Advanced oral and written communication in relation to public and international law.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Students must complete eight subjects in total.

Students who do not have a law degree from a common law jurisdiction must complete Fundamentals of the Common Law, as well as seven subjects from the prescribed lists. Students with a law degree from a common law jurisdiction must complete at least seven subjects from the prescribed lists and may choose an eighth subject from those available in the Melbourne Law Masters (excluding Fundamentals of the Common Law).



Subject Options:

# Offered in 2012

  • Administrative Law in an Age of Rights
  • Australian Charters of Rights
  • Bills of Rights: An International Perspective
  • Business and Human Rights #
  • Chinese Tax and Investment Law
  • Climate Change Law #
  • Comparative International Tax
  • Comparative Law
  • Constitution Making #
  • Constitutional Law in Practice (Formerly Constitutional Litigation) #
  • Criminal Procedure and Human Rights: International and Australian Perspectives #
  • Cultural Heritage, Trade and Development
  • Current Issues in Administrative Law #
  • Developing Countries and the WTO #
  • Energy Regulation and the Law (Formerly Regulation and the Law) #
  • Environmental Law (formerly Environmental Law: Science and Regulation)
  • Environmental Rights #
  • European Tax Law
  • Evolving Constitutionalism in Asia
  • Expert Evidence #
  • Fiscal Reform and Development #
  • Food and Drug Law
  • Free Speech, Contempt and the Media
  • Freedom of Information (formerly Regulating Access to Public Information) #
  • Fundamentals of the Common Law #
  • Gambling, Policy and the Law #
  • Global Financial Order: IMF and World Bank #
  • Governing Plurality: Sovereignty, Religion, Technology
  • Hate Speech #
  • Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples
  • Human Rights and Terrorism #
  • Human Rights at Work #
  • Human Rights Beyond Borders
  • Human Rights in Asia
  • Human Rights Litigation and Advocacy #
  • Human Rights, Women and Development (Formerly Gender, Human Rights and Development) #
  • Imperial International Law
  • Intelligence Law: Espionage and Surveillance in International and Domestic Law
  • International Arbitration Workshop
  • International Business Transactions #
  • International Commercial Arbitration #
  • International Construction Law #
  • International Criminal Justice, Transition and Trauma
  • International Criminal Law #
  • International Dispute Settlement #
  • International Economic Law #
  • International Employment Law (Formerly International and Comparative Labour Law) #
  • International Environmental Law #
  • International Financial System: Law and Practice #
  • International Financial Transactions: Law and Practice #
  • International Health Law (formerly Global Health Law)
  • International Human Rights Law #
  • International Humanitarian Law #
  • International Investment Law and Arbitration #
  • International Issues in Intellectual Property #
  • International Law and Children‘s Rights #
  • International Law and Development (Formerly Law and Development) #
  • International Law and Ethics: Current Global Issues
  • International Law and Israel–Palestine #
  • International Law and the Rights of Minorities (Formerly Sovereignty and the Rights of Minorities) #
  • International Law and the Use of Force #
  • International Law, Culture and Identity (Formerly Law, Culture and the International) #
  • International Legal Internship #
  • International Migration Law #
  • International Petroleum Transactions #
  • International Refugee Law: Refugee Rights #
  • International Refugee Law: Refugee Status
  • International Resources Law #
  • International Sale of Goods
  • International Sports Employment Law (Formerly International Sports Labour Law) #
  • International Tax: Principles and Structure #
  • International Trade Law #
  • International Trade, Intellectual Property and Public Health (Formerly Trade, Intellectual Property Rights and Public Health) #
  • Islamic Law
  • Islamic Law and Politics in Asia #
  • Labour Standards under the Fair Work Act (Cth) (Formerly Regulating Working Conditions) #
  • Latin American Constitutionalisms #
  • Law of Democracy #
  • Law of Intergovernmental Relations
  • Law of Royal Commissions and other Public Inquiries (Formerly Law of Public Inquiries) #
  • Law of the Sea and Marine Species #
  • Planning Law
  • Post-Conflict Constitutional Design
  • Post-Conflict State-Building
  • Principles of International Law #
  • Privacy Law (Formerly Privacy and Data Protection) #
  • Prosecuting the War on Terror #
  • Public Health Law (formerly Public Health Law in Australia and the Pacific)
  • Public Private Partnerships Law (Formerly Infrastructure Delivery B: Public Private Partnerships) #
  • Racing Industry Law and Regulation
  • Religion and Multiculturalism
  • Statehood in International Law: Empires and Resistance #
  • Statutes in the 21st Century #
  • Sustainability Law and Governance
  • Tax Policy
  • The Role of Courts in International Law #
  • Trade, Human Rights and Development #
  • UK Tax: Principles and New Developments
  • US Corporate and International Tax #
  • US Sports Law (formerly Introduction to United States Sports Law)
  • Water Law and Natural Resources Management (Formerly Water Law) #
  • What is it that Judges Do?
  • Women, War and Peace-Building (formerly Women and War)
  • WTO Law and Dispute Settlement #
Breadth Tracks:


Available Breadth Tracks

Entry Requirements:
  • A degree in a relevant discipline and the equivalent of at least two years of full-time, documented, relevant professional experience; or
  • A degree in law leading to admission to legal practice (LLB, JD or equivalent), at honours standard or equivalent; or
  • A degree in law leading to admission to legal practice (LLB, JD or equivalent) and the equivalent of at least two years of full-time, documented, relevant professional experience; or
  • A degree in a relevant discipline, successful completion of four subjects in a cognate graduate diploma and the equivalent of at least one year of full-time, documented, relevant work experience.
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:

Graduate Attributes:
  1. Advanced understanding of the changing knowledge base in the relevant area of law
    The specialist focus of the Melbourne Law Masters, the constant review and renewal of subjects and courses, the range and expertise of instructors from Australia and around the world, and regular advice from our advisory boards combine to ensure that courses and subjects reflect emerging knowledge and ideas
  2. Ability to evaluate and synthesise existing knowledge in the area
    Small classes, a discussion-based environment and the emphasis on quality teaching and learning create an environment in which knowledge is exchanged, critically examined and adapted to current circumstances
  3. Well-developed problem solving abilities, characterised by flexibility of approach
    Most subjects approach knowledge by reference to various issues or problems. Students are encouraged to critically analyse problems and identify and develop a range of appropriate solutions through class discussion, individual study and assessment tasks.
  4. Advanced competencies in legal research and analysis
    Class preparation and class discussions are designed to enhance these skills, which are tested in all forms of assessment.
  5. Capacity to communicate, orally and in writing
    Classroom discussion and formal presentations provide an opportunity to hone oral communication skills, and written assessment tasks are graded in part on written communication skills.
  6. Appreciation of the design, conduct and reporting of original research
    Research papers and other research tasks are expected to attain a degree of originality and discovery that befits a quality postgraduate program, and students are encouraged and assisted to publish work of a high standard in refereed journals.
  7. Capacity to manage competing demands on time
    The demanding nature of graduate study requires effective time-management skills from all students. The rigour of our programs, whether undertaken part-time or full-time, ensures that all successful graduates have enhanced time-management skills.
  8. Profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, including the ethics of scholarship
    Some subjects have a substantive ethical component. All instructors have a respect for intellectual integrity and are skilled scholars or practitioners in their own right.
  9. Appreciation of the way in which knowledge provides a foundation for leadership
    Instructors in the Melbourne Law Masters are leaders in their fields, and many subjects involve visiting academics, exposing students to a wider array of leaders in a range of legal fields. The Law School is committed to the significance of knowledge, which informs all regular programs and a wide range of additional activities.
  10. Capacity to value and participate in teamwork
    Small class sizes and an intensive teaching format are valuable in encouraging group dynamics and teamwork.
  11. Understanding of the significance and value of knowledge to the wider community
    Law and legal knowledge are a community resource. In some subjects, this perspective is covered explicitly by the syllabus and the manner in which issues are treated in class. In addition, our diverse student body ensures that a range of perspectives on the way law impacts on the community are identified and analysed.
  12. Capacity to engage with issues in contemporary society
    Our programs focus on the most up-to-date legal knowledge, analysing current issues and problems through the curriculum design, classroom discussion and assessment tasks. International students are also invited to participate in extracurricular activities to aid understanding of Australian law and legal institutions.
  13. Advanced working skills in the use of new technology
    The most advanced IT infrastructure is available to Melbourne Law Masters students in the Law Library, the Moot Court Room, classroom settings and for private study.
Links to further information:

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