Master of Law and Development

Course 635AA (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Year and Campus: 2012 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 051271K
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.


Associate Professor Sundhya Pahuja


For more information, contact the Melbourne Law Masters office.

Email or phone +61 3 8344 6190.

Alternatively, visit our website:

Course Overview:

Effective legal frameworks and institutions are pivotal in alleviating poverty and creating a sustainable environment. Melbourne Law School's graduate program in law and development offers a choice of subjects examining the legalisation of development, the role of international and regional actors in law reform projects, and an investigation and analysis of both international law and the 'rule of law' in a developmental context. Subjects take a range of practical, historical and theoretical perspectives. This program is ideal for those working in international development from a government or not-for-profit background.


The Master of Law and Development focuses on:

  • The processes and actors involved in the legalisation of development
  • The history and range of rule of law or law reform projects initiated by international and regional institutions
  • The role of international economic institutions in proposing, designing and implementing law reform projects
  • Development strategies enabled or foreclosed by attempts at law reform or legal institutional design
  • The success or failure of particular attempts at law reform or rule of law initiatives
  • Theoretical approaches to understanding and critiquing law and development initiatives.
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 at least six subjects from the prescribed list (including the compulsory subject International Law and Development). Students may choose an eighth subject from those available in the Melbourne Law Masters. Students with a law degree from a common law jurisdiction must complete at least six subjects from the prescribed list (including the compulsory subject International Law and Development). Students may choose their final two subjects from those available in the Melbourne Law Masters (excluding Fundamentals of the Common Law).



Subject Options:

# Offered in 2012

  • Comparative Law
  • Constitution Making #
  • Cultural Heritage, Trade and Development
  • Developing Countries and the WTO #
  • Evolving Constitutionalism in Asia
  • Fiscal Reform and Development #
  • Fundamentals of the Common Law #
  • Global Financial Order: IMF and World Bank #
  • Governing Plurality: Sovereignty, Religion, Technology
  • Health, Development and Human Rights
  • Human Rights Beyond Borders
  • Human Rights, Women and Development (Formerly Gender, Human Rights and Development) #
  • International Criminal Justice, Transition and Trauma
  • International Economic Law #
  • International Employment Law (Formerly International and Comparative Labour Law) #
  • International Investment Law and Arbitration #
  • International Law and Childrenā€˜s Rights #
  • International Law and Development (Formerly Law and Development) #
  • International Law and Ethics: Current Global Issues
  • International Law and the Rights of Minorities (Formerly Sovereignty and the Rights of Minorities) #
  • International Law, Culture and Identity (Formerly Law, Culture and the International) #
  • International Legal Internship #
  • Islamic Law
  • Islamic Law and Politics in Asia #
  • Latin American Constitutionalisms #
  • Law of Democracy #
  • Post-Conflict State-Building
  • Statehood in International Law: Empires and Resistance #
  • Trade, Human Rights and Development #
  • 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:

Visit the Melbourne Law Masters website for more information about this course.

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.
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