International Refugee Law:Refugee Rights

Subject LAWS70394 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

May, Parkville - 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: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment: Not available




Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects:

Students who have undertaken International Refugee Law cannot enrol in this subject

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:


For more information, contact the Melbourne Law Masters office.

Email or phone +61 3 8344 6190.

Alternatively, visit our website:

Subject Overview:

This workshop-style subject affords students the opportunity for both conceptual analysis and hands-on application of internationally guaranteed refugee rights.

The first part of the subject addresses the way in which rights are allocated under the Refugee Convention, and the interrelationship between refugeespecific rights and more general norms of international human rights law. Against this background, students will take up as a case study the right of refugees to work in asylum countries.

The second part of the subject is student-directed, with each student in the class taking responsibility to investigate a current situation in which refugee rights are arguably at risk, and to conceive and present an international legal intervention strategy for critique by the lecturer and other students.

Principal topics will include:

  • Rights under the Refugee Convention
  • Case study: The right to work
  • Strategising for effective international intervention.

A student who has successfully completed this subject should:

• Understand the international development of refugee law
• Have a knowledge of the different international instruments governing refugee law at the international level
• Understand the key questions involved in the definition of a refugee, and the different approaches taken to these issues in the comparative jurisprudence
• Understand the refugee rights regime set out in the 1951 Refugee Convention
• Understand the way in which international refugee law interacts with the Australian domestic legal system
• Understand how comparative material may be used in refugee cases in Australia.


Draft intervention strategy (20%) (4 May)

Conceiving and leading discussion of a class members draft strategy (20%) (7–8 May)

6,000 word research paper (60%) (12 July) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Visit the Melbourne Law Masters website for more information about this subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

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