International Law and Children's Rights

Subject LAWS70120 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2013:

August, 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
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
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: None
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 and critique 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 to 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.

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

Issues concerning children, whether they arise at the international, regional or local level, are increasingly being examined from a human rights perspective. Much of the momentum for this movement has been generated by the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1999, and has been ratified by every State in the world except the United States and Somalia. This subject is designed to provide students with an understanding of the CRC and the idea of a human rights-based approach to matters involving children. It will be of interest to anyone who works in areas that impact on children, either directly or indirectly, at the international, regional or local level. The lecturer has extensive networks with civil society, international bodies and government agencies, which he draws on to provide an appropriate blend of academic and practical content.

The subject consists of two parts. Part one will involve a general discussion of:

  • The notion of children‘s rights
  • The international framework for the protection of children‘s rights, with particular emphasis on the United Nations (CRC)
  • The factors that impact on the implementation of the Convention, both in Australia and overseas.

Part two will involve an examination of specific issues relevant to children and how the Convention and a rights-based analysis can be used to respond to these issues. The issues will be drawn from areas such as:

  • Sexual exploitation, including trafficking, prostitution and pornography
  • Child labour
  • Juvenile justice
  • Child refugees
  • Violence against children
  • Children in armed conflict
  • HIV/AIDS and children
  • Child poverty and homelessness.

A student who has successfully completed this subject should:

  • Understand and critically assess the concept of children’s rights
  • Be aware of what it means to adopt a rights-based approach to matters involving children
  • Recognise the impact of cultural, social and political factors on the implementation of children’s rights
  • Be conversant with and able to critically evaluate the international framework for the protection of children’s rights
  • Be aware of, and able to, critically assess the measures taken in Australia and other jurisdictions to implement this international framework
  • Understand how to use this international framework in domestic courts, policy formulation and law making.

Take-home examination (100%) (4–7 October)
10,000 word research paper (100%) (13 November) 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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