Human Rights and Terrorism

Subject LAWS70091 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2015.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment:

The pre-teaching period commences four weeks before the subject commencement date. From this time, students are expected to access and review the Reading Guide that will be available from the LMS subject page and the subject materials provided by the subject coordinator, which will be available from Melbourne Law School. Refer to the Reading Guide for confirmation of which resources need to be read and what other preparation is required before the teaching period commences.

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:

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

Since 11 September 2001, there has been a universal trend towards new laws and new measures against terrorism. Also, international organisations, including the United Nations, have adopted new instruments against international terrorism, including conventions, protocols and resolutions. Many of the resulting counter-terrorism measures have an impact upon the enjoyment of human rights, sometimes within the scope of permissible limitations but often also resulting in clear human rights violations. This subject addresses the international law framework for countering terrorism and provides a stock-taking and assessment of the human rights implications.

Principal topics will include:

  • Terrorism and international law
  • Do terrorists violate human rights, and can they be held accountable?
  • Which human rights are affected by counter-terrorism measures by States and how they are affected
  • Is the prohibition against torture absolute?
  • Treatment, detention and trial of terrorism suspects
  • Freedom of expression, association and assembly
  • Terrorist listing and sanctions against individuals and entities
  • ‘Profiling’ as a method to identify potential terrorists
  • Refugee and immigration law in the era of terrorism
  • The erosion of the right to privacy in the name of countering terrorism
  • Strategic approaches to preventing and combating terrorism
  • Human rights after the ‘long decade’ since 9/11 of 2001
  • A human rights assessment of the counter-terrorism measures of a particular country.
Learning Outcomes:

A student who has successfully completed this subject should:

  • Understand the international law framework for countering terrorism
  • Comprehend and be able to apply a human rights assessment of counter-terrorism measures by states
  • Be able to independently follow up developments in the field.

Take-home examination (100%)

Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Details regarding any prescribed texts will be provided prior to the commencement of the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

This subject has a quota of 30 students. Please refer to the website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.

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