International Employment Law

Subject LAWS70218 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

September, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start 05-Aug-2015
Teaching Period 07-Sep-2015 to 11-Sep-2015
Assessment Period End 25-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Aug-2015
Census Date 07-Sep-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 16-Oct-2015

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:

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:


Prof Sean Cooney


For more information, contact the Melbourne Law Masters office.

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

As labour and capital markets transcend domestic borders, the objectives of labour law can no longer be confined solely to actions within the nation state. The purpose of this subject is two-fold. First, to identify the diverse components of international employment and labour law, the institutions, the claims and the methods for advancing social protection to workers worldwide. This enquiry spans beyond traditional instruments that are associated with labour law, and includes trade law, private international law, international human rights and corporate social responsibility. It further seeks to embed the study of legal instruments in the broader economic and sociological debates on globalisation. The second goal is to critically assess how international developments affect domestic labour law and our perception of the ethical and economic values that underscore this body of law.

Principal topics include:

  • The importance of the concept of globalisation in understanding national systems of labour regulation
  • The composition, powers and functioning of international organisations that regulate labour internationally, including the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the European Union (EU)
  • The relevance of different theories of international regulation
  • The usefulness of a comparative approach to labour law, including consideration of the major models of labour regulation like the Wagner Model in the United States and Canada
  • The role of intergovernmental and corporate codes of conduct in securing international labour standards
  • The emerging challenges posed by the use of migrant, contingent, and precarious workers in the global economy
  • The success of adopting a human rights approach to labour regulation in the face of changes to domestic and international labour law frameworks.
Learning Outcomes:

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding of international employment law, including recent developments in this field of law and practice
  • Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the effectiveness of these legal regimes and approaches
  • Be an engaged participant in debate regarding emerging and contemporary issues in the field, such as globalization and the use of contingent workers
  • Have a sophisticated appreciation of the factors and processes driving the revision of the international legal framework
  • Have an advanced understanding of situations in which issues of international employment law arise
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas relating to international employment law and to critically evaluate existing legal theories, principles and concepts with creativity and autonomy
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse existing and emerging legal issues relating to international law in the workplace
  • Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding international employment law to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Be able demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of international employment law.
  • Take-home examination (100%) (16-19 October)
  • 10,000 word research paper (100%) (25 November) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

A minimum of 75% attendance is a hurdle requirement.

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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