Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.
The specialisation in human rights law offers the widest range of human rights subjects in Australia. Many world-renowned experts teach in the program, offering students exciting opportunities to examine a range of human rights instruments, institutions, theories and practices in contemporary context. The program is particularly relevant to lawyers currently working, or planning to work, in the field of human rights, as well as those with a non-law background working in development agencies and other human rights-related organisations in Australia and around the world.
Graduates of the Master of Human Rights Law will:
- Have an advanced and integrated knowledge of international and domestic legal and institutional frameworks for the protection and promotion of human rights
- Be able to understand and critically examine the interrelationships between international, regional and domestic histories, philosophies, policies and practices of human rights law
- Be an engaged, informed and open-minded participant in debates about the contested universality of international human rights and its application in diverse domestic jurisdictions
- Be able to make a sophisticated assessment of the practical effectiveness of different mechanisms for implementing or enforcing human rights, including domestic and regional courts, specialised tribunals, national human rights institutions, human rights treaty bodies, international institutions and specialised agencies, nongovernmental organisations and international criminal courts
- Have an advanced appreciation of the relationship between law and politics, at the international and domestic levels, in the field of human rights law
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine and critically evaluate current issues by reference to international and domestic human rights standards
- Be able to analyse, interpret and assess the challenges posed to the implementation of international human rights obligations in the context of globalisation, particularly the increased threat to human rights presented by non-state actors and efforts to develop and strengthen accountability protocols and other mechanisms
- Be able to demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and advocate in the field of human rights law.
|Course Structure & Available Subjects:
Students must complete eight subjects in total. All students must complete the subject International Human Rights Law.
Students who do not have a law degree from a common law jurisdiction must complete Fundamentals of the Common Law, as well as seven subjects from the prescribed list.
Students with a law degree from a common law jurisdiction must complete at least seven subjects from the prescribed human rights law subjects and may choose an eighth subject from those available in the Melbourne Law Masters (excluding Fundamentals of the Common Law).
Study Period Commencement:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Summer Term, Semester 1, Semester 2, Winter Term
- A degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent) leading to admission to practice, at honours standard, or equivalent;
- A degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent) leading to admission to practice, or equivalent and two years of documented relevant professional experience;
- An undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline and two years of documented relevant professional experience;
- An undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline; and successful completion of four subjects in a cognate graduate diploma and one year of documented relevant professional experience.
The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Academic Board rules on the use of selection instruments.
|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: www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/
A student who completes a masters degree in the Melbourne Law Masters is eligible to apply for entry to the PhD program.
Advanced understanding of the changing knowledge base in the relevant area(s) of law
The specialist focus of the Melbourne Law Masters, the constant review and renewal of subjects and courses to ensure coverage of recent developments, the range and expertise of instructors from Australia and around the world, and regular advice from MLM advisory boards combine to ensure that courses and subjects reflect emerging knowledge and ideas.
Ability to investigate, evaluate, synthesise and apply existing knowledge in the relevant area(s) with creativity and initiative
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.
Well-developed problem solving abilities, characterised by flexibility of approach
Most subjects approach knowledge by reference to various issues or problems. Students are required to critically analyse problems and identify and develop a range of appropriate solutions through class discussion, individual study and assessment tasks.
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. All graduates of an LLM will have demonstrated, through subject assessment, the ability to use their research skills to plan, develop and execute substantial research-based project(s) and/or piece(s) of scholarship.
Capacity to effectively communicate complex legal ideas and theories, orally and in writing, to a variety of audiences
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.
Appreciation of the design, conduct and reporting of original research
Research papers and other research tasks are expected to attain a degree of creativity, originality and discovery that befits a postgraduate program of the highest quality, and students are encouraged and assisted to publish original work of a high standard in refereed journals.
Capacity to manage competing demands on time and ability to work with a high level of autonomy and accountability
The demanding nature of graduate study requires effective time-management skills from all students and an ability to work independently and be accountable for commitment to study and output, as demonstrated through class attendance, engagement and assessment. The rigour of our programs, whether undertaken part-time or full-time, ensures that all successful graduates have enhanced time-management skills and the ability to work with relative autonomy.
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.
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.
Capacity to value and participate in teamwork
Small class sizes and an intensive teaching format are valuable in encouraging group dynamics and teamwork.
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.
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.
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.
|Links to further information: