Course Title: Implement Human Rights Principles in a Justice Environment

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2012

Course Code: SOSK5176

Course Title: Implement Human Rights Principles in a Justice Environment

School: 365T Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6077 - Advanced Diploma of Justice

Course Contact : Karen Linstrom

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 99254597

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 54

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

  • Work in a Legal Environment
  • Work with Culturally Diverse Clients in a Justice Environment
  • Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
  • Sociology

Course Description

This course covers the specific knowledge and skills on human rights required for the prescription of legal advocacy and enforcement of human rights within a Justice framework.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBQU384 Implement Human Rights Principles in a Justice Environment


1. Analyse the development of Human Rights in contemporary society.

Performance Criteria:

1.1 The historical events surrounding the development of the UN Universal decalaration of Human Rights is outlined.

1.2 The principles of legal obligation between a Treaty, a Convention and a Protocol within Australian Dualist traditions of law are identified and evaluated.

1.3 The cultural perspectives in the interpretation of Human Rights (western vs, eastern cultures and views of indvidual and group rights, etc.) as it applies to the management of multiculturalism  in Australia are evaluated.

1.4 The impact of Victorian Human Rights legislation and human rights inclusion in all Acts of Parliament are examined.


2. Examine and analyse the legislation, structures and processes in Australian society related to the protection of Human Rights.

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Key aspects of legislation covering basic human rights are identified and applied.

2.2 The system of Courts and Tribunals designed to deal with basic Human Rights are evaluated.

2.3 The procedures involved in undertaking a Human Rights case are outlined.

2.4 The shortfalls or ambiguities in the relevant legislation are investigated.


3. Analyse justice enforcement issues in relation to human rights violations.

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Inter-jurisdictional processes in the trafficaking of women and children for the sex slave industry are evaluated.

3.2 Inter-jurisdictional processes in the trafficking of illegal immigrants for work are investigated.

3.3 The issues of child labour and child soldiers and their effect on refugees arriving in Australia are analyzed.

3.4 Legislation on People Trafficking (boat people) is examined.

3.5 Issues stemming from cultural collision with Australian law are examined.

3.6 Issues for justice workers managing cultural responses to a justice worker in uniform are identified.


4. Examine models of advocacy for working with groups experiencing inequality.

Performance Criteria:

4.1 The groups that potentially will be affected by Human Rights issues are identified.

4.2 Critical factors and strategies to engage these groups are outlined.

4.3 Appropriate advocacy models for these groups are identified.


5. Analyse barriers to full participation and access to resources in Australian society by people experiencing inequality.

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Groups who experience inequality in Australian society are identified.

5.2 An analysis is conducted to examine the relationaships between access to resources and Human Rights

5.3 Barriers to resources and stratgies to eliminate or minimize them are identified.

5.4 Factors that create and maintain barriers to access are examined.

Learning Outcomes

See elements

Details of Learning Activities

Students will participate in a variety of teaching methods including: lectures, tutorials, class discussion, seminar presentations, group/individual work on projects, audio-visual presentations and interaction with individuals and groups within the criminal justice area

Teaching Schedule

Weeks 1 and 2: We will investigate the historical development of the League of Nations and it’s evolution into the United Nations and the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Activities will adress learning outcomes 1.1. and 1.2 above.  Students will use these class times additionally to form syndicate groups for assessable tasks during the semester.

Weeks 3 and 4: We will examine the development of philosophical and legal structures as they relate to western and eastern societies. These activities address learning outcome 1.2 above.

Week 5: We will explore the jurisprudence of Human Rights and issues of obligation for any Soverign State in terms of a Treaty, A Convention and a Protocol in International law. These activcities address learning outcome learning outcomes 1.2 and 2.1 above. Progress reports on projects this week.

Week 6: We will explore the Victorian Charter of Human Rights, supporting legislation to ensure an HR element is present in all legislation and the role of Courts and Tribunals in the prosecution and enforcement of HR claims. These activities address learning outcomes 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 above.

Weeks 7 and 8: We will examine the issues around the tafficking of women and chidren particular for salve labour or for the sex industry;how this viewed from different cultural pespective and its impact on the victims who arrive in Australia. These activitries address learning outcomes 2.1. 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3

Week 9: We will look at the isues surrounding Boat People and and how refugees, especially from war torn places, react to any interactions with  authorities in uniform. These activites adress learning outcomes 3,4. 3.5 and 3.6 above. Progress reports on projects this week.

Weeks 10 and 11:  We will examine the role of advocacy in relation to persons whose cultural perspective collides with Australian law. We will look at specific refugee communities such as the Horn of Africa, Myanmar ( the former Burma), the Tamils of Sri Lanka and other Asian groups represented in Victoria. These activites address learning outcomes 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 and 2.4

Weeks 12 and 13:  We will explore the barriers marginalized communites experience in access resources in Victoria; exploring issues of language, knowlege of the adversial system of the Courts, issues of clutral prejudice which maintain these barriers and strategies to address them.  These activities address learning outcome 5.1, 5.2, 5.3 and 5.4 above.

Weeks 14-17: Student syndicate group presentations.

Week 18: Bringing it all together-class evaluation

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

There are no prescribed texts. Students will be sourcing materials from:

  • The United Nations
  • Victorian Legislation
  • The University of Minnesota Human Rights Library
  • Human Rights organizations as secondary sources to academic standard
  • Materials from the RMIT library and its exhaustive e-book, e-journal and subscription access programs

Learning Resources
The University Library provides extensive services, facilities and study space as well as comprehensive collections of books, periodicals and other course related materials, such as DVD’s, magazines, slides, films etc. Computer laboratories with access to a wide range of desktop publishing software are also available. The library also has an expanding virtual collection of electronic resources and networks, including product data, e-books, electronic journals and newspapers, web based tutorials, online reference and document delivery services etc., all of which are accessible on campus, and off campus 24 hours per day. More information on library resources and services can be found at: 

The Study and Learning Centre provides free learning and academic development advice to all RMIT students. For information on their services and support, please visit the website

Overview of Assessment

Assessment tasks will include:

  • Weekly case studies   
  • Group research project and Oral Presentation
  • Research paper

Assessment Tasks

Students will be advised of their assessment tasks in the first week of classes

Assessment Matrix

The assessment has been designed to cover all Learning Outcomes and will be graded in accordance with RMIT’s Mark Table 7 which is as follows:
HD 80-100
DI 70-79
CR 60-69
PA 50-59
NN 0-49

All written work must adhere to the following criteria:

  1. Written reports, research projects or essays are to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and familiarity with the prescribed or negotiated topics
  2. It is expected that all submitted work will be well written, with clear and consistent grammar, expression and punctuation. It must be well structured and cogently address the issues raised in the chosen topic in a logical, ordered and organised manner
  3. The concepts must be well defined and demonstrate a critical analysis of the chosen topic
  4. Written submissions must demonstrate appropriate preparation, reading and research
  5. In-text references must follow the APA style of referencing. In addition, you must provide a bibliography with correct and comprehensive details in relation to texts, articles, research reports and other sources that you have used
  6. Double or 1.5 spacing and a font size of 10-12 must be used in font style Aerial or Times New Roman.

Other Information

Extensions will not be granted by teachers or Administrative staff.

In accordance with RMIT policy, students may apply for an extension where there have been unexpected or extenuating circumstances, e.g.
• Hospital admission, serious injury, severe asthma, severe anxiety or depression. This does not include minor illness such as a cold, period pain or hay fever.
• Loss or bereavement – e.g. death of a close family member, family/relationship breakdown.
• Hardship/trauma – e.g. victim of crime, sudden loss of income or employment, severe disruption to domestic arrangements.

Students must keep a copy of their assessment until the graded submission has been returned or marks have been posted. 

All email communications will be sent to your RMIT student email address.

Applying for an Extension
Extension of time for assessment tasks may be granted where circumstances beyond your control prevent submission by the published due date. An application for extension of time must be lodged with your tutor or the course coordinator as early as possible, and no later than one working day before the due date for submission.
You can apply for extension using the University’s Extension Application Form – – or by emailing your course coordinator or tutor directly.
An extension of up to seven calendar days may be granted if good reason can be demonstrated. Include supporting evidence (such as medical certificates) with your application.
Extensions beyond seven calendar days cannot be granted by course coordinators, tutors or the School. To apply for an extension of time greater than seven calendar days you must lodge an application for Special Consideration.

Applying for Special Consideration
If you are seeking an extension of more than seven calendar days (from the original due date) you must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form, preferably prior to, but no later than two working days after the official due date. Late applications will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. For information about Special Consideration and how to apply, see:

Penalties for Late Submission
If you have not been granted an extension or special consideration, late submission will be penalised as follows:
Assessment tasks submitted after the due date of submission shall receive a penalty of five per cent of the grades available for that assessment per day for each working day late.
No assessment task shall be accepted more than three weeks after the due date.

Assessment Appeals
If you believe your assessment result or final result is wrong please contact the course coordinator and provide the reason why you think your result is incorrect. Valid reasons for seeking a review of results include:
• You believe an error has occurred in the calculation of the grade; or,

• You believe the assessment did not comply with criteria published in the Course Guide; or,

• You believe the assessment did not comply with University Policies on Assessment (i.e. an error in process has occurred).

• Full details of the procedure (including appeals procedure) can be located at this RMIT site:

Academic Integrity
Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship through respecting the work of others whilst having the freedom to build new insights, new knowledge and ideas. RMIT University upholds the values of academic integrity as fundamental to the scholarship undertaken by all members of its community. Whenever you refer to another person’s research or ideas (either by directly quoting or paraphrasing them) you must acknowledge your source.
If you are even in doubt about how to properly cite a reference, consult your lecturer or the academic integrity website:
The RMIT library provides tools to assist with your referencing

Plagiarism and Collusion
Plagiarism and collusion constitute extremely serious academic misconduct, and are forms of cheating. You are reminded that cheating, whether by fabrication, falsification of data, or plagiarism, is an offence subject to University disciplinary procedures. Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data, and oral presentations. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited. Plagiarism is not acceptable.
Examples of plagiarism include:
• Copying sentences or paragraphs word-for-word from one or more sources, whether published or unpublished, which could include but is not limited to books, journals, reports, theses, websites, conference papers, course notes, etc. without proper citation;
• Closely paraphrasing sentences, paragraphs, ideas or themes without proper citation;
• Piecing together text from one or more sources and adding only linking sentences;
• Copying or submitting whole or parts of computer files without acknowledging their source;
• Copying designs or works of art and submitting them as your original work;
• Copying a whole or any part of another student’s work; and
• Submitting work as your own that someone else has done for you.
• Enabling Plagiarism: the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or to copy your own work is also an offence.

For further information, please see the RMIT Plagiarism Policy –;ID=sg4yfqzod48g1 – and the RMIT Student Discipline Statute and Regulations -;ID=11jgnnjgg70y

Plagiarism Software
The originality verification software Turnitin may be used in this course. For details, see:

Course Overview: Access Course Overview