Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


Child and family law, at the international, national and local level is increasingly influenced by international law. International conventions, such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), have been ratified by most States in the world and set broad standards of human rights for children in relation to family life and equality. In addition, increasing personal mobility across state borders creates circumstances that require international cooperation to address issues that affect children such as child abduction, inter-country adoption, surrogacy and relocation. Specific international treaties, such as the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of Child Abduction, were developed for this purpose. Empirical research is increasingly important as a means of uncovering how international law and its domestic implementation impacts on children and families.

This course will provide students with an advanced and integrated understanding of the impact of international law on children and families and with specialized knowledge and understanding of the CRC. It will identify and analyze the key theoretical and practical challenges associated with the implementation of the CRC, addressing how rights-based approaches based in international law respond to issues affecting children at the international and domestic level. It will allow students to analyze and critically develop their ideas about implementation of the CRC in either the Australian or other domestic contexts in areas such as family law, child protection, juvenile justice, immigration, adoption, and cultural identity.


Not currently offered.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate advanced understanding of international human rights conventions that establish specific and enforceable standards for children¿s rights, including in family law;

2. Critically analyze and evaluate the international human rights obligations and standards for the protection of children¿s rights created by the CRC.

3. Examine the historical development of children¿s rights within the international human rights movement and within Australia;

4. Critically evaluate key theoretical debates about children¿s rights and a rights-based approach to children¿s issues;

5. Critically evaluate domestic implementation of the CRC¿s standards for the protection of children¿s rights.

6. Demonstrate advanced understanding of key international conventions developed to support international cooperation about issues affecting children.

7. Critically analyze challenges to the realization of children¿s rights at the international, national and local level with reference to empirical research;

8. Demonstrate advanced knowledge of relevant legal principles, laws and precedents, and the ability to apply them, using a children¿s rights approach, to particular issues affecting children at the international, national or local level.


Topics in this course include:

  1. International human rights conventions relevant to children and families;
  2. Key international conventions supporting international cooperation about issues affecting children;
  3. Historical development of children"s rights within the international human rights movement and Australia;
  4. Theoretical debates about children"s rights and rights-based approaches to children"s issues;
  5. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: rights, obligations, standards and enforcement mechanisms in relation to domestic implementation.
  6. Comparative analysis of various children"s issues, taking a rights and evidence based approach, drawn from areas such as:
  • Family law
  • Child protection
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Immigration
  • Adoption
  • Cultural Identity


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Juris Doctor/ Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice or Master of Laws programs.

Assumed knowledge

For Juris Doctor/Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice students: LAWS6017 Family Law; LAWS6013 Public International Law.

Assessment items

Presentation: Presentations - Individual

Written Assignment: Written submission on presentation topic

Report: Research Paper