Available in 2017, 2018
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


Child law is a unique course in Australia. It brings students from law and social work together to study the law and the social context of the law as it impacts upon children. It builds a foundation for the study of specific laws (child protection, juvenile justice and family law) by exploring human rights, social and legal perspectives. It considers broader legal and social issues that affect children, including:

1. When children are considered capable of making legal decisions (legal capacity).

2. International and human rights law applicable to children in Australia.

3. The nature of inter-professional collaboration on behalf of children in varied legal contexts.

4. Children's interaction with legal processes.

5. Differential impact of laws on certain groups of children, such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Availability2017 Course Timetables

Newcastle City Precinct

  • Semester 2 - 2017
  • Semester 2 - 2018

Learning outcomes

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

1. Identify the elements of a children's rights approach to legal issues that affect children and young people.

2. Critically analyse the role of law and the limits of the domestic legislative framework from a children's rights perspective.

3. Demonstrate understanding of family, criminal and child protection law, policy and processes as it relates to problem-scenarios concerning children;

4. Critically reflect upon legal material presented in the context of professional practice with children and apply this to problem scenarios, demonstrating awareness of a children's rights approach.

5. Demonstrate understanding of: the different and complementary orientations of professionals who work with children; the skills required to develop collaborative interdisciplinary relationships; and an understanding of the importance of interdisciplinary and holistic responses to children and young people's legal issues.

6. Work more effectively in teams to solve problems.


The topics in this course are:

  1. Childhood and Capacity: The Law's Perspective
  2. International Law and Human Rights of Children
  3. Children and the Legal Process
  4. Children and Family Law
  5. Child Protection Law
  6. Violence in the family
  7. Juvenile Justice
  8. Interprofessional practice in legal contexts


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) program. Pre-requisite - Successful Completion of SWRK2001, SWRK2003 and SWRK2200.

Assumed knowledge

SWRK1001, SWRK1002, SWRK2003, SWRK2001, SWRK2200, SWRK3007, SWRK3300.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Court Report

Written Assignment: Advocacy Letter

Project: Team Project: Interdisciplinary practice

Contact hours

Newcastle City Precinct


Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

mix of interdisciplinary seminars with law students (LAWS5006; LAWS6096) and some disciplinary seminars for social work only.