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Campus offering

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LAWS104 Foundations of Law and Legal Research , LAWS107 Introduction to Australian Public Law

Teaching organisation

4 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit particularly examines international law relating to children. It considers the theoretical foundations of laws that operate to protect and empower children rights, and the international legal frameworks that have been developed, in the last two centuries, to realise children’s rights. The unit aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to critically assess both the positive and negative aspects of the law’s impact on the lives of children. The unit provides a comparative overview of the historical development of the law relating to children and proposals for law reform. It covers topical issues relating to the protection and well-being of children, such as labour exploitation, sexual exploitation, and the right to education. The unit also considers relevant comparative material from other jurisdictions. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - explain and critique the principles of domestic and international law as it relates to the protection and empowerment of children; (GA4, GA6, GA8, GA9) 

LO2 - locate the sources of state, federal and international law and case law related to children, apply the law to different fact scenarios and communicate reasoned opinions about the meaning and effect of the law. (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9) 

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include:

  • The historical development of children’s rights
  • Developmental science, child development and the law
  • Children’s rights in international law
  • Analysis of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
  • Rights of children in educational matters
  • Legislative framework for the protection of children from maltreatment, abuse, neglect and exploitation

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Mode: Lectures, tutorials, electronic consultation, library tasks and presentations or Online lectures and activities. 

Duration: 3 hours per week over 12 weeks or equivalent. Students are expected to spend 150 hours in total for this unit.

This level four elective unit allows students to demonstrate knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law applying knowledge, skills and understanding acquired in Priestley units. 

Our strategy is to encourage students to creatively engage with unit content and to apply prior learnings to new legal problems. 

The unit is designed to be delivered in intensive, weekly or online. We have taken a blended learning approach to provide accessibility and flexibility to our students and a student focused approach that increases depth of learning and engagement through actively utilising LEO.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy is designed to assess knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law, applying knowledge, skills and understanding acquired in Priestley units. 

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each of the learning outcomes listed. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Communication and Engagement

Students are required to participate in tutorials, in recognition that the development of skills in referencing and analysing research materials is assisted by participation in weekly tutorials and/or intensives


LO1, LO2,  

GA4, GA6, GA8, GA9 

Oral Presentation

(individual OR group, depending on the size of the class): Students are required to research and give a presentation on a chosen topic. This presentation may be requested in the form of a video.

This assessment recognises the need for developing skills in locating, referencing, analysing research materials and training in legal communication skills. As a group assessment, it also recognises the importance of skills in effective collaboration with peers.


LO1, LO2,  

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9 

(A) Comparative Essay OR (B) Examination 

(A) This assessment recognises the need for developing skills in locating, referencing, analysing research materials and training in legal communication skills.

(B) Students are required to be present to sit and write the final examination. This assessment recognises the need for developing skills to work through and provide a legal solution to a given legal problem within the time frame of the examination period.


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Verhellen, E. Convention on the Rights of the Child: Background, Motivation, Strategies, Main Themes, 4th edition (2006) Coronet Books Inc

Akhtar, R., and Nyamutata, C., International Child Law, 4th edition (2020) Routledge

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