Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

This unit involves 150 hours of focused learning. The total includes formally structured learning activities such as lectures, tutorials, online learning, video-conferencing, or supervision. The remaining hours typically involve reading, research, and the preparation of tasks for assessment.

Unit rationale, description and aim

The purpose of the unit is to encourage students to become philosophically reflective about the central concepts (such as 'genocide' and 'crimes against humanity'). Humanity has come to understand itself by coming to understand, with some precision and attention to distinctions, the crimes of which it is capable. It therefore matters that we give the right names to those crimes. To encourage students to see that this matters and why it matters is one of the main purposes of this unit. That purpose will not be realised, however, unless students also apply a philosophically critical gaze on fundamental conceptions about the nature of rights, justice and law and on the assumptions and theories of what is means to be human that inform those conceptions. While it cannot be a requirement of the unit, it is nonetheless hoped that students who complete it will be committed to the promotion and protection of their obligations to their fellow human beings - obligations of a kind that are expressed in many of the struggles of the human rights and in the laws that protect those rights.

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