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Unit of study_

LAWS5178: Development, Law and Human Rights

The Himalayan Field School is an exercise in experiential learning. The unit exposes students to the role and limits of law in addressing acute problems of socio-economic development and human rights in developing countries through an immersive and interactive field school conducted over two weeks in Nepal. Hosted by our partner, the Kathmandu School of Law, the unit comprises lectures, seminars and multiple site visits to development agencies, NGOs and government bodies. Themes explored include: • The transition from armed conflict to peace in the aftermath of a Maoist insurgency and the end of Nepal’s monarchy (including issues of transitional criminal justice, the drafting of a new constitution, and building new legal and political systems reflecting Nepalese and international legal traditions). • The protection of socio-economic rights (including rights to food, water, housing, work and a healthy environment), minority rights (of 'tribals', and 'dalits' castes), and the 'right to development' under constitutional and international law. • The interactions between, and consequences of, local disputes over natural resources, human displacement caused by development projects, environmental protection and climate change in the context of fragile Himalayan ecologies, the legal protection of incoming refugees and outgoing migrant workers, and the allocation limited resources in a developing country. • The particular experiences of women in development and human rights processes. • The impact of private sector economic development whether driven by domestic and/or transnational corporations, and attendant issues of regulating corporate social responsibility and combatting modern slavery.

Code LAWS5178
Academic unit Law
Credit points 6
LAWS3478 or LAWS6846

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Appreciate and understand first hand, the breadth and depth of human rights and legal problems as well as possibilities facing developing countries.
  • LO2. Gain practical experience of how government agencies, international organisations and civil society operate in developing countries.
  • LO3. Formulate, articulate and substantiate written and oral arguments using key features of the interaction between development and human rights laws and principles, in relation to a range of scenarios and issues.
  • LO4. Develop and deploy an independent, strategic sense of the potential and pitfalls of how human rights laws and principles intersect with the machinations of the global economy generally and its impact on development specifically, by reference to contemporary literature, policies and practices in this field.
  • LO5. Listen to, comprehend and respond constructively to legal and policy arguments formulated by others, including fellow USyd and KSL students and KSL lecturers, and to be able, accordingly, to communicate effectively your considered opinions and views.

Unit outlines

Unit outlines will be available 2 weeks before the first day of teaching for the relevant session.