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Unit of study_

LAWS5199: Migration, Refugees and Forced Migration

2024 unit information

Migration, Refugees and Forced Migration is designed to introduce students to a most fast moving and engaging area of public law. At one level, this unit is about government regulation of the entry of persons into Australia. As such, it is a branch of applied administrative law that concerns the very make-up of our society, affecting both who we live with and how we live our lives. Statistics show that almost half of Australian citizens were either born overseas or had an Australian-born parent. Dramatic skills shortages have seen unprecedented reliance on migrants brought to Australia on temporary and permanent visas. In spite of this, controversy persists over the nature of Australia's immigration program and the extent to which the government is doing enough to control both unlawful entry and the quality of the (lawful) migrants. Issues surrounding refugees and asylum seekers are a constant preoccupation, as are questions about protecting the rights of migrant workers. Covering both immigration law and domestic aspects of the law of forced migration, the course also explores issues of human rights and the interaction between domestic and international law. With Sydney receiving the lion's share of the migrants that come to Australia each year, migration law has become a growth area for both lawyers and for migration agents. By placing the current mechanisms for the controlling migration in their legal, social, historical and economic contexts, this unit provides an opportunity to explore the "big" issues raised by migration and to look at why the subject has assumed such a central role in the development of Australia's identity as a nation. The unit of study is designed to foster the following skills: a. Skills of statutory interpretation and problem-solving, through the study and use in practical situations of the Migration Act 1958 and its associated Regulations; b. Skills of legal analysis and evaluation, gained through the examination and synthesis of relevant legislation; of court decisions and of rulings by the Migration Review Tribunal; the Refugee Review Tribunal; and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in its migration division; and c. Oral and writing skills, through class participation, simulation exercises and the preparation of a major research paper.

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:


Code LAWS5199
Academic unit Law
Credit points 6
LAWS5007 and LAWS5010 and LAWS5011
LAWS5010 or LAWS5005
Assumed knowledge:

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

  • LO1. synthesize and apply the underlying rules, principles, and practices of migration law and policy within the broad contexts of their operation and development.
  • LO2. critically analyse and construct innovative responses to legal questions relating to Australian migration and refugee laws and policies within their historical and economic context.
  • LO3. identify, appraise, and integrate relevant factual, legal, scholarly, and policy information in an ethical manner to navigate migration laws and policies.
  • LO4. exercise respectful and ethical conduct while acknowledging professional responsibilities towards the legal system, community, and the pursuit of justice.
  • LO5. using sound legal research methodologies, analyse the interconnection between migration law, citizenship law, international human rights law, refugee law, administrative law, constitutional law, criminal law, and national security.
  • LO6. effectively and respectfully communicate with diverse legal and non-legal audiences, employ self-reflection to enhance personal and professional capability, and cultivate cultural competence. Additionally, comprehend Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ perspectives within the context of Australian citizenship law, including the impacts of colonisation and the cultural specificity of law.

Unit availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2024
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Outline unavailable
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2020
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2 2021
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2 2021
Normal day Remote
Semester 1 2022
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2 2023
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.