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Unit of study_

LAWS6846: Human Rights and the Global Economy

The questions of whether and how the global economy and human rights interrelate and interact have excited much recent controversy on the streets, in the courts and legislatures, in corporate board rooms and in the corridors of the UN and the international trade and financial organizations. It is a controversy that will almost certainly intensify over the next few years. The debate is controversial because it is important, and it is important because it involves two great globalizing forces namely, the promotion of free market ideology through trade liberalization and the protection of human rights through the universalization of the norms that underpin human dignity. On the face of it the two projects do sit easily together. Are they, in fact, implacably opposed to each other? Where or how do they overlap and what are the consequences or opportunities presented thereby? What role can the law play in regulating their interaction whether it be domestic or international law, 'hard' or 'soft' law. And what or who are the real actors behind the economic and human rights power blocs on the global stage? This unit seeks both to frame these questions and to address them by reference to the most recent discussion, thinking and action in the area.

Code LAWS6846
Academic unit Law
Credit points 6
LAWS5178 or LAWS3478

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

  • LO1. Formulate, articulate and substantiate written and oral arguments using key features of the global economy and human rights laws and principles, in relation to a range of scenarios and issues;
  • LO2. 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 by reference to contemporary literature, policies and practices in this field;
  • LO3. Listen to, strive to comprehend and respond constructively to legal and policy arguments formulated by others, including fellow students;
  • LO4. Explain and critique particular dimensions of the theory and practice both of the global economy and human rights scholarship and policies by reference to contemporary literature in this field;
  • LO5. Articulate clearly and concisely your reflections on how intersections of the global economy and human rights impact on your own personal and/or professional world views.

Unit outlines

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