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This subject examines international employment and equality law and how it is implemented in Australia and other major jurisdictions.
It begins with a focus on international frameworks resulting from treaties developed by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations (UN) human rights system. It then examines the influence of these systems and comparative laws in several national and regional contexts.
The aim will be to provide a critical examination of the scope and operation of equality and decent work law at international, transnational and national levels and an introduction to comparative doctrinal and policy analysis.
Principal topics will include:
- Analysis of the roles, framework and key features of international treaties and conventions relating to work in both general (human rights) and specific (ILO) contexts, with a particular focus on Conventions relating to equality and decent work;
- Consideration of debates about the meaning of equality, discrimination, freedom of association, decent work, fair trade and other contested concepts such as choice and responsibility;
- Consideration of the key features of equality and employment law in key legal systems, including the European Union, major common law jurisdictions, and China, with a view to contrasting different approaches to these key concepts;
- Consideration of the implementation of law in relation to equality and decent work and the uneven progress in the countries analysed resulting from different social, political and economic environments;
- Examination of the role of transnational governance, such as private corporate codes and trade agreements in giving effect to equality and decent work; and
- Exploration of possible future directions for better protection of equality and decent work.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the ideas of decent work and equality and discrimination, and how they are used in legal documents at the international, national constitutional and national legislative levels;
- Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the purposes and effects of these legal rules;
- Be an engaged participant in debate regarding emerging and contemporary issues in the field, such as the role of international law, the appropriate scope of constitutional protection for rights, and the role of legislative protection in areas such as freedom of association, violence and harassment in the workplace, education for children with a disability, sex and race discrimination at work, and the extent of accommodation for parents and carers and for people with disabilities at work and in other contexts;
- Have an advanced appreciation of situations in which issues of equality and decent work may arise in at international level, in government actions, and in non-government activities such as work or education;
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas relating to equality and decent work in legal forms and to critically evaluate existing legal theories, principles and concepts with creativity and autonomy;
- Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding equality and decent work in legal contexts to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences; and
- Be able demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of equality and international employment law.
Last updated: 31 January 2024