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The ageing of world populations and the increased longevity of individuals has significant political, cultural and economic consequences. Ageism, the marginalisation of and discrimination against ‘older persons’, in particularly subgroups of older persons, is widespread, and involve systematic human rights violations on the ground of” older age’. This subject will review the historical development and current state of international human rights law as it applies to human rights and older age.
Principal topics will include:
- Ageing historically and in the modern world – demographic trends and their significance
- Theories of ageing, the social construction and cultural significance of older age and nature, extent and importance of ageism
- Ageing and human rights: human rights of older persons or human rights in older age; intersectionality and life course approaches
- Age and international human rights law; past coverage and current developments
- Older age and domestic law and policy (Australian and comparative perspectives), including human rights dimensions of aged care
- Intergenerational equity and human rights law
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Be able to describe and compare different theories of ageing and explain the social construction of ageing and the significances of older age in the modern world.
- Be able to identify the phenomenon of ageism and to analyse the role it plays in affecting the enjoyment of human rights by older persons.
- Be able to identify and critique the adequacy of existing human rights standards for addressing human rights in older age and current controversies over reform of the international framework.
- Be able to identify how human rights standards may be applied to frame and design policy in relation to ageing in Australia.
The course will contribute to the development of the following generic skills:
- Interdisciplinary skills – relating legal analysis and frameworks to literature and practices in the fields of gerontology and other social sciences.
- Skills in legal writing and analysis, including the application of international human rights standards to domestic policy issues.
- Oral skills in the presentation of analysis and argument in relation to ageing, law and human rights issues.
- Skills in legal drafting through the formulation of and commenting on proposed new international standards.
Last updated: 31 January 2024