ASS235 - Culture, Law and Universal Rights

Unit details


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes:Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Online
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 2: Tanya King


Incompatible with: Nil
Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - on-campus unit enrolment:

1 x 1-hour lecture per week, 1 x 1-hour seminar per week

Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - online unit enrolment:

1 x 1-hour lecture per week (recordings provided), 1 x 1-hour online seminar per week


Culture, Law and Universal Rights introduces students to the range of ways that humans regulate, shape and police what happens in their societies. The unit begins be examining the foundations of Western legal systems (e.g. Australian, European), and expands to consider alternative approaches to social order. It incorporates considerations of customary law, legal pluralism and arguments for universal rights. The unit also considers the contextual factors that impact how laws are enacted, including historical, political and economic factors, and considerations of power. Graduates of this unit will be able to recognise and critique the range of contextualising factors that influence the development, recognition and execution of various laws, both formal and informal. Case studies will be drawn from Australian and international examples.

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can: Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

Recount and reflect on the development of anthropology of law, particularly in its broader historical context

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO4: Critical thinking


Explain and critically analyse non-normative (including legally pluralistic) systems of law that govern people around the world

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities


Critique normative legal principles and outcomes from around the world using anthropological analyses and insights

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO4: Critical thinking

GLO8: Global citizenship


Propose alternative interpretations of conflict scenarios using emic interpretations of 'law'

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO2: Communication

GLO4: Critical thinking

GLO5: Problem solving

GLO8: Global citizenship

These Unit Learning Outcomes are applicable for all teaching periods throughout the year.


Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1 - Class/online exercises 500 words
or equivalent
12.5% Week 2-10
Assessment 2 - Online quizzes 500 words
or equivalent
12.5% Week 4
Assessment 3 - Essay 2000 words
or equivalent
50% Week 4
Assessment 4 - Journal 1000 words
or equivalent
25% Week 10

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Unit Fee Information

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