WELF 2008 Human Rights, Human Services and the Law

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 400195

Coordinator Maggie Hall Opens in new window

Description This subject aims to provide knowledge of human rights issues and laws which are particularly relevant to social workers, youth workers and community welfare workers. It provides an opportunity for students to reflect upon their powers, responsibilities and obligations in their professional roles and acquire skills to promote justice for disadvantaged individuals and groups through advocacy and law reform.

School Social Sciences

Discipline Social Work

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject


Successful completion of 40 credit points.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Apply a broad understanding of the Australian legal system with particular reference to NSW;
  2. Describe how legal institutions and processes promote or undermine access to justice and law reform for disadvantaged groups in the community;
  3. Identify areas of substantive law which are particularly relevant to social work, community welfare and youth work practice;
  4. Employ advocacy skills using legal knowledge;
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of international human rights instruments and process;
  6. Write a professional report for legal purposes.

Subject Content

  • An overview of the Australian legal system with particular reference to NSW
  • Human service work: legal framework for practice
  • Human service work for courts and tribunals; writing reports for legal purposes, evidence, disclosure of counselling records
  • Anti discrimination laws; guardianship laws; mental health laws
  • Criminal justice; victims of crime, disability, prisoners rights
  • Civil and administrative laws : housing, consumer protection, employment, social security, education
  • Australian and NSW law pertinent to children & families
  • Young people in the criminal justice system
  • Advocacy strategies using legal knowledge
  • The international legal framework - Sources of international law, international courts and enforcement; examples of the development of human rights instruments;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders?f human rights in Australia: constitutional and common law cases.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Report 2,000 words 40 N Individual
Quiz 5 questions each week (over 12 weeks) 20 N Individual
Final Exam 2 hours 40 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Rice, S, Day, A & Briskman L (2018) Social Work:In the Shadow of the Law

Teaching Periods

Spring (2023)



Subject Contact Maggie Hall Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Maggie Hall Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window