Faculty of Law

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedNot offered in 2014


This Unit examines the right of employees to bargain collectively and the right of freedom of association in international law, and how those rights are reflected in the Fair Work Act 2009 and comparator jurisdictions. This examination includes the regulation of collective bargaining, secret strike ballots and the right to strike in the context of bargaining for a collective agreement; the right to belong (or not to belong) to a trade union and the right to engage in lawful industrial activities.
Comparisons will be made with laws governing collective labour rights in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
The Unit also examines the role and functions of trade unions, the legal status of trade unions and their obligations. The role of the common law and secondary boycott provisions in the control of unlawful industrial action are also considered.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. apply knowledge of fundamental issues relating to laws governing collective labour rights in different jurisdictions (including the impact of laws which affect the right of workers to join together in trade unions and the legal status of unions, the concept of freedom of association and the role played by the legislature, the courts and international conventions in developing this concept and the concept of the right to strike and its international basis) and exercise analytic skill and professional judgment to generate appropriate responses to moderately complex problems;
  2. critically evaluate abstract concepts, theories and problems in comparative labour rights theory and practice;
  3. research independently, synthesise and analyse information about law governing collective labour rights in different jurisdictions to create new understandings of key developments and problems relating to collective labour rights; and
  4. interpret, communicate and present ideas and arguments relating to comparative labour rights law effectively and persuasively to specialist or non-specialist audiences and peers.


Research assignment (5,250 words): 70%
Short in-class presentation 10%
Short paper on topic of class presentation (1500 words) 20%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

Students enrolled in this unit will be provided with 24 contact hours of seminars per semester [in Prato they will have 36 contact hours] whether intensive, semi-intensive, or semester-long offering. Students will be expected to do reading set for class, and to undertake additional research and reading applicable to a 6 credit point unit.