Story of Our Rights and Freedoms - Rights, Freedoms and the Law

Story of Our Rights and Freedoms - Rights, Freedoms and the Law

Lesson 3 of 4 in this unit

  • Secondary
  • Year 9 - 10
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Civics and Citizenship
  • Social
  • Equality
  • Homelessness
  • Human Rights
  • Social Action
  • ...

Lesson summary

In this Finding Out lesson, students explore the concept of justice using the ‘Chalk-Talk’ visible thinking routine. They will consider the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and dive deep into Article 14 of the Convention to better understand rights associated with the legal system. They will create and display an educational presentation about people’s legal rights. Students will extend their understanding about the right to appeal by reading and interpreting a set of case studies featuring appeals that have reached the High Court of Australia. Students will then reflect on their understanding of the content covered in the lesson using the ‘I used to think…now I think’ visible thinking routine.

Essential questions:

  • What is equality before the law?
  • What recourse is available to people who believe that their rights and freedoms have not been upheld by the judicial system?
  • What is an appeal?

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

(V9) Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 9 Civics and Citizenship:

  • The key features and jurisdictions of Australia’s court system, and the operations of courts and tribunals (AC9HC9K03
  • The role of courts, judges, lawyers and juries in trials, and the rights of the accused and the rights of victims (AC9HC9K04
  • Analyse information, data and ideas about political or legal issues to identify and evaluate differences in perspectives and interpretations (AC9HC9S03

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding 

Relevant parts of year 9 achievement standards: Students analyse the role of the Australian Constitution, the federal system of government, and the process and reasons for constitutional change. They explain policy development and legislative processes in Australia’s democracy. They identify the key features and jurisdictions of Australia’s court system and explain the role and processes of courts and tribunals. Students identify the reasons individuals and groups participate in and contribute to civic life nationally and globally. They explain the influence of the media on reflections of identity and diversity.

Unit of work: Story of Our Rights and Freedoms – Year 9.

Time required: 180 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion.

Resources required

  • Student Worksheet – one copy per student
  • Device capable of audio/visual presentation to present a website to the class
  • Web-enabled devices for students to share
  • Chalk-Talk Prompts (printed, one set per group). Australian Court System factsheet, Article 14 of the ICCPR (both printed, one per student)
  • “Chamberlain v. The Queen (1983) 153 CLR 521” section of the Right to Appeal Case Study (specific section printed, one per student)
  • A3 paper (two sheets per group)

Skills

This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • Creativity
  • Ethical understanding 

Additional info

Throughout the Story of Our Rights and Freedoms lessons, students will consider Civics and Citizenship concepts through a human rights lens. They will critically assess the Australian system of government and the effect that it has on our rights and freedoms.
There is no universally accepted definition of human rights, and our understanding is continually developing. Some definitions include:

  • The recognition and respect of peoples’ dignity
  • A set of moral and legal guidelines that promote and protect the recognition of our values, our identity and access to an adequate standard of living
  • The basic standards by which we can identify and measure inequality and fairness
  • Those rights associated with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)

When we talk about human rights we usually refer to principles that have been agreed upon by countries throughout the world. These rights have been set down in international agreements and form part of international law. They can also be written into the domestic law of individual countries. Human rights cover virtually every area of human life and activity. These include:

  • Civil and political rights, such as freedom of speech and freedom from torture
  • Economic and social rights, such as the rights to health and education
  • Individual rights, including the right to a fair trial
  • Collective rights, or those rights that apply to groups of people, such as the right to a healthy environment or to live on one’s ancestral land.

The UDHR is an international document that recognises the basic rights and fundamental freedoms to which all human beings are entitled. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 and marks a key milestone in the history of human rights. The Magna Carta, though limited in who it protected, was an important precursor to the UDHR.

Click here to watch a video about the Magna Carta.

You can view the entire text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the other core international human rights treaties, on the United Nation’s website or by downloading RightsApp (free from the iTunes App store).

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