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Human Rights Law

Introduction & Scope of this Guide

This Guide provides general human rights research tools, resources and research strategies. It does not consider in detail specific rights and freedoms or human rights protection of particular groups. The general tools and strategies can be used to research particular groups and specific rights.

In this Guide we have attempted to assist in simplifying your research process, so we have selected databases and other resources to which the University of Melbourne has access (either by subscription or on open access) and which we recommend because of coverage, currency and ease of use. We have therefore not included every possibly relevant database or research source.

The national jurisdictions included in this Guide have been chosen because they are:

  • the natural 'comparator' Commonwealth jurisdictions of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK; or
  • of specific research or teaching interest to Melbourne Law School academics.

All links to legislation and treaties are, wherever possible, to official sources such as official government legislation websites.

There is considerable overlap between international human rights and other areas of international law. See also the Refugee Law Research Guide, and the International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law tabs on the Public International Law Research Guide for research help on these topics.

For an excellent introduction to human rights law, see the following book, which includes chapters on the historical antecedents of international human rights law, the United Nations human rights system, and regional human rights systems, such as the European system for the protection of human rights, the inter-American human rights system, and the African and other regional systems.

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