Human trafficking modern slavery and the law – LAW4687

Review 1

When did you complete this unit? (Semester, year)

Semester 2 2020.

Teaching style (lecture, class and tutorial).

2 hour interactive seminar and pre-recorded lectures (approx 1-2 hours). No tutorials.

What are the assessments and exams like?

One policy-based essay, you get to write your own question or can use the suggested questions that Jean gives out. A take home exam of short answers.

Essentiality of readings? Are the lectures sufficient?

The lectures provide a great overview of what needs to be known. Personally, while there were a lot of readings, all of them were interesting and knowing some in-depth policy considerations from the readings definitely helped in securing a good grade. There are a few readings that seemed repetitive, I skipped those and still managed to do well.

Pros and cons of the unit

Pros – Super interesting and very eye opening. Jean manages to cover a lot of the political, legal and real nuances and difficulty of creating law around human trafficking and labour exploitation. I really liked the combination of anthropological studies on what the actual reality is, combined with legal writings and humanitarian/legal critiques really made it a holistic overview of the international perspective of exploitation. 100% recommend taking it if you want a good overview of international law on trafficking and exploitation. Jean is also a specialist in the area, and open to talk about any particular areas/critiques that you want to know more about.

Con- there is a huge focus on definitions and the history of everything in the first half of the unit, which I felt could be limited to the first three weeks. However, it’s understandable why this is a large part as ‘defining’ different categories of exploitation is difficult. The focus on ASEAN countries is quite limited in my personal opinion, because of the focus on definitions/history. The order of the topics can be confusing as it seems to jump around a bit.

Difficulty of unit on a scale

Quality of the unit

General feedback + tips for students

It’s a policy-based unit that’s a bit arts-like. If you’re into humanitarian law and genuinely curious about how the international law tackles exploitation, this is a fantastic gateway unit for it. Definitely keep on top of the pre-recorded lectures to give a structure and basic pointers on what you need to know. Keep an eye out on what seems to be well emphasised in the unit as that is likely gonna be on the exam or would boost your response quality in either assessments. I found the writing and readings to be more like human rights/anthropology units in arts.