NSW Legal Studies syllabus HSC course
Core topic: Human rights
This learning activity is aligned to the syllabus ‘learn to‘ statement:
- Assess the role of state sovereignty in promoting and enforcing human rights
The aim for this learning activity is to provide students with a deeper understanding of the course content through reference to a ‘real life’ situation in which the importance of state sovereignty took precedent over human rights.
For a nation that prides itself on providing global leadership and defending the promotion of freedom, democracy, and human rights it is a contradiction that the United States of America is reluctant to accept the adoption of international treaties.
After the 2001 terrorist attacks on the US mainland by Al Qaeda operatives, the US waged a war on terror. President George W Bush declared that he would take all appropriate measures to endure the sovereignty of the United States. One such action was the establishment of the extrajudicial detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
This learning activity will examine a number of international treaties that the US government have not ratified, and the justifications used to not classify detainees as a POW under the article 4 of the Geneva Convention III as a legitimate reason for the neglection of human rights.
The activity requires students to read reference material and to complete a series of review based questions.
This learning activity is also cross reference with syllabus outcomes as well as aligned to the relevant theme and challenge component.
- changing understanding of the relationship between state sovereignty and human rights
The learning activity also provides students with suitable background information for the syllabus part 3 investigation of either Arbitrary Detention and/or Torture.