Human rights law: essential or counter-cultural?

Writing in The Guardian UK’s Studying Law section, Rabah Kherbane says “every aspiring lawyer should study human rights law”. While it is “often wrongly assumed that human rights law is specifically for those who want careers in human rights”, he argues that “irrespective of your area of practice, human rights are relevant in domestic courts and domestic law”. However, Loyola University’s Professor William P Quigley warns that maintaining a commitment to human rights is hard work: “It pains me to say it, but justice is a counter-cultural value in our legal profession. … The actual message from law school and on throughout the entire legal career is that justice work, if done at all, is done in the margins or after the real legal work is done.” Studying human rights as a discrete subject is not required for admission to practice law in Australia.