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Human Rights in Contemporary AustraliaDr Sev Ozdowski (2001)

Rights Rights and Freedoms

Human Rights in Contemporary
Australia

Paper delivered at the Law
Conference, 4-8 October 2001, Christchurch, New Zealand by Dr Sev Ozdowski.

1. Introduction

Despite its rather
grand title, this presentation will be a relatively modest attempt to
set out the key challenges for human rights in Australia as I see them
at the outset of my term as Human Rights Commissioner.

Let us begin with
a quick survey of the state of human rights internationally and in Australia
today. My international survey will be very brief indeed, as it is well
known to Conference participants.

2. Emergence of International
Human Rights

At the outset of
the 20th century, human rights as an international law concept really
did not exist. The notion of citizens' rights was still relatively new
- finding their genesis in the French Declaration of the Rights of Man
(1789) and the American Constitutional Amendments shortly afterwards.
But until the end of the second World War, governments' obligations to
their citizens were considered principally to be internal, domestic, affairs.
Action between governments to protect individuals was confined to establishing
rules of armed conflict - the Geneva Conventions governing the lawful
treatment of civilians and enemy soldiers in war time. This body of rules
is known as humanitarian law.[1]

The conflagration
of World War II and the insidious lead-up to it made it clear to the community
of nations that respect for human rights would be fundamental to securing
future world peace. Therefore, the way in which governments treated their
citizens became very much a matter of international concern.

The UN's human rights mandate

The United Nations
was established in 1945 'out of the ashes' as they say of the League of
Nations which had so abjectly failed to avert a second world war.

Article 1 of the
UN Charter defines one of the UN's objectives to be:

promoting and
encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for
all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.

The main functions
of the new organization are set out in Article 55:

With a view
to the creation of conditions of stability and well-being which are
necessary for peaceful and friendly relations among nations based on
respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of
peoples, the United Nations shall promote:

  1. higher
    standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic
    and social progress and development;
  2. solutions
    of international economic, social, health, and related problems;
    and international cultural and educational co-operation; and
  3. universal
    respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms
    for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.

The UN member countries
agreed on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 as
a first and initially non-binding statement of human rights principles
and standards. Since then the UN members have worked to articulate human
rights standards as binding on themselves in international contracts or

The community of
nations, through membership of the United Nations, decides what rights
to enshrine in treaties. It is then up to each country to decide whether
to accept each treaty or not.

The influence of
regional arrangements should be recognised here, although it is not directly
relevant to Australia. The European Union, the Organisation of American
States and the Organisation of African States all have regional human
rights treaties with regional monitoring and enforcement mechanisms.

What are international human
rights?

Human rights are
based on 'natural law' concepts. They are inherent in each and every one
of us by virtue of our shared humanity. They are grounded fundamentally
in the basic dignity and equality of each human person. Although human
rights do not derive from governments, their protection and enjoyment
depend on governments to recognise them.

Many human rights
were protected by domestic legislation well in advance of the emergence
of international human rights law and the treaty system. Human rights
treaties are simply the mechanisms by which governments agree on those
international human rights they will each recognise for their citizens.

Generally four generations
of international human rights are recognised:

  • civil and political
    rights
  • economic, social
    and cultural rights
  • the right to development
  • collective rights.

    Civil and
    political rights
    are those from which the whole philosophy of
    human rights developed, namely the protection of the individual from
    the arbitrary exercise of power by the state. These are the rights
    without which we do not recognise a functioning democracy. They include
    the fundamental freedoms of association, speech, peaceful assembly,
    thought, conscience and religion. They also include the protection
    of individuals from torture, arbitrary detention, inhumane treatment
    and abusive justice processes.

    Economic,
    social and cultural rights
    are regarded in international law as
    rights to be achieved progressively as they become affordable. These
    rights are concerned with our material, social and cultural welfare.
    Here we find the right to work and to social security, to health care
    and education. Also, the minimum labour standards relating to safe
    working conditions, minimum leave entitlements and maximum hours of
    work, child labour and equal pay for work of equal value.

    The right
    to development
    is based on the concept that "development
    is a comprehensive economic, social, cultural and political process,
    which aims at the constant improvement of the well-being of the entire
    population and of all individuals on the basis of their active, free
    and meaningful participation in development and in the fair distribution
    of [its] benefits".[2] The ultimate objective
    is a new international economic order.

    The fourth generation
    of emerging rights are gathered together as collective or solidarity
    rights
    . They include the right to peace and a healthy environment.[3]
    Here too belong rights of peoples - most notably those rights which
    aim to secure the cultural survival of Indigenous peoples.[4]

Human rights treaties
when ratified impose an obligation of protection and respect on each national
government and parliament. Specifically, all member countries have voluntarily
undertaken to

  • respect the human
    rights listed;
  • refrain from violating
    human rights;
  • protect human
    rights from violation by others;
  • ensure the enjoyment
    of human rights without discrimination of any kind;
  • take the necessary
    steps to give effect to human rights;
  • ensure that victims
    of human rights violations have an effective remedy which can be enforced;
  • limit fundamental
    freedoms only to the extent permitted in each of the treaties; and
  • balance the rights
    of individuals where they are in competition with each other.

3. Protection of Human Rights
in Australia

Australia is a federation
of states which adopted a Westminster system of government. Australia's
system of human rights protection has evolved according to its own unique
history, and alongside the international human rights system, during the
100 years since Federation. The common law continues to play an important
role in contemporary Australia, especially regarding protection of civil
liberties, although the importance of statutory law has grown significantly
since the Federation, and in particular since the early seventies.

The Federal Constitution

The Constitution
of Australia divides spheres of legislative, judicial and executive responsibility
between the Commonwealth of Australia and the States. In brief, the Federal
government is responsible for defined heads of power, including national
defence, international affairs and finances, including most taxation.
The state governments are responsible for the residual areas, and particularity
in provision of services in areas such as health, education (with the
exception of tertiary education) and policing. Both Federal and State
governments are responsible for human rights protection. States, for example,
may also incorporate international human rights principles into state
legislation to the extent that such legislation is not inconsistent with
any Commonwealth legislation in the area.[5]

On the federal level,
human rights - or citizenship rights as they might have been known at
federation - were not included in Australia's Constitution despite the
French and US examples. We followed instead the British model of reliance
upon the common law to protect individuals against abusive interference
by governments.

This is largely explicable
by reference to our history - Australia's mostly peaceful development
towards nationhood and independence. The Australian federation was not
forged in war or revolution, and non-indigenous Australians have no history
of struggle against massive human rights abuses. Nation states established
in violence have been much more likely to entrench those hard won human
rights in their constitutions. But that is not the experience of mainstream
Australia.

This history leaves
aside the violence committed in the establishment of Australian sovereignty
against Aboriginal people. Aboriginal people, of course, were excluded
from the constitutional debates and were not even considered part of the
population for the purposes of the national census. Aboriginal people
were not recognised as Australian citizens until the 1967 Constitutional
Referendum that helped to change the legal and human rights landscapes
of the following decades.

The Australian reliance on the common law rather than constitutional rights
meant that only five individual rights were explicitly recognised in the
Constitution:

  1. the right to
    vote (Section 41)
  2. protection against
    acquisition of property on unjust terms (Section 51(xxxi))
  3. the right to
    a trial by jury (Section 80)
  4. freedom of religion
    (Section 116) and
  5. the prohibition
    of discrimination on the basis of State of residency (Section 117).

The Constitution
is silent in relation to numerous other rights that are well recognised
in the constitutions of other Western democracies. For example, the Constitution
makes no mention of fundamental freedoms such as the freedom of association,
freedom of movement, freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of thought,
belief and opinion, and freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention. It
does not guarantee the right to a fair trial or due process, nor does
it ensure equality of all persons before the law.

The Constitutional
jurisprudence of the High Court has made a significant contribution to
the protection of human rights in Australia. Particularly relevant was
the High Court's re-discovery of the external affairs power - that provision
in the Constitution which gives the Commonwealth control of external affairs.
Section 51(xxix) of the Constitution, the external affairs power, provides
the Commonwealth Parliament with the power to legislate so as to incorporate
provisions of international human rights conventions into Australian domestic
law.

For decades the external
affairs power was thought to be confined to a power to conduct foreign
affairs including the power to ratify treaties. When the treaty dealt
with a subject the Constitution gave to the States, surely the Commonwealth
could not intrude? The argument was illogical, of course, since one requirement
of treaties is that they be implemented domestically. So the High Court
found in a decision where Queensland challenged the validity of the Racial
Discrimination Act
.[6]

A High Court interested
in an expansive reading of the Constitution has found that certain individual
rights are implicit in the system of government it establishes. Thus in
1992 the individual right to communicate freely in political matters was
recognised by the High Court.[7]

Federal legislation

The history of Australian
legislation from the point of compliance with contemporary human rights
standards is uneven.

The first act of
the new federal Parliament in 1901 was to pass the Immigration Restriction
Act
and the Pacific Island Labourers Act giving effect to the
White Australia Policy. This was racist legislation which would be in
clear conflict with a range of contemporary human rights conventions.

On the other hand,
Australia did reasonably well by contemporary standards in entrenching
a democratic system of government. For example, as early as in 1902 the
federal franchise - the vote - was extended to women (This voting equality
was however not extended to other spheres of importance to women until
the early seventies.)

Australia's particular
achievement has been the development of a comprehensive system of protection
of economic and social rights, that was put in place well before the Bolshevik
revolution in Russia. In fact Australia has been an international leader
in this field.

Economic rights for
adult European males were strongly supported in the early years of the
new federal Parliament with the introduction of the compulsory conciliation
and arbitration system in 1904. The Conciliation and Arbitration Court's
first major judgment - Harvester in 1907[8] -
established the minimum - or basic - wage as a worker's right and introduced
the national wage fixing system which prevailed in Australia for so many
decades. Women's minimum wage was set at a proportion of that for men
(initially 54%) until the Equal Pay Case of 1972[9]
while Aboriginal workers were excluded from the process until 1966 when
Aboriginal stockmen were granted equal wages to non-Aboriginal stockmen.[10]

4. Impact of international
human rights law on federal law

Australia has been
at the forefront of UN activism and has been prominent among the drafters
and the promoters of human rights treaties.

Instruments ratified by Australia

By now Australia
has accepted (that is, ratified[11]) most of the principal
human rights treaties:

  1. International
    Covenant on Civil and Political Rights* (including the First Optional
    Protocol allowing individual complaints and the Second Optional Protocol
    on the death penalty)
  2. International
    Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  3. Convention on
    the Rights of the Child*
  4. Convention on
    the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
  5. International
    Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
  6. Convention on
    the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (but
    not the Optional Protocol allowing individual complaints)
  7. Convention Against
    Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
  8. Convention and
    Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees
  9. UNESCO Convention
    Against Discrimination in Education
  10. Freedom of Association
    and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention (ILO 87)
  11. Right to Organise
    and Collective Bargaining Convention (ILO 98)
  12. Equal Remuneration
    Convention (ILO 100)
  13. Discrimination
    (Employment and Occupation) Convention (ILO 111)*
  14. Workers with
    Family Responsibilities Convention (ILO 156)
  15. Termination
    of Employment Convention (ILO 158)
Instruments incorporated into
domestic law

However, despite
Australia's leading role in the development of international human rights
standards, these standards did not have much impact on domestic recognition
of human rights by way of legislation until the late 1960s and early 1970s
and even so not all human rights treaties have been comprehensively incorporated
into federal law.

A notable achievement,
however, is the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act which incorporated
the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination
into domestic law. A Commissioner for Community Relations
was appointed in 1975 to monitor the new Act. In 1981 Australia established
the first Human Rights Commission as the mechanism for implementing the
Race Convention and also the Civil and Political Rights Covenant ratified
in 1980.

Also the Sex Discrimination
Convention
(CEDAW) has been almost fully incorporated in Australian
law through the Sex Discrimination Act of 1984.

Of the remaining
13 listed above only the Refugee Convention, the Torture Convention, ILO
100 on equal pay, ILO 111 on employment discrimination, ILO 156 on family
responsibilities and ILO 158 on unfair dismissal could be said to have
been incorporated to any substantial extent in Australian domestic law.[12]

The others attached
to the Commission's legislation (marked *), particularly the ICCPR, are
not treated as incorporated because they do not give rights independently
of the Commission's limited complaints jurisdiction.

It should be noted,
however, that many human rights, especially those relating to criminal
investigations and trials, are similar to common law protections well-recognised
in Australia.

One reason for our
lack of full implementation of civil and political rights to date is the
widespread belief that our democratic system of government, especially
with an independent judicial system that applies and develops the common
law are the best protectors of individual rights.

The Prime Minister
has expressed this view recently in the Parliament saying:

The government's
position is that the best guarantee of fundamental human rights in this
country is to have three things in our society. The first [is] a vigorous
and open political system … The second requirement is to have a
due process of law, a judicial system which is incorruptible …
The third [is] to have a free press.
[13]

The role of the Human Rights
Commission

The Human Rights
and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) is a national independent statutory
government body established in 1986 by an Act of federal Parliament called
the HREOC Act. HREOC administers federal legislation in the area
of human rights, anti-discrimination and social justice. This includes
complaint-handling, public inquiries, policy and legislative development
and human rights education and training. In raising public awareness of
human rights, the Commission fosters public discussion, and undertakes
and coordinates research and educational programs to promote human rights
and eliminate discrimination.

The Commission also
investigates alleged infringements of human rights under the HREOC Act
and alleged infringements of the Commonwealth Racial, Sex and Disability
Discrimination Acts.

Equality protection
laws
- including anti-discrimination Acts implemented by HREOC - are
well-accepted in Australia. Allegations of discrimination in employment,
education, housing, services and public places can be investigated by
HREOC or one of the State and Territory equal opportunity agencies. Where
the parties cannot come to a negotiated settlement of such a complaint,
in most cases, the complainant is entitled to take the matter to court
for a decision and a remedy, including compensation where appropriate.

Individuals may also
complain to HREOC about civil and political rights violations under
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights where the allegedly
guilty party is the Commonwealth. However unlike complaints under the
anti-discrimination laws, even if the Commonwealth is found to be in violation
of human rights, no Australian court can award a remedy. Certainly the
Commission cannot do so.

The Commission only
has power to report to the Parliament with recommendations. These reports
may refer to individual complaints or to legislation which operates to
violate the human rights of many - such as Commonwealth superannuation
legislation which discriminates against same sex couples. Although the
Commission's report must be tabled in Parliament, the government is under
no obligation to adopt the recommendations.

The lack of an effective
remedy for civil and political rights violations is evidenced by the limits
on HREOC's complaints powers. The contrast with remedies available in
race and sex discrimination cases - not limited to financial remedies
- is very stark indeed. One way to progress could be to give Australian
courts the same role and responsibilities regarding human rights complaints
as they have long had regarding race and sex discrimination complaints.

It is the absence
of effective implementation of the ICCPR that has allowed State and Territory
governments to impose mandatory sentencing. It is the absence of a Bill
of Rights which has allowed the Commonwealth to deny habeas corpus to
people in immigration detention centres.

5. Moving forward on human
rights protection

Based on the above
analysis one could conclude that human rights protection in Australia
is of relatively high standard. Democratic traditions and a comprehensive
body of common and statutory laws provide a solid basis for protection
of human rights. Despite the existence of continuing disadvantage of indigenous
Australians, particularly strong mechanisms are in place to protect equality
and economic rights.

Australia could,
however, improve protection of civil and political rights by incorporating
provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
into federal legislation. This would create an Australian bill of rights
or charter of freedoms similar to many statutory bills of rights that
may be found in many Western jurisdictions.

In the past, public
opinion has played a crucial role in the development of new human rights
protection measures. For example, the Constitutional Referendum of 1967,
which I referred to earlier, enabled an enormously influential public
debate on racism. Almost 91% of voters agreed to the inclusion of Aboriginal
people in the national census. This new awareness of the fuller dimensions
of the equality ideal flowed on to the greater legislative protection
of human rights in the Racial Discrimination Act and other legislation.
No doubt the White Australia Policy, finally fully dismantled in 1973,
and the damage it caused to Australia's international reputation and business
prospects was also an influence.

So let us examine
contemporary public opinion in Australia to assess what support there
is among Australia's public for enactment of a bill of rights.

Public opinion in Australia

Examination of available
public opinion data suggests that we have to account for a complex body
of attitudes.

It was interesting
to find that there appears to be a growing "equality fatigue"
amongst Australians. Many people express the view that anti-discrimination
laws provide "special favours" for minorities and "nothing
of value" for the mainstream. At the same time there is a sense that
equality has been achieved and there is little else that must be done
in order to protect equality rights. In fact, community confidence in
the existence of equal rights in Australia has risen over the past decade.
In 1991, almost two-thirds (64%) of 1,522 people surveyed believed that
we are yet to achieve equal rights in Australia and about the same proportion
(67%) believed that minorities are unfairly treated in Parliament.[14]
In 1999 a majority believed that equal opportunity is now enjoyed by women
and migrants.[15] This "equality fatigue"
does not appear to extend to people with disabilities.

Australians are,
however, more comfortable with the notion of rights and freedoms than
they are with increased protection for equality rights. In opinion surveys
over the last decade or so, Australians have overwhelmingly agreed on
various rights as fundamental. Some of them received 100% endorsement
including:

  • Freedom of political
    speech - on the process and functioning of government;
  • Trial by jury
    - a trial by jury should cover everyone as a fundamental right;
  • Freedom of religion;
  • Right to vote;
    and
  • Freedom from
    arbitrary arrest.[16]

Further, more than
half of 1,505 Australians surveyed in 1991-92 believed that their rights
are not well protected against unfair government action.[17]
It is encouraging to read survey findings that public opinion does favour
better protection for individual rights. In 1991 72% of ordinary citizens
surveyed wanted a bill of rights setting out basic rights and freedoms
for individuals.[18]

In contrast with
the views of most citizens, 65% of lawyers and 79% of legislators (both
Labor and Coalition) believe that human rights are well protected against
unfair government action.[19] One could suggest that
such view is overly complacent and possibly even self-serving.

Despite widespread
endorsement of a range of rights and freedoms and desire for protection
from arbitrary government action, there exists a range of institutional
and other barriers to further advancement of human rights protection through
legislation.

One key barrier relates
to the fact that that 'human rights' have had a bad press, perhaps since
as long ago as the children's rights debates of the late 1980s. Many people
believe that human rights are imposed upon Australia - in violation of
Australian sovereignty - by the United Nations which in turn is portrayed
as an unaccountable world government.

Another barrier relates
to the lack of political leadership for change. For example, those whose
powers would be circumscribed by better recognition of individual rights
- notably our parliaments - are unwilling to surrender power by submitting
to another form of scrutiny. Parliamentary sovereignty is a cherished
if little understood ideal. In 1991 a survey revealed that support for
a bill of rights was only 14% among Coalition MPs. Interestingly, 89%
of Labor MPs were in favour of a bill of rights of some kind, with 83%
favouring a statutory rather than constitutional model.[20]
Recently, Democrat and independent members of Parliament have proposed
statutory bills of rights.

Qualified public
support exists for protection of civil and political rights. However,
recent issues such as the Tampa asylum-seekers incident or the terrorist
attacks on the US may have added complexity to the issue. Australians
who believe in basic human rights are also concerned about their security,
and there has already been some discussion of compromising rights in order
to increase a sense of national security. The clash of cultures that these
incidents have highlighted reveals important tensions within Australian
society, and between ideas of protecting freedoms and protecting security.
Hopefully, discussion on these points will expand into a more general
debate about human rights and their role in Australian society. I will
turn now to the nature of such a debate and the role that the Human Rights
Commissioner can play in stimulating serious dialogue on human rights.

National Human Rights Dialogue

As we have seen,
Australia has made tremendous progress in deciding what the standards
ought to be at the international level and, to some extent, domestically.
The Australian public supports in principle many human rights and possibly
even a bill of rights. Australians also have high expectations of their
governments in protecting their individual rights. How, then, can we approach
the enforcement and entrenchment of human rights standards in a way that
Australians will support?

In order to protect
and further advance our hard won freedoms, Australia must now work towards
better understanding of human rights by everyone. As part of a democracy,
in which public involvement in political processes is crucial, support
for human rights must be a first step towards their full protection. Without
grass-root support for change, and in the absence of political leadership
on the issue, there will be no improvement in legal protection mechanisms
for human rights. To achieve the increased knowledge and subsequent legal
change we must bring human rights into the forefront of mainstream debate.

My priority as Human
Rights Commissioner will be to progress these issues in consultation with
the Australian people. To take human rights protection to the next stage
in Australian law and public policy it is clearly essential to work first
on attitudes towards human rights. I will undertake an extensive national
dialogue on human rights, which will need to address three issues.

First there is a
need for much more extensive and relevant human rights education. Until
Australians have ownership of human rights and know and care about their
own rights and those of others, there is no point talking about improved
implementation.

The second issue
involves remedies - if rights are violated, where should the victim be
able to seek a remedy and what should that remedy be?

The third issue concerns
entrenchment - about drawing the line in the sand beyond which governments
cannot step to infringe our rights and freedoms. What are those rights
we want to entrench and how should we do that?

As part of this discussion
we need to update ourselves on the new generation bills of rights and
get over the idea that the US Bill of Rights with its strained interpretations
and excessive litigiousness is the only option out there. Canada, South
Africa and the UK now offer an interesting range of alternatives which
we should investigate for ideas in the development of a genuinely Australian
statement of fundamental values. Ten or 15 years ago, of course, Australia
was only one of many common law countries without a core human rights
charter of some description. Today we are alone among our peers. While
that cannot be the only argument in favour of adopting a bill of rights,
it must be a reason to look at the question once again.

So, how will this
national dialogue take shape? I have already begun to work on these three
stages, and to focus particularly on the first. Human rights education
must speak to the Australian people and the concerns that they have about
the protection of their rights. My first priority as Commissioner has
been to meet with ordinary Australians and to listen to their ideas about
human rights. It is only through this process that I believe we can genuinely
address the concerns of the Australian public. After meeting and consulting
with diverse groups throughout Australia, I am now faced with the more
daunting task of turning these consultations into a dialogue.

To end on a positive
note, I also believe that we are now facing the ideal opportunity to debate
human rights. Recent incidents have brought human rights issues to the
forefront of mainstream consciousness. This provides an opening for serious
national debate on the context of human rights within Australian society.

Specifically, Western
governments such as the USA, Great Britain and Australia are giving legislative
and executive enhancements to anti-terrorist security measures. While
no one would deny the need for heightened security, the absence in Australia
of a bill of rights makes it difficult for the required balance between
individual freedoms and state security to be maintained. In canvassing
that issue I am hopeful that the Australian community will come to focus
on the broader issues of human rights more completely that it might have
been possible in more benign times.


1. The
first of the Geneva Conventions is dated 1864 and covers the immunity
of military hospitals and medical staff.
2. Preamble, Declaration on the Right to Development
(1986) at www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/s3drd.htm
3. See the Draft Declaration of Principles on Human Rights
and the Environment (1994) at www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/1994-dec.htm
4. Note particularly the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples
Convention (ILO 169) at www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/r1citp.htm, and
the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (yet to be finalised)
at www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/declra.htm
5. s109 Australian Constitution
6. Koowarta v Bjelke-Petersen(1982) 153 CLR 168.
7. Australian Capital Television Pty Ltd v Commonwealth
(1992) 177 CLR 106.
8. Ex parte H V McKay (1907) 2 CAR 1.
9. In the Equal Pay Case of 1969 - (1969) 127 CAR 1142
- the principle adopted was 'equal pay for equal work'. This was readily
circumvented by labelling female workers differently - eg women were called
seamstresses whereas men were called tailors. The principle in 1972 was
'equal pay for work of equal value': (1972) 147 CAR 172.
10. Re Cattle Industry (Northern Territory) Award (1966)
113 CAR 651.
11. Australia undertakes a two stage adoption process
of (1) signature which indicates intention to become a party in the future
and (2) ratification which makes the treaty binding within a stipulated
period. Between signature and ratification the federal government now
undertakes a detailed State and Territory government consultation process.
12. Refugees Convention in the Migration Act 1958; Torture
Convention in the Crimes Act 1914 (section 23Q) and the Extradition Act
1988; ILO 100, ILO 111, ILO 156 and ILO 158 in the Workplace Relations
Act 1996.
13. House of Representatives Hansard, 5 April 2001,
page 25680.
14. Social Science Data Archive, Rights in Australia
1991-1992: National Household Sample (1992, ANU, Canberra).
15. Social Science Data Archive, Australian Constitutional
Referendum Study (1999, ANU, Canberra).
16. Social Science Data Archive, Rights in Australia
1991-1992: National Household Sample (1992, ANU, Canberra); Australian
Election Study (1998, ANU, Canberra); Australian Constitutional Referendum
Study (1999, ANU, Canberra).
17. Social Science Data Archive, Rights in Australia
1991-1992: National Household Sample (1992, ANU, Canberra); Brian Galligan
and Ian McAllister, 'Citizen and Elite Attitudes Towards an Australian
Bill of Rights' in B Galligan & C Sampford (eds) Rethinking Human
Rights (1997, Federation Press) pages 144-153, at page 147.
18. Social Science Data Archive, Rights in Australia
1991-1992: National Household Sample (1992, ANU, Canberra).
19. Ibid.
20.Social Science Data Archive, Rights in Australia
1991-1992: National Household Sample (1992, ANU, Canberra).

Last
updated 1 December 2001

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