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Legal Revision:

What are Human Rights?


Human rights are the rights and freedoms that are inherent to any member of the human race.
Human rights were developed to protect the dignities and freedoms of people regardless of their
race, religion, gender, etc.
What is the UN's role?
The UN writes international treaties designed to protect human rights such as the UNHDR, ICCPR,
CROCC etc..
ARE UN TREATIES LEGALLY ENFORCEABLE?
UN treaties aren't enforceable in court. They only become enforceable once they're ratified into
domestic legislation. Eg. Convention on Racial Issues has been put into the Racial Discrimination
Act 1975 (Cth.) Refugee Convention: not enforced
What are the sources of rights in Australia
The constitution has 5 express rights. Some implied. Can be enforced in HCA.
Common law rights, developed by courts over many years. Overridden by statue law if in conflict.
Statutory rights: anti-discrimination laws (state and federal) Eg. Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth),
Anti-Discrimination Act 1992 (Qld). Can be contravened by other laws. Don't have to abide by
rights (other than the ones in the constitution).
Human rights in Australia are: incomprehensible, no single document outlining basic rights.
Unclear, confusing.
Breaking rights: contravene, breach, taking away, withholding
Are there any examples of how rights are breached in Australia?
VLAD: breach freedom of association, equality before the law
Counter terror laws: equality before law, due process and privacy etc.
NT Intervention: racial discrimination
Are there any legal avenues to address legislation that contravenes rights?
Not really: unless a law breaches Constitution there's nothing we can do. (Other than pressuring
politicians & voting them out)
QLD: is especially questionable/vulnerable due to the unicameral parliament system
What is a bill of rights and why do countries have them?
Single document, sets out universal type basic rights: clear, shows we care about certain rights etc.
All Western democracies have one, except Australia.
What are the pros and cons of a statutory BOR?

Pros

Cons

Easy to pass (normal act of Parliament)


Democratic
Can be amended easily if needed
Polticians have more power than judges

High Court cannot invalidate laws that are


inconsistent with BOR: send meme
Politicians have more power than judges

What are the pros and cons of a constitutional BOR?


Pros
Cons
Very strong: parliament can't take away
Can be enforced in high courts
gives power to judiciary

Hard to change: need referendum


gives power to judiciary
difficult to ensure rights are timeless

Human rights watch article:


rights are hard to change once passed as legislation, must be amended by federal parliament it
lists human rights breaches in australia
news.com article:
listing rights breaches,,,, lame since I only need to know about VLAD...