Australia’s Human Rights Scrutiny Regime

Democratic Masterstroke or Mere Window Dressing?

Adam Fletcher
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Australia’s Human Rights Scrutiny Regime
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Australia’s Human Rights Scrutiny Regime

Subjects

Human rights

Published

17 September 2018

ISBN

9780522874112

Size

210mm x 135mm

Subjects

Human rights

Imprint

MUP Academic

Australia’s Human Rights Scrutiny Regime

Democratic Masterstroke or Mere Window Dressing?

Adam Fletcher
In 2010 the Australian Government decided that it would not propose a Human Rights Act, despite the relevant recommendation of the 2008-09 National Human Rights Consultation. Instead, it introduced a Human Rights Framework comprising several measures to enhance human rights protection, including theHuman Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011. The scrutiny regime under that Act was designed to ensure rights would be given due consideration before Commonwealth legislation was passed.

The Act created a unique 'bipartite dialogue' system, involving a formal interchange on rights compatibility between the executive and Parliament, while excluding the courts. This set the Commonwealth apart from jurisdictions such as the ACT, Victoria, New Zealand and the UK, which have statutory rights instruments administered by their courts.

The book presents a detailed study of all aspects of the scrutiny regime, and compares the regime with its closest counterparts overseas. In assessing the regime's impact, it argues…
In 2010 the Australian Government decided that it would not propose a Human Rights Act, despite the relevant recommendation of the 2008-09 National Human Rights Consultation. Instead, it introduced a Human Rights Framework comprising several measures to enhance human rights protection, including theHuman Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011. The scrutiny regime under that Act was designed to ensure rights would be given due consideration before Commonwealth legislation was passed.

The Act created a unique 'bipartite dialogue' system, involving a formal interchange on rights compatibility between the executive and Parliament, while excluding the courts. This set the Commonwealth apart from jurisdictions such as the ACT, Victoria, New Zealand and the UK, which have statutory rights instruments administered by their courts.

The book presents a detailed study of all aspects of the scrutiny regime, and compares the regime with its closest counterparts overseas. In assessing the regime's impact, it argues that a system in which the executive and Parliament are responsible both for protecting rights and for remedying rights breaches is neither more legitimate nor more effective than one involving all three branches of government. Accordingly, it calls for strengthening reforms.

Adam Fletcher

Adam Fletcher

Adam Fletcher has been a human rights legal adviser in various capacities since 2005 when he worked for Julian Burnside and the UNHCR Regional Office on Australian refugee cases. Since then he has worked for the Australian Government, the Geneva-based Association for the Prevention of Torture and the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Monash University. He now teaches and researches in Human Rights Law at RMIT.

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Paperback
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