Human Rights In Australia

Improved Essays
Legislatures develop appropriate statue prospectively to decrease breaches of human rights before issues of violation of human right are brought to the court. One of the principal roles of the Australian Parliament is human rights protection. The Racial discrimination Act 1975 (Cth), Sex discrimination Act 1984 (Cth), disability discrimination Act 1992 (Cth), and Age discrimination Act 2004 (Cth), are statues enacted to enforce human right.
In 2004 and 2006, two state jurisdictions in Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria have adopted Human rights acts respectively.
Inadequacy in protection of human right in Australia
A critical drawback of the Australian system is the extensive workload of legislators constricting the
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In cases of emergency and issues related to minorities, Parliament has the tendency to enact statue restricting human rights due to potential existence of political pressure. The Northern Territory Intervention and restrictions on voting rights exemplify this. In 2007, during the occurrence of the Northern Territory intervention, the Racial discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) was suspended. The intervention was to ensure aboriginal children are protected from sexual abuse. During the debate in passing the statues relating to the intervention, little consideration was given to the impingement of human rights. During the intervention, indigenous Australians were dispossessed of their statutory rights. This is not the first occurrence of such suspension of protective measure for racial discrimination. In cases of non-emergency, laws impinging human rights had also been enacted. For instance, the Electoral and Referendum Amendment Act 2006 (Cth) which prohibit all prisoners to vote and provided early closing of electoral roll. There is estimation that as a result of the act, 100000 citizens are ineligible to vote. Parliament is inclined to ignore the rights of the minority groups. In addition according to the report by the Standing Committee on Law and Justice of the New South Wales Parliament, in New South Wales statues are passed without consideration for human right …show more content…
Increasing number of Australian citizens is addressing the United Nations treaties and international law to defense their own rights. Australian citizens are eligible to report to the human rights committee, human right violations under the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatments or Punishment (CAT), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Australia was complained 57 times under the ICCPR, CERD, CAT, by May 2001. Toonen v Australia is a human right case where the commination to human right committee successfully results in a change in the Australian law. Toonen, an activist for homosexual rights, claimed that ss 122 and 123 of the Criminal Code Act 1924 of Tasmania violated human rights. The committee found that the provision of the Act made sexual activities between consenting adult men a crime, which infringes the right of privacy under Article 17 of the ICCPR. Consequently, the provision is overridden by the enactment of the Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Act 1994 (Cth). Communications to international human rights bodies have also been unsuccessful. Under CERD, amendments to the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) are found to violate international

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