Australia Is The Only Western Democracy Without A Bill Of Rights

2837 Words12 Pages
Foundations of Law
2015 Final Essay Assignment

Nina Lu

Australia is now the only Western democracy without a bill of rights. Its law-makers have consistently declined to introduce a bill of rights, either legislative or constitutional. Recently, in 2009, the Australian Government commissioned the most extensive consultation on human rights issues in Australia’s history – and then flatly rejected the consultation committee’s recommendation that a Human Rights Act be introduced. To observers in Europe – where courtesy of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), human rights are woven deeply into the fabric of governance- Australia’s position may be surprising, even perplexing. Why is Australia so isolated from the global trend towards introducing human rights-specific legislation? – David Kinley & Christine Ernst
Do you agree that Australia is isolated from this global trend towards human rights legislation? Should it be?

Word Count: 2949

Despite the international prominence of human rights laws, Australia remains the only Western democracy without either a constitutionally entrenched or legislative bill of rights. Human rights can be defined as inalienable rights and fundamental freedoms that all individuals are inherently entitled to. Although human rights are protected to an extent through domestic legislation, the common law, the doctrine of the separation of powers, the rule of law, the Australian
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