The Federation Press

Australian Charters of Rights A Decade On


This book examines the ACT Human Rights Act 2004 and the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006. These two statutes are closely modelled on international bills and charters of rights but Australia's unique legal framework makes them quite distinct. This book examines how these two “Australian Charters” have operated in their first decade. It explains their strengths and limits, and what lessons they can provide for other Australian jurisdictions.

The book comprises two thematic parts. The first half explains the architecture of the two Australian Charters. What makes them distinct? What is their scope? How do they operate? The second half examines how the Australian Charters have been used by particular groups in society, such as prisoners, people with disability and women. Others show how the Charters have affected important social issues, such as freedom of expression and religious observance.

The authors are a wide range of judges, practitioners and leading scholars. They bring a knowledge of the theory and practice of workings of the Australian Charters that is essential to everyone concerned with our rights.

Table of Contents

About the Contributors
Table of Cases
Table of Statutes


1.   Interpreting the Effect of Our Charters
              Matthew Groves

2.   The Distinctive Features of Australia’s Human Rights Charters
              George Williams

3.   The Scope and Application of the Charters
              Janina Boughey

4.   Taking Stock of the Audit Power
              Penelope Mathew

5.   Charter Remedies
              The Hon Justice Mark Moshinsky

6.   Using the Charter in Litigation
              Emrys Nekvapil


7.   Freedom of Expression
              Colin Campbell

8.   Religious Freedom under the Victorian Charter of Rights
              Nicholas Aroney, Joel Harrison and Paul Babie

9.   The Approach of the Victorian Charter to Women’s Rights
              Ronli Sifris

10.  Charters and Disability
              Rosemary Kayess and Belinda Smith

11.  The Charter of Law and Order
              Jeremy Gans

12.  The Second Charters of Prisoners’ Rights
              Matthew Groves

13.  Privacy Rights and Charter Rights
              Moira Paterson


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