The Federation Press

Criminal Process and Human Rights


Criminal Process and Human Rights is a comprehensive guide to the impact of human rights law upon Australian criminal process.

It gives an in-depth commentary on the actual and potential impact in Australia of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (the ICCPR) and analyses the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities 2006 (Vic) and the Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT) from a criminal process perspective.

The authors provide a detailed coverage of key trends and developments which highlights leading cases and melds the extensive international human rights jurisprudence of the UK, Europe, Canada, the USA, South Africa, New Zealand and Hong Kong into local Australian law. This informed analysis of the major criminal process issues is thematically structured:

  • arrest, detention and bail in the context of the right to personal liberty, ‘the first and end of human laws’ (Blackstone)
  • the right to silence in both trial and pre-trial contexts
  • rights to security of the person and to privacy, from the most intimate invasion of personal autonomy to search of premises, and
  • fair trial rights and many of the vast array of judicial, prosecution and practitioner obligations, pre-trial and trial, including for example delay, disclosure, waiver of rights and witness questioning


The publication of this impressive work is a really exciting event.This volume describes in helpful detail each stage of the criminal justice system as regulated by the common law and in the human rights jurisprudence and then compares the two. This is important for ... such human rights jurisprudence has a real capacity to influence and develop the common law even in jurisdictions which do not have the advantage of a human rights instrument. It breaks new ground in Australian legal writing on the criminal law. [The book] will be very useful to judges and magistrates, but especially practitioners, both prosecutors and defence counsel, who have to fashion the arguments to be submitted to the court. - Justice Richard Refshauge

...incredibly useful — I wish a book like this was available years ago - Emeritus Professor David Brown, University of New South Wales, August 2011

Table of Contents

The Human Rights landscape
Australian Human Rights Statutes
The Right to Liberty: Arrest and Detention in Police Custody
The Right to Liberty: The Ancillary Rights of those Deprived of their Liberty
The Right to Silence
The Right to Security of the Person
The Right to Privacy
Fair Trial: The Right
Fair Trial: The Court
Fair Trial: The Parties

Of interest...