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This subject will now be delivered online in 2021.
When the Queensland Parliament recently enacted a Human Rights Act, it became the third State or Territory to introduce a statutory human rights Act in Australia. The Victorian, ACT and Queensland statutory human rights Acts and Commonwealth Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 form part of the domestic human rights legal protections in Australia. This subject will take an in-depth look at the operation of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities, the ACT and Queensland Human Rights Acts and the Commonwealth scrutiny of legislation for compatibility with human rights, with a focus on how these instruments have operated in practice. The focus of this subject is on these particular statutory human rights Acts.
The subject lecturers, Kylie Evans and Alistair Pound are barristers with significant expertise on the Victorian Charter, having appeared in numerous human rights cases in Courts and tribunals.
Principal topics include:
- The debate over Bills of Rights in Australia and the national human rights framework
- The obligations on public authorities imposed by human rights legislation
- Applying statutory interpretation provisions in human rights legislation
- Statements of compatibility and legislative scrutiny
- Rights protected by statutory human rights Acts including the economic rights protected in the ACT and Queensland Human Rights Acts
- The use of human rights Acts in legal proceedings
- Implementation by public authorities of human rights Acts
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Have an advanced understanding of the way that statutory human rights Acts operate in Australia
- Know what the differences are between the different State and Territory human rights Acts in Australia
- Be able to critically evaluate the practical effectiveness of a statutory human rights Act as a model of human rights protection
- Know how to use human rights legislation in litigation and understand the limitations of doing so
- Be able to identify the features of a well-reasoned statement of compatibility
Last updated: 10 September 2021