A Human Rights Act for Australia campaign


Australia is the only Western country that does not have a Human Rights Act or equivalent.

New Matilda will set out to change this when it launches its Human Rights Act for Australia Campaign in early September. At present a draft bill is being prepared which will be placed on the website for comment from the wider community.

Click here to download New Matilda’s Human Rights Act for Australia Campaign Statement.

New Matilda articles on Human Rights instruments

1. Respect for Rule of Law and Human Rights, 27 July 2005, By Elizabeth Evatt here

2. A Further Reflection on the London attacks 27 July 2005, by Spencer Zifcak, here

3. A Reflection on the London attacks 13 July 2005, by Spencer Zifcak, here

4. A Human Rights Act for Australia, 8 June 2005, by Susan Ryan, here.

5. A Charter of Rights? Take the UK example for a start, 9 February 2005, by Spencer Zifcak, here.

6. No way out: the High Court and children in detention, 12 January 2005, by Spencer Zifcak, here.

7. Speak no evil – security law on the books, 1 September 2004, by George Williams, here.

Victorian consultation committee

Victoria is currently undertaking a Human Rights Consultation process. A discussion paper is available here. Please consider lodging a written submission to see that Australia’s second Human Rights Act is introduced.

The Justice Project is an organisation that is promoting the Victorian campaign. For more information about what they do click here. If you wish to view their petition or sign it visit www.PetitionOnline.com/vboryes/petition.html.

More information

If you would like to be on our Human Rights Act for Australia mailing list, or if you would like to help us with the campaign, please email Nicholas Carney at nicholas.carney@newmatilda.com. For other inquiries, contact Nicholas on 0418 688 693 or (02) 9211 1653.

Human Rights Acts and Bills of Rights

ACT Human Rights Act 2004 – Australia’s first Bill of Rights, here.

New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, here.

United Kingdom Human Rights Act 1998, here.

International Human Rights Declarations and Covenants

United Nations’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, here.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Australia is a signatory to this covenant, here.

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Australia is also a signatory to this covenant, here.

Other links

Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law: Bill of Rights Project. This is an excellent resource for anyone looking to learn more about Bills of Rights and Human Rights Acts. Click here.

Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC). PIAC has published a range of Protecting Human Rights in Australia fact sheets which are accessible at this site. Click here.

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.