HUMAN RIGHTS BILL 2006 SUMMARY
What rights does the draft Bill seek to protect?
The draft Bill contains the following categories of human rights:
civil and political rights including
- protection from torture and cruel and inhuman or degrading treatment
- right to liberty and security of the person
- freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief
- the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of speech
- rights of indigenous people
- right to a fair trial
economic and social rights including
- adequate standard of living
- physical wellbeing and health
- social security
Reasonable limits may be placed on these rights where they are justified in a free and democratic society. There is also a provision that allows certain rights to be limited in the event of a public emergency .
How does the draft Bill protect these rights?
- through the Government “ specifically the Attorney-General, who has obligations to the Parliament to examine legislation and report on its compatibility with human rights
- through the Parliament “ specifically through a Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee who must
- review compatibility statements made by the Attorney-General
- consider declarations of incompatibility made by Courts (see below)
- report on the matters it has considered to the Parliament and to the responsible Minister
- through the Courts, which
- must, so far as it is possible, read legislation in a way which is compatible with human rights
- may make declarations of incompatibility which are then reported to the parliament
- may invalidate secondary legislation (regulations)
- through the members of the public, who
- may bring proceedings in the Courts against any public authority which has acted (or proposes to act) in a way which is incompatible with human rights
- please note that courts are not empowered to invalidate legislation; this important power is retained by the parliament
Please let us know what you think of the draft Bill either through a written submission or through the forum – click here.
Download this 1-page summary as a word file here.
Download the complete draft Bill here.
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