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Opinion: Should Australia have a Bill of Rights? by Christina M. Morrison

I INTRODUCTION

Central to the discussion of whether or not it would behoove Australia to incorporate a

Bill of Rights (1) into our current legislative system is really a question as to if (and if so, how)

our nation would benefit from this approach, (or whether incremental improvements to our

current constitutional system would be a better approach.)



While the incorporation of a Bill of Rights typically, (at least on a superficial level, in terms of

international public relations,) may seem to raise the profile of a country’s administrative

reputation, via the suggestion that bills of rights better-equip the general public with greater

knowledge of their rights as citizens, the idea of transferring systems that appear to be effective

in some nations to other legislative arenas (and then simply expecting transferred approaches to

be equally effective, sans necessary adaptations,) is presumptuous and facile. What is more

realistic, (in terms of Comparative Law analyses,) is to address the necessity for incorporating

tailor made, prudent changes within the existing legislative system of Australia, (while

responding, as and when appropriate,) to the lego-cultural environment currently in place. For

____________________


Australia, not only lego-culturally, but also from a legislative perspective, this means the idea of

directly transferring the version of the Bill of Rights (as is currently in use in, for example, the

United States of America,) and attempting to implement this approach (instead of the current

Westminster-esque legislation of Australia,) would be an unnecessary and therefore, flagrantly

expensive (for Australian taxpayers, in terms of funding a referendum,) and ultimately, counter-

productive idea.

That being said, the currently dire state of many aspects of Australia’s human rights

record (2) must and can be rectified - not via the direct transference of a Bill of Rights - but via

judicious and lego-culturally appropriate changes to the Australian constitution and to state and

Federal laws, on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, while Australian law currently may not offer

enough human rights safeguards for citizens, inserting a Bill of Rights into our administration is

not necessarily a panacea for this matter. What would work, instead, would be addressing

specific aspects of our legislation on a state-by-state basis (while retaining and gradually

improving our current administrative system.) Our existing human rights issues are too dire to

have time potentially wasted by conducting a referendum which, for the general public,

____________________

2 Gillian Triggs, 'The Case for a Charter of Rights in Australia' (Transcript of a Speech Delivered at the Melbourne

Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, 2018).


would be costly, confusing 3 and ultimately, redundant. The more expedient and therefore

effective approach is to continue to adapt our existing common law, constitutional legislation

(which already honours a number of human rights, which are embedded within existing

legislature. 4 )

____________________

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ 3 ABC News, 'Why the Voice Failed'; (Web Page, 16 October 2023)

ABC news reports frequently indicate that for many Australians, the reason for the

failure of the ‘Yes’ vote in the most recent referendum was a ‘lack of engagement.’

That is, the content of the referendum proved overwhelmingly confusing for many Australians

(whom are still frequently working several jobs to recover financially after the Covid pandemic of 2020 and therefore may not typically have additional time available to

confidently research complex referendum matters.) A case in point is the honest-to-

goodness response from a Sydney bricklayer, as reported by ABC journalists, in stating

that he found the tenets of the ‘Voice to Parliament’ referendum overwhelmingly

confusing:

‘...a bricklayer in Sydney, who didn’t want to give his name, told the ABC he had heard,

‘basically nothing about (the ‘Voice’ debate-details.) stating,

‘I hear all the time on the news [about] voting ‘Yes,’ but what are we voting ‘Yes’ for?’

he wondered.’

4 Keith A Thompson, 'Current Issues in Australian Constitutional Law' (Connor Court Publishing Pty Ltd, 2022)

196-197.

____________________ The most recent referendum (in 2023) also indicates most Australian citizens currently do

not always possess the bandwidth (frequently through little fault of their own and moreso as a

grave and timely comment against the current quality of our own education system, let alone

the confusion added by media bias) to confidently inform themselves to vote from an

informed perspective.) Clearly, the current gaps in the Australian public education system

regarding often basic understanding of current political issues and the question of how to

therefore empower and equip Australian citizens to make genuinely informed decisions when

voting in referendums is of urgent concern.

Put simply, with the urgency of particular states’ matters at hand, (for example, the Northern

Territory's issues regarding safety in Alice Springs in March/April, 2024,) (5) necessitates that, for now, at least, the most effective response to governance is to continue to allow state leaders to curate legislation and enact (when necessary,) options such as curfews and other choices (relating to declaring states of emergency,) as and when needed. Clearly, this would be a more time-effective option as opposed to spending years and billions in attempting to firstly educate the public and then conduct another (possibly, inaccurate) referendum in an attempt to instate a Bill of Rights, poste haste.

____________________

­ 5 Northern Territory Government, 'Alice Springs Emergency Declaration' (Web Page)

____________________ More urgent matters at hand in Australia demand that we retain our current system but offer

leaders the option to create updated legislation as needed, within the current parameters of the

Australian constitution.

Evidently, (when able to comment anonymously) the general public of Australia admit to

being (according to sources such as the ABC news article’s findings,) frequently (and

understandably,) overwhelmed, disconnected from and under-informed by the intricacies

involved with many political issues. If the 2023 referendum is any indication, the level

of complexity involved with explaining and ensuring the majority of the population

genuinely have adequate preparation and information presented objectively and in Plain English,

in a manner which is accessible and does not require time-consuming additional research from

already time-pressed Australians whom are currently indicating that they are over-worked,

under-paid and more time-pressed than at many other points in history. How, then, could most

Australians be expected to glean an in-depth comprehension of exactly how a Bill of Rights may

present a federal approach to understanding citizens’ rights, when our current approach is,

evidently, more practical?

Conversely, the fact that the gay marriage vote was successfully carried, (also via a

referendum,) is an indication that when a topic is clear enough for the general public to grasp, amidst their busy schedules, (6) a clear outcome can indeed be found. This indicates that obviously,

there is a time and place for implementing referendums for decision-making in

Australia, however, the need is also clear for presenting information for votes in a manner which

offers clarity, brevity and clear directives regarding outcomes.

To create such a succinct and seamless presentation to implement a federal Bill of Rights would

potentially take years and as mentioned, millions of dollars, (7) to conduct, with a possible lack of

clarity for voters regarding the consequences of either outcome. Serving the public’s current

____________________

6 Roy Morgan, 'Over Two-Thirds of Working Australians Have Had Their Employment Impacted by the Coronavirus

employment-impacted-by-the-coronavirus-crisis;

7 As to the exorbitant cost of the ‘Voice to Parliament’ referendum? This comment from

political commentator, Pat Anderson, sums up what many individuals, from both sides of

the debate, feed about the expense and the ensuing, comparative silence about the

referendum:

‘They just spent $9 million [on] that process (of conducting the ‘Voice’ referendum)

and they just said (that now) (the government representatives don’t) even want to talk about it.’ ____________________ needs based on our current system is clearly the most practicable option at this point in time.

Meanwhile, proponents of governance conducted via implementation of a Bill of Rights

promulgate the idea that bills of rights may more closely honour citizens’ human rights (as per

the United Nations’ guidelines.) Without a national Bill of Rights, a country’s leadership can

more rapidly make decisions (as demonstrated in Australia during the Covid 19 pandemic, in

which Prime Minister Scott Morrison gave each state what can comparatively be identified as

carte blanche to respond to their constituencies’ needs as they saw fit, precipitating, for example,

the controversial choice of Senator Daniel Andrews to declare, an unprecedented ‘State of

Emergency,’) as they deem appropriate, in a manner which would be much more difficult were

Australia to possess federal governance under a Bill of Rights.

The effectiveness, therefore, of leaders’ capability in decision-making processes in

countries without bills of rights, needs to be of a level of certainty which makes the appointment

of suitable leaders an even greater imperative than usual. That is, in countries in which

governance is conducted via bills of rights, citizens cannot be as readily commanded to follow

certain legislation (for example, following sudden curfews,) without the idea being firstly

debated in parliament/congress. At the same time, one may well muse as to whether or not having a Bill of Rights genuinely

benefits jurisdictions (such as the United States.) Protecting freedom is a lofty ideal on the one

hand and, on paper, sounds like a reasonable option. That being said, when Jefferson wrote the

Bill of Rights, the most powerful ammunition at the time was a musket. What we then have,

problematically, in the United States in 2024, is a gun culture posing unprecedented peril for the

general population, in a manner which would have surely appalled Jefferson were he to witness

how risky the literal interpretation of the ‘right to bear arms’ (8) has become.

The American Bill of Rights needs to be updated to render it more easily altered in order

for it to retain contemporary relevance, lest it become a parody of itself. In practice, however,

the current crime statistics (for example, drive-by shootings, disparate gun laws, plus alarming

cases of human trafficking in the USA) indicate that the so-called ‘freedoms’ stipulated within

the Bill of Rights indicate that in many aspects, citizens can, at worst, take the interpretation of

these freedoms as an excuse to run rampant. With that in mind, responses to this conundrum,

from people such as conservative political commentator and journalist, Candace Owens,

regularly polarise the public. There are those whom view Owens’ centrist-right-wing

____________________

8 Philip Cook, Mark Moore and Anthony Braga, 'Gun Control' (John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard

University, 2000). ____________________

perspective on current issues to err on the extreme. |

Identifying as an African-American, Owens frequently comments negatively towards the

‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, directly criticising the rioting and looting during recent times.

Polarising her fans and detractors with equally passionate responses, political

commentator Owens identifies that the majority of Americans interpret the Bill of Rights in a

typically self-serving manner, which Owens believes would dismay the founding fathers of the

USA were they privy to the current state of affairs. Owens states that when citizens whom, upon

arrest, identified themselves as ‘African-American’ by way of attempting to avoid being charged

with trespass and theft during riots (around the ‘BLM’ movement,) make a mockery of the

essence of the intention behind the Bill of Rights.

Curiously, record numbers of individuals from the United States and other countries are currently

aiming to relocate to safer places like Australia to avoid the risk of being, for example, a drive-

by fatality or a school-shooting statistic. Clearly, having a Bill of Rights, which seems to serve

the revenue-garnering NRA more than citizens’ right to safety makes the current interpretation of

the American Bill of Rights seems redundant in comparison with the Australian ‘Washminster’

system, (being a colloquial term referring to the fact that in Australia, there is something of a hybrid system of governance, based on a mix of the styles found in Washington and Westminster.) ____________________

Americans are voting with their feet and currently aiming to relocate to Australia in record

numbers; others are choosing to home-school their children as a response to the current

state of danger identified in many American schools due to the fact that the Bill of Rights is not being updated to curtail fatalities connected to the current gun laws. That is, until and/or unless the United States Administration chooses to conduct the necessary steps to change the Bill of Rights / Constitution, it is likely that the NRA will simply continue to sit back and collect billions of dollars in annual revenue, off the back of needless statistics, all the while

paying lip-service to the idea of honouring freedom, under the ‘right to bear arms.’

Without curating and updating the Bill of Rights to acknowledge that, compared with muskets,

the power of today’s AK47 firearms, for example, poses dangers beyond comparison, renders

the updating of the Bill of Rights a matter of urgency. Otherwise, American politics will

continue to become, (heartbreakingly for the general population,) increasingly farcical.

Evidently, instilling a Bill of Rights does not, in itself, necessarily protect citizens’ right

to a peaceful society, nor is it a panacea for creating an harmonious society. Indeed, with that

in mind, one could query if it may benefit the citizens of the United States to have an

Australian-style, ‘Wash-minster’ administration? (9)

____________________

9 Anderson, J., Understanding Australian Legislation, (Harper Collins, Sydney, 2024). ____________________

At the same time, this is by no means to suggest that our system is infallible. Clearly, our

human rights record needs (particularly regarding First Nations’ rights being honoured,)

urgent review. To change to governance with a Bill of Rights may seem to present

several attractive possibilities, (such as the notion that citizens are more likely to be aware of

their rights in general when a Bill of Rights is in place, thus potentially mitigating the risk of

corruption in the application of authority.) However, the disadvantages clearly outweigh

the benefits.


Firstly, the process of changing our system would require a referendum, (which, as

mentioned, is a process proving to be often exorbitantly costly to taxpayers.) Alongside cost, the

complexity of the tenets within Comparative Law may make it a potentially

overwhelming objective for the general population to be clearly informed as to the pros

and cons of a Bill of Rights so that they can feel genuinely equipped to vote confidently in a

Referendum on this topic. Already stipulated in our current Australian constitution, instead, is

the preferable option for maintaining (and, ideally, constantly improving,) our current

system, while continuing to empower each state (in the manner already existing in

Victoria, Queensland and the ACT,) a bespoke-style charter of human rights, (which is tailor-

made to suit the current socio-economic demographics of each state.) Clearly, this would

appear to be the most cost-effective, prudent and practicable approach at this point in time.

That being said, this certainly does not mean that our approach to human rights in general does not require review, (with recent examples indicating the urgency for change in Australia

in terms of our approach to honouring human rights.)

Additionally, many of Australia’s historical breaches of internationally recognised human

rights guidelines are, justifiably, a source of national shame and hopefully, incentive for us to

create a culture of continuous and timely improvement. Plus, we need to ensure that by offering

each state the veto to curate their own versions of rights to suit their own electorates, we

do not inadvertently create rogue states in which extreme choices may end up negatively

impacting on citizens’ safety levels, (for example, state leaders allowing students to bring

their own ceremonial Sikh swords to school, on campus, as a nod to cultural rights in

Queensland, which may end up, unfortunately, proving to be an unsafe choice, putting citizens

at risk.) Interestingly, this legislation was passed within the state of Queensland without any

reference to precedents from U.K. legislation, indicating that the current interpretation of

Australian constitutional law offers enough flexibility to empower our state leaders to govern

sans constant referral to the Commonwealth for guidance. Whether we end up regretting this

level of flexibility remains to be seen; the strength, for now, however, seems expedience and the

ability to govern responsively to the socio-economic trends occurring in our states at any given

point in time, without unnecessarily extended debate and therefore, delay.

By the same token, introducing a Bill of Rights to Australia at this point in time would clearly be a redundant, expensive (as it would firstly require confirmation via a referendum) and

ultimately, unnecessary step.

Moving forward, what may ultimately benefit other nations is to consider adopting the

Westminster (or a hybrid, ‘Washminster’) model as per Australia’s current administration.

When we consider the many aspects of honouring human rights that are currently

working better than may be expected in Australia (eg the right to vote, the right to gay marriage,

the moves towards gender parity in the workplace, the focus on ending violence against women,

plus our improving treatment of refugees,) we can see that, comparatively, Australia’s more

recent approaches to human rights is better than many nations at present (eg compared with

Iran’s treatment of homosexuals, and the Taliban’s treatment of women regarding education,

for example, plus the lack of genuine action to curtail gun violence in the USA from the

current Washington administration,) clearly, while Australia’s track record is not perfect, it

could clearly be much worse.

Evidently, the number of individuals seeking to relocate to Australia offers insight into the fact

that our current system seems to create outcomes which are internationally extremely popular

and typically, offer a comparatively safe society for Australian citizens.

That being said, as discussed, we neither can afford to ignore the urgency of action to be

taken to mitigate the worsening of the standards of living regarding Australia’s First

Nations / Indigenous communities. Clearly, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders needs

require immediate attention and historically, white Australia’s treatment of Indigenous

individuals is, accurately, considered a shameful blight upon our historical human rights record. Interestingly, the fact that we do NOT currently have a Bill of Rights in place empowers

places (such as the Northern Territory, in co-governance of Alice Springs,) to implement

‘State of Emergency’ actions which would be much more challenging to execute under a

Bill of Rights.)

As it stands, the ‘Emergency Powers,’ with which, under the Australian Constitution and

as stipulated by (then) Prime Minister Scott Morrison, were possible under the

extenuating circumstances as identified by (then) Premier Daniel Andrews, in accordance

with the parameters set out by the Public Health and Wellbeing Act, which allows for

curated and judicious implementation of these powers as and when deemed necessary by state

leaders at a given time.

With that in mind, we can consider the current curfew put in place in Alice Springs as a

response to public chaos and disorder (including threats to human safety) following what

may be tensions based on discord between two families. That is, the ensuing chaos in the

city of Alice Springs indicates that there may be a generalised lack of order and lack of

resources in the area to quell the possibility of such outbreaks of (primarily, street-style)

violence. This instance exemplifies the efficacy of our current legislation (as compared

with the American interpretation of a Bill of Rights.) The fact that the Northern Territory’s Chief Minister Eva Lawler was able to swiftly implement a curfew (in the

interests of protecting not only innocent citizens of Alice Springs, but also in the interest

of protecting the safety of youths involved in unrest,) is a sterling example of how our

current legislation offers a state-by-state, case-by-case response to what may be deemed

‘emergency’ situations. Any Australians querying the move from Chief Minister Lawler is

invited to compare the relatively effective curfew with the lengthy and heartbreakingly

unnecessary rioting, looting and generalised violence experienced by cities affected by

unrest in the USA. That is, in the same way the greatest critics of First Nations/Aboriginal Australians’ behaviours are often from within Aboriginal-identified

groups themselves, the harshest critics of racially-charged behaviours in the USA are also

frequently from amongst those also self-identifying as African-American.

Empirically speaking, the comparison shows that the ‘State of Emergency’ powers enabled by

the Australian Constitution are currently equipping authorities - including police -

with more effective options to respond to public violence in a manner which the

American Bill of Rights cannot currently match in terms of effectiveness, under current

USA legislation. Would installing a Bill of Rights offer a solution, however, which would be relevant to

the state-by-state needs of each part of Australia? Or would it be more appropriate to instead

continue to empower each state to offer curated responses on a state-by-state basis (while

obviously following overarching federal laws,) to respond on a tailor-made basis to the

needs of each jurisdiction’s specific needs (for example, with the recent curfew being

promulgated in Alice Springs indicating the efficacy of a state-based leadership decision, in

which the Northern Territory’s leadership are empowered to instate a clearly necessary curfew

which, under a Bill of Rights leadership system, would not have been possible. Were that

the case, the wave of violence in Alice Springs may well continue, therefore continuing

to endanger citizens from all backgrounds in a manner which many Indigenous citizens

also openly oppose.) Chief Minister Eva Lawler implemented, on 27th March, 2024, a curfew (despite some opposition as to whether such a move may be unlawful, and in breach of human rights.)

Legally speaking, however, the Minister’s decision is indeed in keeping with the terms

and conditions stipulated under the provisions of the Northern Territory of Australia

Emergency Management Act 2013 (10) and has garnered support not only from the majority of

Alice Springs citizens but also several Aboriginal Elders whom support

Minister Lawler’s decision.

At this juncture, let us be clear that this type of affirmative action would be impossible

under a Bill of Rights, leading political commentators such as African-American

Conservative, Candace Owens, to comment that the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement may

exacerbate already disenfranchised youths into committing excessive violence while

assuming that the Bill of Rights protects them from taking accountability for their own

actions. Therefore, having a Bill of Rights is no guarantee of creating greater harmony in

society, including and especially in racially-charged scenarios; indeed, by

overstating/misinterpreting their own Bill of Rights, it would seem that the current

political climate in administrations such as the United States’ may see sectors of the

community incite violence under the misguided impression that their Bill of Rights

somehow enables them and/or absolves them from taking full responsibility for their

actions in certain cases.


____________________

10 The Emergency Management Act 2013 s18(1) empowers authorised officer(s) to act with the authority of special

powers, during a state of emergency or disaster and refers to an approved emergency plan which means a plan

approved under sections 10(3), 13(2) or 16(2) of the Act. ____________________ The provisions of the Act are a caveat deeming the current curfew for Alice Springs indeed, lawful, as per the provisions of the Act and in response to current damage to property

and potential threats to human safety in the Alice Springs city centre, (which may be,

according to Michael Murphy, Northern Territory police commissioner, connected to

‘family feuds,’ having ‘erupted in Alice Springs.’ (11)

In all, these recent examples make it abundantly clear that at this point in time,

transferring a Bill of Rights style of governance to Australia’s very regionally-specific

jurisdictions is not necessary nor realistic. We can be justifiably proud of the comparative

efficacy of our current Westminster-based legislative administration and the fact that, in

comparison with the track records showing current approaches to protecting human rights, the

ranking of Australia (in terms of honouring citizens’ rights,) is currently amongst the top ten,

internationally. Naturally, this needn’t lull us into a false sense of security regarding our (as

compared with Canada, for example,) reprehensible approach to certain sectors’ needs (with the

specific and urgent requirements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders being front and centre

of what should be our human rights priorities at this juncture.) That being said, our

constitution and our legislative systems could indeed, be much worse; we can take solace

from our increasing ranking as a nation that is actively and – in general – transparently

addressing her many strengths and weaknesses as promptly as possible, without the need for

implementing a Bill of Rights.

____________________

11 Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services, 'Youth Curfew in High-Risk Area Alice Springs' (WebPage, 3 April 2024) https://pfes.nt.gov.au/newsroom/2024/youth-curfew-high-risk-area-alice-springs | Bibliography

A Articles/Books/Reports

Anderson, J., Understanding Australian Legislation, (Harper Collins, Sydney, 2024)

Derham, Maher, Waller, An Introduction to Law, (8th ed, LBC Information Services, Pyrmont,

2000);

Cook, Philip, Mark Moore and Anthony Braga. Gun Control. John F. Kennedy School of

Government, Harvard University, 2000

Johns, Leigh A H, 'Justice Kirby, Human Rights and the Exercise of Judicial Choice' (2001)

27(2) Monash University Law Review 223

Fong C, Australian Legal Citation. A Guide (Prospect, Sydney, 1998);

Fong C and Edwards A, Australian and New Zealand Legal Abbreviations (2nd ed, Australian

Law Librarians Group, Sydney, 1995);

Fox and Freiberg's Sentencing: State and Federal Law in Victoria, (3rd ed, Thomson Reuters,

Sydney, 2014);

todd-tavern

Melbourne University Law Review Association, Australian Guide to Legal Citation (4th ed,

Melbourne University Law Review Association, Melbourne, 2023);

Rozenberg P, Australian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (LBC Information Services, Sydney,

1998);

Stuhmcke A, Legal Referencing (2nd ed, Butterworths, North Ryde, 2001);

Wolski B, Legal Skills, Thomson Lawbook Co., 2006;

Prince M, Prince’s Biebers Dictionary of Legal Citations (6th ed, Hein, Buffalo NY, 2001);

James N, Field R, Walkden-Brown J, The New Lawyer, (2024);

Thompson Keith A., Current Issues in Australian Constitutional Law, Connor Court Publishing

Pty Ltd Shepherd Street Press, 2022, pp. 196 -197;

Triggs, Gillian. 'The Case for a Charter of Rights in Australia.' Transcript of a Speech Delivered

at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, 2018.

Joelle De Saint, Kathleen Raponi and Catherine O’Sullivan, Foundations of Australian Law and

Legal Writing, 2022, LexisNexis Australia;

Chesterman C and Rhodin C, Studying Law at University (Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1999);

Cook C, Creyke R, Geddes R and Holloway I, Laying Down the Law (5th ed, Butterworths,

North Ryde, 2001);

Cross, Statutory Interpretation, (3rd ed, Butterworths, North Ryde, 1995);

Ellis E, Principles and Practice of Law (Thomson/Lawbook Co., Sydney, 2005);

Hutchinson T, Research and Writing in Law (Lawbook Co., Sydney, 2002);

Nemes I and Coss G, Effective Legal Research (Butterworths, North Ryde, 1998);

Watt R, Concise Legal Research (5th ed, Federation Press, Sydney, 2004.)

Craddock, Caroline Kay,

‘Freedom of Education and the Era of the Rights of the Child: Can They Coexist?’

Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School, 2020.

B Case Law

Foster v The Queen [1993] HCA

R v Bodsworth [1968] NSW

Miller v The Queen [2016] HCA 30 - 259 CLR 380

STACEY C. KOON, PETITIONER 94-1664 v. UNITED STATES

LAURENCE M. POWELL, PETITIONER 94-8842

C Legislation

The Public Health and Wellbeing Act (Vic) 2008

Crimes Act 1958 ss 457, 458, 459, 459A, 461, 462A, 464K, 464R, 464S, 464SA, 464T

Evidence Act (Vic) 2008 s.89

Criminal Procedure Act (Vic) 2009 s.106, s.104(1), s.104(2), s.85(3)(b)(ii)

Magistrates Court Act, s.62, s.63-65

Emergency Management Act (Northern Territory) 2013, s.18(1)

1975 Anti-Vilification Law

Charter of Rights and Responsibilities (Vic) 2006 s.25

Racial Discrimination Act 1975, s 18C and 18D

(being the Act which deems it illegal to show bias and/or negative treatment of anyone due to

their ethnicity ;)

The controversial practice was thrust into the spotlight in 2016 after footage emerged of spit

hoods being used on children in the Northern Territory's Don Dale detention centre

Sections 18C and 18D were introduced in response to recommendations of major inquiries

including the National Inquiry into Racist Violence and the Royal Commission into Aboriginal

Deaths in Custody.

D Other

ABC News, 'Why the Voice Failed' (Web Page, 16 October 2023)

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Adopted by the General Assembly of the

United Nations on 19 December 1966;

Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations: Australia, 60th sess, UN Doc

CRC/C/AUS/CO/4 (28 August 2012);

Legal Information Institute, 'Bill of Rights' (Web Page)

Supreme Court of Victoria, Factsheet: William Barak (1824-1903)

United Nations General Assembly, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, GA Res 217A (III),

UN GAOR, 3rd sess, 183rd plen mtg, UN Doc A/810 (10 December 1948)

Northern Territory Government, 'Alice Springs Emergency Declaration' (Web Page)

Roy Morgan, 'Over Two-Thirds of Working Australians Have Had Their Employment Impacted

by the Coronavirus Crisis' (3 April 2024) <https://www.roymorgan.com/findings/over-two-

thirds-of-working-australians-have-had-their-employment-impacted-by-the-coronavirus-crisis>

Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services, 'Youth Curfew in High-Risk Area Alice

risk-area-alice-springs;

Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory.

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