Other Charters of Human Rights Around the World

 

This page provides links to the legal frameworks governing human rights, and accompanying web resources, for countries that share similar heritage, legal systems and constitutional traditions to Australia.

The Centre for International and Public Law at the Australian National University has also published papers about the UK, South African, New Zealand and Hong Kong Charters in Comparative Perspectives on Bills of Rights .

Canada

European Union

Ireland

New Zealand

South Africa

United Kingdom

United States

Canada

 

The Canadian Bill of Rights Act, c44, 1960 was a statutory Charter of Human Rights that was superseded by the constitutionally-entrenched Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms .

searchable database of Canadian Charter cases is available.

Visit the websites of Just Society , Canadian Heritage or Canadian Human Rights Commission for more information.

European Union

 

The European Convention on Human Rights is enforced by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. For judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, including a searchable database , see the Court’s website .

Ireland

 

Chaper XII of the Constitution guarantees the protection of fundamental rights. See also the Human Rights Commission Act 2000 .

New Zealand

 

The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 is supplemented by New Zealand ’s Human Rights Act 1993 .

These Acts are administered by the New Zealand Human Rights Commission , which also provides information to the community.

South Africa

The South African Bill of Rights 1996 is entrenched in the South African Constitution. An interesting feature of the South African Bill of Rights is that it incorporates a number of economic, social and cultural rights, in addition to the more conventional civil and political rights.

The Constitutional Court of South Africa provides an overview of human rights protections.

United Kingdom

 

The United Kingdom is home to two very early Charters of Rights: the famous Magna Carta and the 1689 Bill of Rights . Despite these early landmark documents, the safeguarding of human rights was entrusted chiefly to the common law and Westminster system of government until the Human Rights Act 1998 (UK).

For official information about the UK Human Rights Act, see the Ministry of Justice website. An archive of information about the Act is also available at the Department for Constitutional Affairs website.

Additionally, see the Doughty Street database for analysis of UK Human Rights Act cases up till 2002. Two leading human rights advocacy groups, Liberty and Justice , are excellent sources of information on the Human Rights Act.

In 2007, the UK Government announced a proposal to introduce a Bill of Rights to supplement the Human Rights Act 1998 and further protect human rights. For further information, see the Joint Committee on Human Rights ’ 2008 report, A Bill of Rights for the UK?

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is also engaged in a public consultative process about whether Northern Ireland needs a Bill of Rights.

United States

 

The United States’ 1789 Bill of Rights entrenches basic human rights in the US Constitution .

For historical information about the drafting of the Bill of Rights visit the US National Archives and Records Administration website.