Australia has a long tradition of protecting human rights – both by parliamentary means and by means of the common law. Countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand share this tradition. However, these countries have moved to strengthen the protection of human rights by adopting a judicially enforceable Charter of Human Rights. (For further information, see, for example, Stephen Gardbaum, The New Commonwealth Model in Australia).
Australia is now the only major constitutional democracy without a national Charter of Human Rights. The debate over whether to adopt a national Charter of Human Rights, and equivalent State charters, remains ongoing.
The aim of the Charter of Human Rights Project is to inform this ongoing debate by providing relevant information on different possible Charter of Human Rights models, and links to the latest media, recent reports and academic commentary on the issue. For further information, please visit our Resources page .