Key internet links on Civil and Human Rights Law


Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986

Australia. Parliament. Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances
Scrutinises all disallowable instruments of delegated legislation to ensure their compliance with non-partisan principles of personal rights and parliamentary propriety

Australia. Parliament. Senate Scrutiny of Bills Committee
Scrutinises all bills to ensure their compliance with non-partisan principles of personal rights and parliamentary propriety

Links to State laws (Equal Opportunity Commission of South Australia)

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Court and Tribunal Decisions, Law Reports et cetera


Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Decisions until 1999
After 1999 these hearings were conducted by the Federal Court and the Federal Magistrates Service.

Federal Circuit Court of Australia. Human rights page 

Royal Women's Hospital v Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria [2006 VSCA 85] (20 April 2006)
Discusses the relationship between international human rights law and domestic law


Commonwealth and International Human Rights Case Law Databases
Provides summaries of recent human rights decisions from national courts in Commonwealth of Nations jurisdictions, as well as international human rights courts. Many of the cases summarised are unpublished decisions which are not readily available in other jurisdictions

Netherlands Institute of Human Rights case law database.   Decisions of UN Committees and the European Court of Human Rights

European Court of Human Rights 

UN Human Rights Committees decisions

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Key National Bodies

Australian Government

Attorney-General's Department Human Rights page 

Australian Human Rights Commission 

Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade human rights page
Newsletters; Media releases; Speeches & statements to international bodies; Australian Human Rights Manual; National action plan

Other Bodies

Australian Civil Liberties Union
The ACLU investigates and takes up matters involving arbitrary government actions, police conduct, freedom of speech, freedom of association, censorship of the internet, censorship of books and films, and invasions of privacy; gives general advice on citizens rights by phone and through its annual publication Your Rights, and campaigns for law reform

Australian Human Rights Information Centre (University of New South Wales Human Rights Centre)

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights
A network of Australian lawyers interested in furthering awareness and advocacy of human rights in Australia. ALHR promotes the practice of human rights law in Australia and works with Australian and international human rights organisations to achieve this aim

Electronic Frontiers Australia
Promotes civil liberties of users and operators of computer based communications systems. Is concerned with both censorship and privacy issues

Human Rights Council of Australia
A non-government organisation promoting human rights internationally and within Australia

Liberty Victoria (Victorian Council for Civil Liberties) 

Monash University. Castan Centre for Human Rights Law

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Key Publications

For further items, search the Parlinfo database. Although full text searchable, for copyright reasons some material on Parlinfo may be available only to those using the Parliament House computer network.


Australian journal of human rights
Early issues are available full text


Halsburys laws of Australia. Title 80. Civil and Political Rights
Commercial publication. Not available outside Parliament

The Laws of Australia (Law Book Co). Title 21. Human Rights
Commercial publication and not available outside Parliament without a subscription

Journal articles, reports etc

2010 Australia's Human Rights Framework ( Attorney-General's Dept)

2006 Australia's fifth report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights January 1997 - June 2006
Has a substantial survey of implementation of human rights provisions to be found in several human rights treaties

2003 Provisions of the Australian Human Rights Commission Legislation Bill 2003 (Australia. Parliament. Senate. Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee). Report and submissions

2001 Collection of articles on human rights from the University of NSW Law Journal 2001 vol. 24 no 3
including: Recognising universal rights in Australia / Hon Daryl Williams; Human rights and the second century of the Australian Constitution / George Williams; An Australian Rights Council / George Winterton

2000 The Icon of liberty: the status and role of Magna Carta in Australian and New Zealand law (D. Clark)

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Other Resources


Australian Human Rights and Civil Rights Index
Maintained by Victorian barrister Victor Perton. Has links to Australian and overseas sites

via WorldLII


Links to the text of international human rights instruments (United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights)

Guide to UN Documentation on human rights (Dag Hammarskjöld Library at Uppsala University)

via University of Queensland Law Library - Part of the WEBLAW coooperative indexing project, this is an excellent guide to key international human rights sites

AUSTLII Human Rights Law Resources
This database contains materials including articles, conference papers, reports concerning international human rights law. The resources in this database originate from a variety of sources

via Cornell University (mainly US with some international links)

via Hieros Gamos (civil rights)

via Hieros Gamos (human rights) Has links to international treaties

via University of Canterbury (UK law)

INTERIGHTS, the International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights, is an international human rights law centre established in 1982 to support and promote the development of legal protection for human rights and freedoms worldwide through the effective use of international and comparative human rights law

Great Britain. Dept for Constitutional Affairs. Human Rights Unit
The Human Rights Unit's main responsibility is to ensure the successful implementation of the Human Rights Act 1998, which incorporates into UK law rights and freedoms guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights. The Unit also maintains and develops the UK's position under various human rights treaties

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Rights of Children

Defence for Children International, Australian Section

Lawstuff (National Childrens and Youth Law Centre)
Legal rights for people under 18. Extensive links to material on children and the law. Part of the WEBLAW cooperative indexing project

2003 Australia's second and third reports under the Convention on the Rights of the Child
Australia’s next report under the Convention on the Rights of the Child is due on 15 January 2008

International Bureau for Children's Rights 

UNICEF Child Rights home page

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State of Emergency


Defence Act 1903. Division 4-The calling out of the Forces. Sections 50D+ 

Defence Force Regulations 1952. Part 3 Aid to civilian authorities. Regulations 11A+ 

Recent amendments to the call out powers of the Defence Act include:

Defence Legislation Amendment (Aid to Civilian Authorities) Bill 2000 (Act no 119, 2000)

Explanatory Memorandum, Bills Digest, Second Reading Speech

Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills report

Senate Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Legislation Committee report and submissions

The Military call-out legislation: some legal and constitutional questions (M. Head)

Defence Legislation Amendment (Aid to Civilian Authorities) Bill 2005 (Act no. 3, 2006)

Explanatory Memorandum, Second Reading Speech

Bills Digest

Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committtee report and submissions 


2005 Calling out the troops: disturbing trends and unanswered questions (M. Head). UNSW Law Journal, v. 28, no. 2, 2005, p. 479-506

2005 Call-out the guards: why Australia should no longer fear the deployment of Australian troops on home soil (N. Laing). UNSW Law Journal, v. 28, no. 2, 2005, p. 507-522

2005 'To execute and maintain the laws of the Commonwealth': the ADF and internal security : some old issues with new relevance (C. Moore). UNSW Law Journal, v. 28, no. 2, 2005, p. 523-537

2004 Army history: aid to the civil power
Brief account of calling out the troops in 1890 and 1891

1978 Orders calling out the troops relating to terrorist activities, 14 February 1978 (Special Gazette, no. S 30) and 20 February 1978 (revocation - S 33). Copies available on request from the Library

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