Key internet links on Civil and Human Rights Law


Australian Human Rights 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.

Australia. Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights
Established by the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011, the committee's main function is to examine all bills and legislative instruments for compatibility with human rights, and to report to both Houses of Parliament on its findings.  

Links to state laws (links from the Equal Opportunity Commission of South Australia).

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 (now the Federal Circuit Court of Australia).

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.


Interights - the international centre for the legal protection of human rights. Commonwealth and International Human Rights Case Law Databases
Interights is 'an international legal human rights NGO based in London'. 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 Many of the cases summarised are unpublished decisions which are not readily available in other jurisdictions.

European Court of Human Rights 

UN Human Rights Committees decisions

United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Contains 'all case law issued by the UN human Rights expert committees, the Treaty Bodies'. Information was developed from the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights which collected information from the mid-1990s to the end of 2014 when updating ceased due to budget restrictions. It was then offered to the UN Human Rights Office. For more information see the news page on the OHC website.     

Key National Bodies

Australian Government

Attorney-General's Department human rights and anti-discrimination page

Australian Human Rights Commission

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade human rights page.

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 Centre (University of New South Wales Australian Human Rights Centre). 'The AHRCentre aims to promote public awareness and academic scholarship about domestic and international human rights standards, laws and procedures through research projects, education programs and publications. The Centre brings together practitioners, research fellows and student interns from Australia and internationally to research, teach and debate contemporary human rights issues. The Centre also publishes the Australian Journal of Human Rights and the Human Rights Defender and hosts a number of seminars and events each year'. 

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 and 'is a non-profit national organisation that has been promoting digital freedom, access and privacy in Australia since 1994'.

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

University of New South Wales. Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law. Charter of Human Rights Resources.

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.


Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law 

Australian journal of human rights 
Early issues are available full text on AustLII

Harvard Human Rights Journal

Human Rights Quarterly

Human Rights Review

Journal of Human Rights


Halsburys laws of Australia. Title 80. Civil and Political Rights
Commercial publication (LexisNexis). Not available outside Parliamentary Computing Network. 

The Laws of Australia. Title 21. Human Rights
Commercial publication (Thomson Reuters). Not available outside Parliamentary Computing Network.

Journal articles, reports, et cetera

2016 Australia's sixth report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Has a substantial survey of implementation of human rights provisions to be found in several human rights treaties.

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

2003 Australia. Parliament. Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee, Provisions of the Australian Human Rights Commission Legislation Bill 2003report and submissions.

2001 Collection of articles on human rights from the University of New South Wales Law Journal, volume 24, 2001.

2000 D Clark, The Icon of liberty: the status and role of Magna Carta in Australian and New Zealand law, Melbourne University Law Review, 24(3), 2000, p. 866.

Other Resources


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)

Cornell University (mainly US with some international links)

Hieros Gamos (civil rights)

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

University of Kent (UK law)

Interights (now closed from 27 May 2014)
INTERIGHTS, the International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights, was 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. Case law database is still available for searching. 

Great Britain. Dept for Constitutional Affairs. Human Rights Unit (website now archived as the department was taken over by the Ministry of Justice as of 2007).
The Human Rights Unit's main responsibility was 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 maintained and developed the UK's position under various human rights treaties.


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

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