Religious Freedom Protection in Australia- 2017 update

I recently presented a paper surveying general religious freedom protections available in Australia, based on a similar paper I presented in 2015 but updated with some more recent developments. The paper can be downloaded here.

Near my conclusion I note:

I would like to suggest that, given the “patchwork” protection for freedom of religion noted above and in the attached papers, it is past time for consideration to be given at the Commonwealth level for protection of religious freedom to be the subject of specific legislation. The Commonwealth has undertaken to provide serious religious freedom protection by acceding to the ICCPR and under art 18 in particular. It would be appropriate that this commitment be translated into law. Apart from other sources of Commonwealth power, it would seem fairly clear that the external affairs power would support implementation of the international human right to free exercise of religion, limited in the specific ways provided under art 18 but not in other ways that currently narrow its scope.

Hopefully the paper will be a useful resource in this area.