Recently the Australian Human Rights Commission has issued a Position Paper entitled A Human Rights Act for Australia . I have often commented here on the gaps in protection for religious freedom under Australian federal law, and one suggestion that has sometimes been made is that Australia should implement internationally recognised rights such as those contained in art 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. But is doing this by way of a federal Human Rights Charter the right way to go?
I asked one of Australia’s leading commentators on international human rights issues, Dr Paul Taylor, to offer some preliminary comments on the proposals that have been put forward. Dr Taylor is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the T.C. Beirne School of Law, a Fellow of the Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law, and an Adjunct Professor at the School of Law, The University of Notre Dame Australia. His principal academic interests are international human rights law and conflict of laws (private international law). He has held Visiting Fellowships at Wolfson College, Cambridge and at the Centre for International and Public Law, College of Law, Australian National University. He is the author of A Commentary on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: The UN Human Rights’ Committee’s Monitoring of ICCPR Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2020); and Freedom of Religion: UN and European Human Rights Law and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2005).
Dr Taylor has provided the following comments as a guest blogger. The comments are of course written in a personal capacity, and do not reflect any views of any institution to which he is or has been affiliated.