Article 18 of both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) outline freedoms of religion, conscience and belief as fundamental to the whole framework of human rights. However, of all human rights, those outlined so clearly and confidently in article 18 and which seem so simple at face value, they are perhaps the most complex and contested.
The Australian Human Rights Commission has, since mid 2007, been undertaking with its research partners the most comprehensive national analysis of freedom of religion and belief ever undertaken in Australia. This research has highlighted a number of important issues. For example, it has demonstrated the concerns that some groups and some individuals express when there is a public discourse about the role of faith in peoples lives, public and private; it has exposed inconsistencies in existinig laws and policies; and it has encouraged debate about essentially philosophical issues relating to conflicts between private views and public responsibility, and between universal values and particular moral dilemmas (for example, when does speaking one’s own truth represent the vilification of another person or their beliefs?)This paper will, firstly, describe the background to the project, why the research was considered worthy of undertaking and what it hopes to achieve.
It will then look briefly at the international treaties and analyse what they mean and how they can be interpreted, especially given the various limited guarantees of human rights that exist in Australia Human Rights Essay Award. The Human Rights Essay Award is an annual competition sponsored by the Academy that seeks to stimulate the production of scholarly work in international human rights law. Participants have the flexibility to choose any subject related to the assigned topic. The essay must be a legal article..
Finally, the bulk of the paper will describe the major concerns that have been raised about these human rights principles in the research consultations. 2008In responding to climate change, governments have traditionally approached it as an ecological problem or more recently, as an economic one.
To date the social and human rights implications of climate change have received little attention. Yet the human costs of climate change directly threaten fundamental human rights; rights to life, to food, to a place to live and work, rights that governments have an obligation to protect. Part I of this paper considers the human rights dimensions of climate change.
Specifically, it looks at how the rights contained in the key international instruments are threatened by the impacts of climate change. Part II then goes on to consider what obligations are imposed on Australia, in both international and domestic law, to respond to these threats. Part III outlines how Australia may fulfil its human rights obligations, in the context of climate change responses; arguing that a human rights-based approach is the most effective way to respond to climate change.
The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) (RDA) came into effect 33 years ago. It was Australia’s first federal law dealing with human rights and implemented a basic principle of international law: the principle prohibiting discrimination against people on the basis of their race, colour, or national or ethnic origin.
It is important that the RDA continues to be reviewed against the goals it seeks to achieve; equality and non-discrimination It will then look briefly at the international treaties and analyse what they mean and how they can be interpreted, especially given the various limited guarantees of human rights that exist in Australia. Finally, the bulk of the paper will describe the major concerns that have been raised about these human rights principles in .
It is also important that the legislation remains responsive to the changing makeup and attitudes of Australian society. This paper seeks to contribute to an analysis of the continuing usefulness and effectiveness of the RDA by placing it in context with contemporary race discrimination legislation in other global jurisdictions.