Charting Opposition to Human Rights Charters: New Arguments or Recycled Objections?

Greg Carne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Opposition to Australian human rights charters has gained prominence in recent years with various official reports advocating the introduction of human rights charters, the introduction of statutory charters in the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria and the very recent release of the National Human Rights Consultation Report, which recommends the introduction of a Commonwealth Human Rights Act. This article explores multiple instances of opposition to statutory human rights charters - more general institutional, democracy based, philosophical, political and judicially based objections, as well as a range of more particular and targeted criticisms of rights charters. Common themes, weaknesses and methodologies emerge across these general and particular oppositions to the promotion and protection of human rights through the mechanism of human rights charters. This is to a degree where recycled objections outweigh new oppositional arguments. It is suggested that rights charter opponents need to do more in order to keep faith with a common claim that human rights are important
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-124
JournalUniversity of Tasmania Law Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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