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Australia has traditionally lacked a strong 'rights' culture. While fairness and equality have been proudly exalted as trademarks of the national mindset, the authors of The Politics of Human Rights in Australia argue that these same characteristics may equate to a form of cultural complacency. The book offers the first comprehensive account of Australia's protection of human rights from a political science perspective. Addressing the key debates surrounding human rights in Australia, the authors ask: Why are voting rights so critical in the Australian context? Should Australia adopt a bill of rights in an 'age of terror'? What are Australia's responsibilities to global and regional refugee crises? How can reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians be facilitated? Written by three respected academics at the forefront of their fields, The Politics of Human Rights in Australia offers clarity and insight into the complex issues surrounding the human rights debate in Australia.
Louise Chappell is Associate Professor in the Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney. John Chesterman is Senior Lecturer in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Lisa Hill is Professor in the School of History and Politics, University of Adelaide.
Table of Contents
List of abbreviations
Understanding human rights
What are rights?
Human rights in Australia
Impediments to change
Protecting Human Rights
Constitutional protection of rights
Common law protection of rights
Legislative protection of human rights
The role of non-government organisations
A Bill of Rights?
Defining a bill of rights
The bill of rights debate in Australia
Alternatives to a national bill of rights
Electoral Rights in Australia
Suffrage rights in Australia
Aboriginal voters and the franchise
The diaspora and permanent residents
The electoral roll and voting access
One vote, one value
Securing electoral rights
The Rights of Indigenous Australians
No rights (1788-1950s)
Civil rights (1950s-70s)
Indigenous rights (1970s-90s)
Anti-rights (from 1996)
Gender and Sexuality Rights
A gender-based approach to human rights
Internationalising women's human rights
Australia's women's rights machinery
The refugee policy compromise
Pre-2001 refuge policies in Australia
2001: Refugees on centre stage
The policy controversies
The judicial realm
The parliamentary realm
Civil and Political Rights in an Age of Terror
The Australian response to the war on terror
Parliament as a constraint on government?
Case studies: Hicks and Haneef
Is Australia at risk?
A third way
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