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Equality Guarantees and Distributive Inequity

Public Law Review, Vol. 19, pp. 32-51, 2008

20 Pages Posted: 18 May 2008  

Denise Meyerson

Macquarie Law School


Australian bills of rights are confined to the protection of civil and political rights. Economic, social and cultural rights were deliberately excluded from their coverage. This article draws on United Kingdom, Canadian and South African judgments with the aim of showing that the equality guarantees contained in these instruments can nevertheless be used as a vehicle for socio-economic claims. It further argues that there are sound moral and philosophical reasons that justify this approach.

Keywords: Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT), Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic), equality, positive obligations, Article 26 ICCPR, Article 14 European Convention on Human Rights, Ghaidan v Godin-Mendoza, Ex parte Limbuela, Eldridge v British Columbia, Khosa v Minister of Social Development

Suggested Citation

Meyerson, Denise, Equality Guarantees and Distributive Inequity. Available at SSRN:

Denise Meyerson (Contact Author)

Macquarie Law School ( email )

NSW 2109

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