Does Parliament Do Enough? Evaluating Statements of Compatibility Under the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act
32 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2015 Last revised: 9 Nov 2015
Date Written: 2015
The HRPS Act ought to have sounded a clarion call for the protection of human rights at the federal level. So far, however, the legislators who are subject to its obligations have not lived up to that promise. But not all the blame is to be laid at the doors of the responsible MPs. The HRPS Act itself has certain structural weaknesses that, taken together, are a significant impediment to effective legislative deliberation on rights issues. Ultimately, however, I leave open the question of what implications my arguments have for the desirability or utility of an exclusively parliamentary model of rights protection, suggesting that there is simply not enough evidence of the deliberative processes and the human rights outcomes that have attended the entry into force of the HRPS Act for any firm conclusions to be drawn about whether such a scheme is capable of providing, and in fact does provide, adequate protection of human rights.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation