Rights in the Australian Federation
European Journal of Law Reform (2018)
10 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2018
Date Written: January 17, 2018
The Australian Constitution is unique among constitutional instruments. It was primarily designed to federate self-governing British colonies within the British constitutional tradition and to establish institutions of federal government. As such, the constitutional instrument does not contain an entrenched Bill of Rights. Yet, Australia has been a stable federal democracy since its establishment in 1901 and, by international standards, it is consistently assessed as maintaining high levels of personal freedom, political rights, civil liberties and the rule of law. This article considers the place of rights in the Australian federation against Australian constitutional history and its constitutional context.
Keywords: Australian Constitution; Bill of Rights; Constitutional Rights; Implied Rights; Federalism; Separation of Powers; Judicial Independence; Democracy; Freedom of Interstate Trade; Freedom of Religion; Property Rights; Right to Trial by Jury
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