Addressing Homelessness: Does Australia's Indirect Implementation of Human Rights Comply with its International Obligations?

21 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2003

See all articles by Dianne Otto

Dianne Otto

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Law School

Abstract

This chapter critically assesses whether indirect forms of human rights implementation, which rely on the political process rather than judicial enforcement, enable the Australian Government to fulfil its international obligations to ensure that all Australians enjoy all their human rights. This assessment focuses on the right to enjoy an adequate standard of living, which is included in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 1966, which is binding on the Australian Government. The effectiveness of the indirect measures used to implement some incidents of the right to an adequate standard of living are examined, using the national Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) as a case study. The study reveals that the main problems with this form of implementation are the lack of independent accountability mechanisms, and the related absence of effective remedies in the event of a violation. In conclusion, the chapter suggests that some measure of legal accountability (direct implementation) is indispensable to fully comply with international obligations, and that this may not necessarily be incompatible with Australia's democratic traditions.

JEL Classification: K00, K19, K33

Suggested Citation

Otto, Dianne L., Addressing Homelessness: Does Australia's Indirect Implementation of Human Rights Comply with its International Obligations?. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=423321 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.423321

Dianne L. Otto (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Law School ( email )

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