Human Rights in Australia: A Charter of Rights and Responsibilities?

Ethics and Professional Responsibility

CPD Points 1


Australia is the only common law country in the world without any formal constitutional or statutory protections for human rights. In this course, Gillian Triggs explores the practical impact that enacting a charter of rights could have for Australia.

Although Australia has some Commonwealth, state and territory laws which protect certain human rights, there is no single document which articulates these rights in a coherent and accessible way. This makes Australia the only common law country in the world without a legislated or constitutionally entrenched charter or bill of rights and responsibilities.

In this course, Gillian Triggs explores the issue of the adoption of a legislative charter of rights in Australia, including:

  • current human rights protections in Australia, and how these have evolved over time;
  • the practical difference a charter of rights could make, using illustrative case studies from across Australia; and
  • the arguments for and against adopting a charter of rights.

Last Updated: March 2022

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Gillian Triggs

Gillian Triggs

Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs is currently the United Nations Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. From 2012 to 2017 she was President of the Australian Human Rights Commission.

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What Lawyers Say

  1. 5.0/5
    This is an excellent and thought-provoking program.
    - M. Lourey, Solicitor
  2. 5.0/5
    A serious and engaging analysis.
    This session requires you to concentrate. It's a serious analysis. I'm a great fan of Gillian.
    - John Dasey, Solicitor, Dasey Legal