Australia has ratified multiple international human rights instruments. However, in comparison to other common law jurisdictions, Australia is 'behind the times'. The fact is that Australia has not adopted a Bill of Rights and its human rights legislation is ad hoc The legal protection that different human rights receive in Australia is contradictory. The question of whether Australia should adopt a Bill of Rights and, if so, in what form and with what content is essentially political. Nonetheless, the answer to the question needs to be informed by a greater awareness of the role and function of human rights in Australia.



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