We accept the universal right to live in freedom and without oppression, but are our human rights adequately protected by Australian law? Arguments about the need for a bill of rights in Australia have simmered for fifty years. While attempts to introduce a national bill of rights have failed, recently the states and territories have taken on a pioneering role with statutory bills. Bills of Rights in Australia, written by the leading experts in the field, examines the arguments for and against greater protection of human rights. Original and timely, it examines the emerging evidence of the impact of these uniquely Australian bills of rights. "The book which we launch today is a fine primer for all Australians interested in participating in this broad ranging national consultation on rights...This book will do a power of good in helping all Australians to be better informed as we conduct the national conversation on human rights in the months ahead. I commend these three academics for giving of themselves in sharing their expertise, passion and insights with the Australian public." Fr Frank Brennan, at launch of Bills of Rights in Australia, Canberra, 31 March 2009
Hilary Charlesworth is the Director of the Centre for International Governance and Justice and Professor of International Law and Human Rights in the Law Faculty, Australian National University. She was awarded an Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship in 2005. Madelaine Chiam is a Research Fellow with the Centre for International and Public Law and a Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, Australian National University. She holds Arts and Law degrees from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Laws from the University of Toronto. Devika Hovell is a lecturer and Director of the International Law Project at the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, UNSW. She has worked previously at the United Nations International Law Commission and in the Department of Legal Affairs at the International Court of Justice. She has a Master of Laws from New York University and an Arts/Law degree from the University of Western Australia. George Williams is the Anthony Mason Professor and Director of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law. From 1995 to 2000 he worked at the Faculty of Law and Research School of Social Sciences at Australian National University and in 1992 was Associate to Justice Michael McHugh of the High Court. George also practises as a barrister and has appeared in High Court cases raising issues such as freedom of communication, freedom from racial discrimination and the separation of powers. George is a media commentator on issues including constitutional law and the High Court.