Protection of Human Rights by the Australian Law


Like almost all the governments in the world, the issue of human rights protection has always been on the spotlight following the sensitive nature of human rights. Human rights are inherent to all people regardless of their sex, age, race, ethnicity, religion, and nationality, among other social statuses. Huan rights also extend to rights to freedom, the right to liberty and life, freedom to express oneself, the right to work, and right to education. This paper is an analysis of two secondary sources on a prompt: Does Australian law adequately protect human rights? Why or why not?

Secondary source analysis

Legally, the government of Australia and the high court has always upheld the laws that safeguard people’s human rights. As such, the Australian high court, for instance, has always been on the upfront in the protection of the citizens of Australia or any other person in Australia from being harassed and accosted separate from abortion clinics.

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Following on the case between Kathleen Clubb versus Alyce Edwards, the Australian high court has defended the constitutional legitimacy to ‘safe access zone laws’ in both Tasmania and Victoria. Thus, the Australian high court has created provisions which have prohibited some protests and communication on abortion occurring in the interiors of 150 meters from a registered abortion clinic.

In the case study based in Victoria, Kathleen Clubb gets convicted in the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic) for engaging in prohibited behavior where she spoke about abortion reasonable as a cause of anxiety and distress, communication prohibition, to a pair intending to visit one of the clinics practicing abortion in Melbourne. The communication prohibition was found to get burdened by the implied freedom, but its effects are minimal, because the communication was not politically motivated, as well as, being geographically limited.

From the case study, it can get derived that the Government of Australia has the issue on human rights a sensitive phenomenon in the country’s constitution. As such, the rights of a person planning to get an abortion and undergoing abortion are protected within the specified distance by the law. Also, it stipulates more on the communication prohibition on the constitutionally implied freedom where some matters are constitutionally viable, disregarding their presence in the Australian constitution.

Peer-reviewed secondary source analysis

The Australian constitution does not have explicit protection on the country’s freedom of expression. Altogether, the high court of Australia asserts that the implied freedom based on the topic of political communication is an essential part of the constitution and responsible government of the state. The controversy between the right to expression to the constitutional communication prohibition then poses the difference between how the constitution regards freedom of political expression to the freedom of expressing not political issues.

What also promotes the constitutional controversial is the declaration by the Human Rights Act 2004. In this Act, it gets asserted that all Australians own the right to have their own opinions without any external interference. As such, the Australian constitution has bobbing protection of the people’s freedom to express themselves due to the statutory or constitutional declaration.

However, the constitution of Australia exempts the protection of the people’s rights when the case involves any political expressions. Mean that the Australian law protects any political speech as it gets protected from any possible criminal prosecution. As such, the Australian law has defined both civil and political freedom as the implied rights. However, they are not directly included in the constitution but altogether safeguard the rights to communicate freely on political matters.

Altogether, the Australian freedom to political communication is not considered on a personal interface platform but on the scales and acts to confining executive powers or legislature from hindering any other existing constitutional rights. Thus, implied freedom can further get viewed as a form of independence from any unconstitutional government actions.

Reflection and Comparative analysis of secondary sources

From the first secondary source, it is clear of how the Australian government, the high court, and the constitution of Australia as a nation uphold the laws that define and safeguard the human rights of Australians. Among the human rights identified by this analysis is the issue on the right to free expressions and political communication. It is stressed that the constitution of Australia and the high court. For some cases such as abortion, the Australian law, expressing subjective comments on a distressing or anxious topic such as abortion within a specified radius of 150 meters from an abortion-practicing clinic can be viewed as a criminal act. However, the same source continues to inform that such implied freedom on individual expression and communication are differently considered depending on the nature of the subjective expression and the issue behind the expression. For pure political expression, on the other hand, as described by the second secondary source, the constitution has implied freedom all through in which people have the authority to directly expressing their political understanding and expression. Although the second secondary source seems to be contradicting on the Australian government being keen on preserving human rights, the source also informs that political expressions are constitutionally allowed by the Australian government.

The two papers have confirmed that the Australian government is keen on preserving the communication and personal expression of people depending on the location of expression and the topic being communicated. As such, the two sources when combined describe political expression as a free right for the people while other personal expressions such as that on abortion depending on the context and the location from where the expressions are made.

From a reflective perspective, the two sources have addressed freedom of expression when viewed from a political standpoint and from a social standpoint. With the main focus placed on political communication and expression, gets assumed that the Australian constitution on executive powers and the legislative to safeguard the violation of other laws and human rights.



Kathleen Clubb v Alyce Edwards & Anor [2019] HCA 11

Haig Patapan ‘Rewriting Australian Liberalism: The High Court’s Jurisprudence of Rights’. (2010) 31, no. 2 Australian Journal of Political Science, 225-242