What is your party’s position on the introduction of a Charter of Rights at a Commonwealth level?
In respect to human rights, it is Labor’s firm belief that a nation that respects fundamental human rights is a nation that is safer, more resilient, more prosperous and more stable.
When Labor was last in office, we established a set of polices called Australia’s Human Rights Framework. This important piece of work was chaired by Fr Frank Brennan SJ. Pursuant to this Framework, a Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights was established by statute, charged with responsibility to scrutinise legislation for compliance with human rights standards, as set out in the human rights treaties to which Australia is a party. In addition, under the Framework, Labor mandated that all new legislation introduced to the Parliament be accompanied by a statement of compatibility with human rights. These important measures remain today.
The National Platform of the Australian Labor Party – which outlines Labor’s key priorities for Australia – makes a commitment to “review the Human Rights Framework and consider whether it could be enhanced through a statutory charter of human rights or other similar instrument”.
A Shorten Labor Government will honour our Platform commitment and review Australia’s Human Rights Framework. This would necessarily involve consideration of the extent to which existing measures have been effective in protecting human rights in Australia, and whether a statutory charter of human rights is a measure that should once again be considered.
The Morrison Government does not support the introduction of a Charter or Bill of Rights at the federal level. The Government considers that existing mechanisms including human rights scrutiny and anti-discrimination law appropriately protect and promote human rights.
We do not support a Charter of Rights or Bill of Rights. Our Protected Freedoms Bill takes a carefully crafted, alternate approach, upholding core Australian freedoms like religious freedom and the right to life, rendering void other laws that over-ride those core freedoms.
The Greens support the creation of a Charter of Rights, which would consist of a framework for protecting religious belief, multiculturalism and freedoms from discrimination, and establish clear guiding principles for Australian society to embrace cultural and religious diversity.