Human Rights Day 2022: A Federal Human Rights Act to Deliver Climate Justice
Castan Centre for Human Rights Law
by Castan Centre
2M ago
By Scott Walker On 10 December 2022 the world marks Human Rights Day commemorating the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights(UDHR) in 1948.  This year’s theme is dignity, freedom, and justice for all, in anticipation of the 75thanniversary of the UDHR in 2023. It gives us cause to reflect on the mobilising force that the UDHR has become in the struggle for human rights across the world. Yet, there is always more work to be done to truly achieve a world in which dignity, freedom, and justice is a lived reality for all. To do so we must utilise human ..read more
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Torres Strait Islanders successful in landmark human rights complaint against Australia
Castan Centre for Human Rights Law
by Castan Centre
4M ago
By Karin M Frodé, Andrea Olivares Jones and Joanna Kyriakakis In a historic decision, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee found on Friday 23 September that Australia’s failure to adequately adapt to climate change violates the human rights of Torres Strait Islanders.    The Committee, which oversees the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) received a complaint by eight Torres Strait Islanders and six of their children in 2019. The group called for the Committee to recognise that the Australian ..read more
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‘Not my king’: do we have the right to protest the monarchy at a time of mourning?
Castan Centre for Human Rights Law
by Castan Centre
4M ago
By Maria O’Sullivan During the present period of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II, public sensitivities in the United Kingdom and Australia are high. There’s strong sentiment in both countries in favour of showing respect for the queen’s death. Some people may wish to do this privately. Others will want to demonstrate their respect publicly by attending commemorations and processions. There are also cohorts within both countries that may wish to express discontent and disagreement with the monarchy at this time. For instance, groups such as Indigenous peoples and others who were subject to disp ..read more
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There’s never been a better time: Enhancing the protection of human rights in Australia
Castan Centre for Human Rights Law
by Castan Centre
5M ago
By Professor Paula Gerber There are many factors which point to now being the right time to focus on improving human rights in Australia, including, a change of government at the federal level, from one that was largely hostile to human rights to one that has made many commitments to enhancing respect for human rights; the COVID pandemic which saw far-reaching restrictions on human rights and stimulated greater awareness of, and debate about, human rights generally;  the US Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning Roe ..read more
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A Robot Breaks the Finger of a 7-Year Old: A Lesson in the Need for Stronger Artificial Intelligence
Castan Centre for Human Rights Law
by Castan Centre
6M ago
Disturbing footage emerged this week of a chess-playing robot breaking the finger of a seven-year-old child during a tournament in Russia.  Public commentary on this event highlights some concern in the community about the increasing use of robots in our society. Some people joked on social media that the robot was a “sore loser” and had a “bad temper”.  Of course, robots cannot actually express real human characteristics such as anger (at least, not yet). But these comments do demonstrate increasing concern in the community about the “humanisation” of robots. Others noted ..read more
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Now that Roe v Wade has been overturned, what are the consequences?
Castan Centre for Human Rights Law
by Castan Centre
7M ago
In May this year, I wrote a piece for Monash Lens following the leaking from the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) of a draft judgment overturning the 1973 decision of Roe v Wade. This is the seminal decision that provided constitutional protection to the right to abortion. The final decision of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health has now been handed down and, staying largely true to the leaked draft judgment, it’s devastating for reproductive rights, and a dangerous precedent for the potential overturning of other rights, such as the right to gay marriage. The court dec ..read more
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To give schools real choice about secular school chaplains, latest change needs to go further
Castan Centre for Human Rights Law
by Castan Centre
7M ago
By Luke Beck New federal Education Minister Jason Clare has announced a change to the National School Chaplaincy Program to allow schools to “choose” between having a religious chaplain and having a professionally qualified well-being worker. The opposition has criticised the announcement as effectively meaning “the end of many school chaplains”. So what’s the fuss about? The Howard Coalition government started the chaplaincy program in 2006. It has continued, with some variations, ever since. A “project agreement” signed by federal, state and territory education ..read more
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A new Treaty Authority between First Peoples and the Victorian government is a vital step towards a treaty
Castan Centre for Human Rights Law
by Castan Centre
8M ago
By Melissa Castan, Kate Galloway and Scott Walker Last week the Victorian government demonstrated its commitment to build an equal relationship with First Peoples. A new bill has been tabled in the Victorian parliament to advance the Victorian treaty processes. In 2018, legislation was enacted that required the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria and the Victorian government to work together to establish a Treaty Authority.  The new bill further affirms the Assembly and the Victorian government’s agreement and commitment to establish a Treaty Authority a ..read more
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The question of conscientious objection in the voluntary assisted dying debate
Castan Centre for Human Rights Law
by Castan Centre
8M ago
Voluntary assisted dying (VAD) has been legal in countries such as Switzerland and the Netherlands for more than a decade. In Australia, aside from a brief introduction by the Northern Territory in 1995 that was quickly overruled by conflicting federal legislation, VAD remained illegal in every Australian jurisdiction until 2017. In 2017, Victoria took the lead, enacting the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 (Vic). In 2019, Western Australia followed suit, and in 2021 VAD became legal in Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland. On 19 ..read more
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Human rights and election campaigns: Never the twain shall meet?
Castan Centre for Human Rights Law
by Castan Centre
9M ago
By Paula Gerber and Melissa Castan It’s easy to tell we’re in a federal election campaign – politicians are everywhere, parading around in high-vis vests and kissing babies who just want to be back in their parents’ arms. You can also tell politicians are on the campaign trail by what they’re not talking about. They’re not talking about human rights – neither major party has a policy to strengthen the protection of human rights in Australia. This is shameful, given we’re the only Western country to not have a Bill of Rights. New Zealand, the US, Canada and the UK, for example, have all recogni ..read more
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