Giving Meaning to a ‘Culture of Human Rights’

Author/s (editor/s):

McKInnon, Gabrielle

Publication year:


Publication type:

Working paper

Statutory bills of rights, such as those that have been adopted in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, more recently in the Australian Capital Territory, and now in Victoria, are intended to promote a dialogue about human rights protection between the three arms of government, rather than giving the judiciary the ultimate power to determine human rights issues. Such dialogue models of bills of rights involve the executive government in this human rights conversation, through mechanisms such as compatibility statements, which require internal scrutiny of new bills, and through the imposition of interpretive or direct duties on public officials to consider human rights in policy and decision making. One of the perceived benefits of this involvement of government is to foster a ‘culture of human rights’ within the executive.

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