Bills of rights are currently a much debated topic in various jurisdictions throughout the world. Almost all democratic nations, with the exception of Australia, now have a bill of rights. These take a variety of forms, ranging from constitutionally entrenched bills of rights, such as those of the United States and South Africa, to non-binding statements of rights. Falling between these approaches are non-entrenched, statutory bills of rights. As regards the latter, a model which has become increasingly popular is that of bills of rights based on interpretative obligations, whereby duties are placed upon courts to interpret national legislation in accordance with human rights standards. The aim of this book is to provide a comparative analysis of the bills of rights of a number of jurisdictions which have chosen to adopt such an approach. The jurisdictions considered are New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the Australian Capital Territory and the Australian state of Victoria.
There have been very few books published to date which contain a detailed comparative analysis of the bills of rights which this book addresses. The book adopts a unique thematic approach, whereby six aspects of the bills of rights in question have been selected for comparative analysis and a chapter is allocated to each aspect. This approach serves to facilitate the comparative discussion and emphasise the centrality of the comparative methodology.
Chapter One. Introduction (p. 1)
Chapter Two. Constitutional Contexts (p. 15)
Chapter Three. The Background to the Enactment of the Bills of Rights (p. 31)
Chapter Four. Catalogues of Rights (p. 53)
Chapter Five. Operative Provisions (p. 81)
Chapter Six. Impact (p. 103)
Chapter Seven. Reform (p. 165)
Chapter Eight. Concluding Observations (p. 189)