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The judicial evolution (or counter-revolution) of fundamental rights protection in Australia
journal contributionposted on 2017-03-01, 00:00 authored by Dan MeagherDan Meagher
This article suggests that the decision of the framers of the Australian Constitution to consciously reject American notions of formal rights guarantees has not, ultimately, proven decisive. In the absence of a constitutional (or statutory) bill of rights, the High Court has filled the lacuna in formal rights protection in Australia. The emergence of new species of (constitutionally valid) legislation, openly hostile to fundamental rights, has sparked this judicial evolution (or counter-revolution). The Court has used the method of clear statement required by the principle of legality to construct a common law bill of rights that is now, arguably, quasi-constitutional in strength.