The High Court, the Constitution and Human Rights

The High Court of Australia plays an important role in protecting human rights. It does so despite the fact that Australia lacks a human rights act, bill of rights or like instrument. This article examines how the Court is able to protect human rights in the absence of such laws. The focus is upon the possibilities for human rights protection by way of interpretation of the Australian constitution.


George Williams AO is an Anthony Mason Professor, Scientia Professor and Foundation Director, Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at UNSW Law; Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow; and a Barrister, New South Wales Bar.

Publish Date: 
November, 2015
Publication title: 
AJHR 21-1
Publication URL: