Australia is one of a few nations that has signed UN optional protocols on human rights and thus has agreed to make its laws conform to the UN human rights standards.  But over the years the cases that get recognition ( such as the Tasmanian homosexual rights case and now the N.T. sentencing legislation) are ones that have wide support within Australia from 'the legal establishment' .

What happens to all the others where it is that same legal establishment that the victim wishes to put in the dock of international attention ?

So far nothing it would appear !

And for at least one Australian case the UN rejection appears to have been because the UN human rights committee reviewed and summarised in its rejection a quite different case to the one the complainant had actually submitted to the UN.

And in another the reason given for finding the complaint inadmissible was that the UN committee could not make comments on judgements made by the courts of a nation ! (Now of course one of the published rules for being able to submit a valid case to the UN human rights committee is that the person must have exhausted all local legal remedies. This case in question (Hart v Herron) had indeed done just that as over 17 years it moved from the supreme court on to the appeal court of NSW and then to the High Court of Australia - the full 'due legal process' path.)

So the Catch 22 rule for the UN Human rights committee is that they will find your case inadmissible if you have not used the courts. But will find your case inadmissible if you have used the courts !

So has the UN human rights commission run aground on the reef of  "Lost Credibility" ?

What do you think ?


Back to OVOP Media page