Addressing homelessness: does Australia’s indirect implementation of human rights comply with its international obligations?

Addressing homelessness: does Australia’s indirect implementation of human rights comply with its international obligations? Book Section

Protecting human rights: instruments and institutions

  • Author(s): Otto, D.
  • Secondary Author(s): Campbell, T., Goldsworthy, J., and Stone, A.
  • Published: 2003
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

Abstract: This chapter critically assesses whether indirect forms of human rights implementation, which rely on the political process rather than judicial enforcement, enable the Australian Government to fulfil its international obligations to ensure that all Australians enjoy all their human rights. This assessment focuses on the right to enjoy an adequate standard of living, which is included in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 1966, which is binding on the Australian Government. The effectiveness of the indirect measures used to implement some incidents of the right to an adequate standard of living are examined, using the national Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) as a case study. The study reveals that the main problems with this form of implementation are the lack of independent accountability mechanisms, and the related absence of effective remedies in the event of a violation. In conclusion, the chapter suggests that some measure of legal accountability (direct implementation) is indispensable to fully comply with international obligations, and that this may not necessarily be incompatible with Australia's democratic traditions.

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Suggested Citation
Otto, D., 2003, Addressing homelessness: does Australia’s indirect implementation of human rights comply with its international obligations?, Book Section, viewed 09 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=4355.

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