Op-ed: Australia's draft religious laws fail to fill in constitutional gaps

By George Williams, 3 September 2019
Parliament House, Canberra (photo credit: Leorex/flickr)
Parliament House, Canberra (photo credit: Leorex/flickr)
Attorney-General Christian Porter has taken on an unenviable task in protecting religious freedom in Australia. It is a minefield, with a series of seemingly irreconcilable positions held across the community. He has attempted to resolve these as best he can with his draft Religious Discrimination Bill, but the likely result is months of wrangling and disagreement. The issue is whether this division ultimately sinks his bill. The Ruddock review laid bare that Australia provides inadeq­uate protection to religious freedom. Section 116 of the Constitution provides some help but it contains a gaping hole in not ­extending to state laws. The ­review revealed a long list of areas where religious freedom lies ­unprotected, and so is vulnerable to override.
Read the full article here: The Australian


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