The right to equality before the law is now widely accepted as a fundamental principle of a healthy democracy. This concept is enshrined in the UN Declaration of Human Rights signed in 1948, and has been reinforced in subsequent conventions to protect the rights of minority or oppressed groups.
Many of these international treaties have been ratified by Australia, and specific rights are now guaranteed by law. The Australian Constitution offers limited protection of civil or equal rights, and political campaigns and movements for equal rights have played a key role in defining the nature of Australian democracy.
Image courtesy of National Library of Australia
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Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House
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Old Parliament House is an Executive Agency within the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio.