International labour standards and Queensland

Gagnon, Jean-Paul (2009) International labour standards and Queensland. In Conference Proceedings (CD), Royal on the Park, Brisbane.

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Queensland’s legal labour disputes history does not exhibit the current trend seen in Canada and Switzerland (Gravel & Delpech, 2008) where cases citing International Labour Standards (ILS) are often successful (which is not presently the case in Queensland either).

The two Queensland cases (Kuhler v. Inghams Enterprises P/L & Anor, 1997 and Bale v. Seltsam Pty Ltd, 1996) that have used ILSs were lost. Australia is a member state of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and a signatory of many ILSs. Yet, ILSs are not used in their legal capacity when compared to other international standards in other areas of law.

It is important to recognize that ILSs are uniquely underutilized in labour law. Australian environmental, criminal, and industrial disputes consistently draw on international standards. Why not for the plight of workers? ILSs draw their power from supranational influence in that when a case cites an ILS the barrister or solicitor is going beyond legal precedence and into international peer pressure. An ILS can be appropriately used to highlight that Australian or Queensland legislation does not conform to a Convention or Recommendation. However, should the case deal with a breach of existing law based or modified by an ILS, citing the ILS is a good way to remind the court of its origin. It’s a new legal paradigm critically lacking in Queensland’s labour law practice.

The following discusses the research methodology used in this paper. It is followed by a comparative discussion of results between the prevalence of ILSs and other international standards in Queensland case history. Finally, evidence showing the international trend of labour disputes using ILSs for victory is discussed.

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ID Code: 31073
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Labour Law, International Labour Standards, International Labour Organization, ILO
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Labour Law (180118)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT International College
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Jean-Paul Gagnon
Deposited On: 04 Mar 2010 05:22
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 14:23

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