When considering a governing domestic statute, the High Court of Australia has expressed a willingness to consider if this statute should conform, so far as the statute text permits, to international law.
“Australian law, including its constitutional law, may sometimes fall short of giving effect to fundamental rights. The duty of the court is to interpret what the Constitution says and not what individual judges think it should have said. If the Constitution is clear, the court must (as in the interpretation of any legislation) give effect to its terms. Nor should the court adopt an interpretative principle as a means of introducing, by the back door, provisions of international treaties or other international law concerning fundamental rights not yet incorporated into Australian domestic law. However, as has been recognised by this court and by other courts of high authority, the inter-relationship of national and international law, including in relation to fundamental rights, is ‘undergoing evolution’. To adapt what Brennan J said in Mabo v. Queensland (No. 2), the common law, and constitutional law, do not necessarily conform with international law. However, international law is a legitimate important influence on the development of the common law and constitutional law, especially when international law declares the existence of universal and fundamental rights. To the full extent that its text permits, Australia’s Constitution, as the fundamental law of government in this country, accommodates itself to international law, including insofar as that law expresses basic rights. The reason for this is that the Constitution not only speaks to the people of Australia who made it and accept it for their governance. It also speaks to the international community as the basic law of the Australian nation which is a member of that community.”
Thus, the High Court of Australia was influenced by international law. However, it stopped short of embracing the automatic incorporation doctrine (when customary international law automatically becomes domestic law). Instead, the Australian judiciary follows the transformation approach, where the national legislature must effect legislation incorporating international law into domestic law. However, international law remains influential in Australia, and numerous judges have opined on the limitations of the transformation approach, as compared to the automatic incorporation approach. Nevertheless, the ICCPR and other treaties and conventions concerning international law do not have the force of law in Australia.
(found in Toward Implementing Universal Human Rights: Festschrift for the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Human Rights Committee, ed. Nisuke Ando, pp. 256-257)