A BILL of rights would erode Australia's democracy, diminish the reputation and accountability of Parliament, politicise the judiciary and represent the ''final triumph of elitism in Australian politics'', the former prime minister John Howard said last night.
Delivering the annual Menzies Lecture at the University of Western Australia, Mr Howard campaigned against ceding power from elected individuals to the non-elected judiciary.
The Rudd Government is exploring whether to introduce a bill of rights. In December, it commissioned a committee chaired by Father Frank Brennan to gauge public opinion on how best to achieve greater protection of rights. It is due to report to the Government on September 30.
My study of law and history convinces me that our Common Law provides our freedoms. Why do we need new laws and why would we put it under control of non elected officials.