Friday, August 28, 2009

Bill of Rights - not needed in Australia

Death knell for democracy if wigs get the gig: Howard

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.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with John Howard on this one!

    Before Australia leaps in this direction I’d love readers to listen to the following podcast, twice. There are some very interesting and unexpected opponents.

    EG: I would have sworn the Australian Christian Lobby would have been for human rights, which of course they are, but they are against a bill of rights as the means by which to best guarantee them in Australia.

    Instead, Brigadier Jim Wallace, AM, (Ret’d) Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby said something to the effect that “Bills of rights enshrine selfishness over the rights of the community”, which helped me remember my conversation with my American friend about breath testing.

    Not only that, but a bill of rights can:-
    * politicise the judiciary which are meant to be about interpreting law, not social policy
    * promote an *absolute* formula of ‘rights’ as interpreted by our generation, and make them absolute for all time when ‘rights’ are often about social policies more appropriately held to account by the parliamentary political process and democratic discussion of the day.
    * reflect the silly prejudices and blind spots of our day
    * condense into a silly summary some very weighty issues that are far more complex and require weighty volumes of legal document to truly unravel
    * promote selfish policy at the expense of the public good

    Please, “Don’t leave us with the bill!” Download the podcast here.


I usually delete comments from Anonymous