Australia bill of rights essay

We do not know when some wave of popular feeling may lead a majority in the Parliament of a state to commit an injustice by passing a law that would deprive citizens of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. But the hidden potential was to be found, ultimately, in the power conferred upon the Federal Parliament to enact laws with respect to external affairs.

It would allow the vetting of legislation before enactment so as to reduce the likelihood of Commonwealth legislation breaching basic freedoms.

australian bill of rights pros and cons

Of course, many of the countries with bills of rights shamefully deny such rights to their citizens. Enact specific laws: Proponents of bills of rights are not necessarily opposed to the protection of human rights.

Why doesnt australia have a bill of rights

The committee recommended the passage of a federal human rights act together with other methods of addressing the promotion of human rights, such as education. But there are other fundamental rights which cannot be so easily expressed and enforced by the courts. The referendum demonstrated that any move to bring about an Australian Bill of Rights should follow a gradual and incremental path. There were proposals for bill of rights protections to cover amongst other things trial by jury, freedom of religion and the acquisition of property on just terms by the States. Nor, it seems is it inevitably an occasion for disciplining the public servant. While the Parliament has enacted important legislation such as the Racial Discrimination Act Cwlth , and its committees, such as the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills, determine whether bills trespass unduly on personal rights and liberties, no statute lists the core rights attached to Australian citizenship. This was demonstrated by the decision of the House of Lords in A v Secretary of State in December which held to be incompatible with human rights principles a law which permitted the detention of unlawful non-citizens who were suspected of terrorist leanings, but who were not charged with any offence.

Traditionally, constitutional rights in Australia have conferred protection from government action, rather than as between private actors, such as landlord and tenant or employer and employee.

There is a need to provide the judges with means to redress derogations from fundamental human rights. What is necessary is a recognition of the inherently political nature of the judicial branch of government and a harnessing of that function to ensure that judges, above party politics, protect the basic fundamentals of all the people living in our form of society.

They are doing so by the principle which has been approved in Mabo above. Education of citizens: There is a growing awareness of the ignorance of school children concerning the fundamental features of the Australian political and legal system.

Rights are meaningless unless they exist within an appropriate legal, political and cultural environment.

Why is bill of rights bad

The referendum was lost on the national vote with a Encountering strong opposition, the Bill was finally withdrawn in November Frozen attitudes of the past: The other side of this coin is that a bill of rights might entrench attitudes to rights which become out of date with changing times or new technology. They must do so if those laws are clear and applicable, even if fundamental human rights are breached by them. However clever may be the drafter, it would be inherent that any language would expressly state, and thereby confine, the basic rights of the people. I commend New Matilda and the co-hosts of this Forum for advancing the debate on a very important topic. In this article, Justice Michael Kirby reviews the arguments for and against a bill of rights in Australia. Human variety, like the variety of animals and plants, is a precious feature of nature and of freedom. The lack of an Australian Bill of Rights reflects the views of the framers of the Australian Constitution expressed in the s. Otherwise, a good place to start would be to examine the rights protected under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights , or those favoured by the Constitutional Commission in its report or by the Queensland Electoral and Administrative Review Commission in its report. Except for our inheritance of British institutions and the principles of the Common Law, we have not felt the need for formality and definition. In the common law, decisions of the High Court of Australia sometimes demonstrated, even to sceptical observers, the need for bill of rights protections to override old inherited laws and to reflect notions of fundamental rights and human equality.

The Report of the ACT Bill of Rights Consultative Committee published in May recommended remedies enforceable against public authorities, but that part of the recommendation did not find its way into the Act.

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The Federal Parliament and the Protection of Human Rights