Should Australia Have a Bill of Rights

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 166
  • Published : October 12, 2010
Open Document
Text Preview

There has been much debate concerning the formation of an Australian Bill of Rights. There are arguments both for and against the necessity of Australia adopting one.

A Bill of Rights is a statement of basic human rights and privileges. This document commences specific rights of individuals and the expectations of government, whom are subject to it. Australia is the only Western society without a Bill of Rights. Over the course of decades, politicians have suggested the adoption of a Bill of Rights, yet the government has contiuonly postponed. Since the time of Federation, the composers of the constitution did not recognise the necessity of a Bill of rights, as they believed the Consitution and the Australian law system would effectively protect human rights. Few basic human rights are already contained within the consitition, such as the 'right to religious freedom' and 'the right to trial by jury.' Due to the recent framework of Australia's Human Rights, the debate regarding the formation of one has heightened.

During April, 2010, the Attorney-General, Hon Robert McClelland, announced the launch of Australia's Human Rights Framework. The Framework consisted of five major actions to promote and protect human rights in Australia; Reaffirm, Educate, Engage, Protect, and Respect. The proposers believe that Australia should fuffil its international obligation under the seven United Nations treaties, which it has signed up to. These include: •International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights •Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination •Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women •Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment •Convention on the Rights of Child

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In relation to this legal framework, the Attorney-General believes that by contouring a national Bill of Rights, Australia would accomplish international acclaim and overcome social and economic disadvantage. The government will achieve this by, increasing education of human rights within school and communities, establishing a Parliamentary Joint Committee, collaborating with Non-Government Organisations, increasing funds for Human Rights Mechanisms and reviewing legislation, policies and practices. The objectives of this framework include, interntional acclaim of Australia, addressment of Indigenous disadvantage, reduction of domestic violence and child abuse, and perhaps an influence for other countries to follow.

In addition to this proposed framework, there are further points supporting the development of an Australian bill of rights. An Australian Bill of Rights will achieve conformation with the rest of the world. As mentioned previously, Australia is the singular western nation without a Bill of Rights. Popular western nations such as the United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand reside a Bill of Rights within their legal system. Australia is becoming increasingly internationalised and the nation needs to be aware international laws.

Not only do countries pertain a Bill of Rights, but websites are beginning to draft their own. Popular blogsite, Facebook, is implementing a Draft for their Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. After issuing a mea culpa, MarkZuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, pledged to derive an input from the sites community. Some delegation include the clear notification of users to the agreement. In the past, users have complained they were not distinctively aware of changes to facebook, and new user terms. More safeguards for photo privacy are also being issued. Before tagging a friend in a photo, requests will be sent to the parties in the photo before it posted.

tracking img