The Statute of Liberty
The case for giving Australians back their rights, brilliantly argued by Geoffrey Robertson.The Australian people emerged from a polyglot mixture of nationalities and other races: a kind of human minestrone. Not only a race, but a race apart, thanks to the kindness of distance. What distinctive moral vision have we attained from the struggles and sacrifices of our forebears? If we are to preserve the part of our heritage to do with freedom, we must write down the entitlement of every citizen in a way that politicians and public servants will respect. That means they must be turned into law. If they are not capable of legal enforcement then they are not 'rights', they are empty promises. In this short book, Geoffrey Robertson QC puts the case for an Australian Bill of Rights cogently and dramatically, proving with evidence from other countries how a statute of liberty helps ordinary citizens and improves standards of governance and public services. He exposes the lies and urban myths the Australian people face from opponents of the bill, and shows how the charter he has drafted reflects the history and real contemporary values of Australians. This is a provocative argument for change, which explains that real democracy only exists if politicians give the courts power to defend citizens against abuses of their human rights by governments and public servants.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
Australia is one of the few western countries to lack a legal statement of its citizens rights. In this book, Geoffrey Robinson makes the case for a statutory charter of rights. The book is very much a contemporary argument - it was published in 2009 to coincide with an Australian Federal Government inquiry into the desirability of such a charter. The book begins by exploring the history of human rights, Australia's participation in the development of international standards for human rights, and the very limited nature of rights as they exist today in Australia. It then makes the case for a statutory charter, before looking at the experience of such a charter in the United Kingdom. He then turns to contemporary Australian critics of such charters before presenting his own back-of-envelope proposal. A key argument that Robinson makes. based on the experience of similar statues in Britain, Victoria, and the ACT, is that a charter need not bind the Parliament to be effective. This is an important argument in an Australian context. First, because critics often cite fear of "judges gone bad" making decisions against the will of the community. Second, because Australians prefer gradual change and a statutory charter may well be more palatable and easier to implement than a constitutional change. While students of law and human rights may find they know a lot of what is here, for lay people like myself this is a very educational book. Further, I found the book's central argument compelling even if I did not agree with the need to include some of the rights in Robinson's "rainy afternoon" charter. This book deserves to be read by all Australians who are interested in their rights and liberties.
Review: The statute of liberty: how Australians can take back their rightsUser Review - Joseph - Goodreads
Started out interestingly enough, but became repetitive and incredibly boring - although the actual (example) charter was interesting. But because its so very, very, very biased, I began to doubt nearly everything he said. Read full review
Mullahs Without Mercy: Human Rights and Nuclear Weapons
No preview available - 2012