Human Rights Charter – Australia

Australia is now the only democratic country that does not have a National Human rights charter.

Some individual states have their own Human Rights Charter, but there is no standardised charter across Australia.

The Human Rights charter in New South Wales permits authorised personnel to enter a domestic property by force if the believe there to have unregistered pets in a the property.

The same charter in New South Wales also allow authorised personnel to enter a domestic property by force if the believe there to have unregistered fruit in a the property.

The New South Wales charter therefore allows people who are not police or customs officers to enter your home if they merely suspect that you have illegal pet or fruits.

The Human Rights and Responsibilities charter in Victoria has now been established in July 2006 and people opposed to it have claimed that it has been hijacked by the criminal fraternities.

The Victorian human rights and responsibilities charter clearly sets out and protects the rights of an individuals Freedoms, Respect, Equality, Dignity, Protection from forced work, privacy, a fair trial, and cultural rights.

The National human rights charter argument centre around the fact that individual states have these rights, however the federal government needs to standardise these right and enshrined in a constitution that is protected from government politics, policy and influence.

The prime example of this would be the ‘Intervention’ in the Northern Territories. Here the Howard / Liberal government was able to suspend the racial discrimination laws in order in implement policies that were specifically aimed at the black community, rather that policies aimed at all offenders.

The rights of the aboriginals should not have been suspended. The government should not have had the ability to remove the human rights of a person based purely on the colour of their skin.

The policy writer should have been less lazy and formulated a policy that aimed at and applied to all offenders of the policy regardless of creed or colour.

A policy aimed purely at the colour of a person’s skin is unacceptable, and unforgivable in the twenty first century.

The philosophical argument against the Nation Human Rights charter is that it removes power from the government and puts it into the hands of the judges. Where as this will ensure that it is protected from politics, it does mean that it is open to interpretation by the judges. Potentially the Human Rights charter could become as complex as the American laws, which are always open to interpretation and are constantly changing due to the legal challenges.

A prime example of this in the American constitution is the ‘Right to bear arms’ which was original designed to ensure that the militia would not be stripped of their weapons and by the federal government, allowing them to continue defending their state. However this right has been used, challenged and interpreted to the point that now almost every household in America has a firearm.

The emotional argument against the charter is that it has been used by criminals to subvert police procedures and avoid detainment. However one counter argument would be that police procedures should not infringe the human right of criminal, and that the rights of criminals should restricted but not removed entirely.

So what are your thoughts?

The government are carrying out a nationwide survey to canvas public opinion on a national human rights charter.

The survey was launched by Attorney-General Robert McClelland and the panel is being lead by Frank Brennan, so make your voice heard.


~ by jeditopcat on 11 February, 2009.

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