RULESWATCH

April 6, 2009

Optimism and Villains: Written Australian Bill of Rights not for the immediate future

Filed under: 1 — ruleswatch @ 9:10 am

Like the mother country*, Australia is not apparently ready to sign on to a written Bill of Rights any time soon.

But its not for want of effort on the part of  one of country’s long-time, better known lawyers.

Geoffrey Robertson, who is described as a leading, Australian human rights lawyer with a long history opposing the death penalty as appeal counsel in a number of Privy Council cases, is a committed advocate of a documented Bill of Rights for that country.

The April 5 blog of the Sydney [Australia!] Morning Herald contained a post by writer Nick Galvin of an interview with Robertson.

Author of a recent book entitled “Statute of Liberty”  championing the idea, Robertson’s view of the charter is said to extend well beyond traditional “rights,” to include rights to a healthy environment and the right to work in the ideal charter.

However, as in the UK at the moment, the prospect for the project is not particularly bright in the short term.

Blogger Galvin writes that Roberston, “…evidently doesn’t expect his model code to be turned into law in the immediate future but remains optimistic that Australians will have their bill of rights at some point.”

“It is this same optimism and fundamental faith in mankind,” he goes on, “that has carried [Robertson] through his years of practising law and dealing with many of the greatest villains of our time.”

___

*see Ruleswatch: March 26, 2009, UK Green Paper on proposed, written (!) British “Bill of Rights!”

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