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NCJ Number: 50486 Find in a Library
Title: HUMAN RIGHTS BILL 1973 SECOND READING SPEECH (FROM POLICE IN AUSTRALIA - DEVELOPMENT, FUNCTIONS AND PROCEDURES, 1977, BY KERRY L MILTE AND THOMAS A WEBER - SEE NCJ-50485)
Author(s): L K MURPHY
Corporate Author: Butterworth Pty Ltd
Australia
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Butterworth Pty Ltd
Chatswood 2067, Australia
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: REASONS FOR ENACTING A BILL OF RIGHTS IN AUSTRALIA ARE DISCUSSED, AND THE MAJOR PROVISIONS OF A LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL FOR SUCH A BILL ARE OUTLINED.
Abstract: AUSTRALIA IS A PARTY TO TWO UNITED NATIONS COVENANTS ON HUMAN RIGHTS. BUT DESPITE ITS SUPPOSED COMMITMENT TO FREEDOM, THE COMMONWEALTH PROVIDES REMARKABLY LITTLE LEGAL PROTECTION FOR SUCH RIGHTS. WHAT PROTECTION EXISTS DOES SO ONLY IN THE INTERSTICES OF LAWS AND REGULATIONS. FOR EXAMPLE, HABEAS CORPUS PROTECTION IS WHITTLED AWAY BY THE EXTENSIVE POWERS OF ARREST GIVEN TO THE POLICE AND BY POWERS TO DETAIN THOSE WHO ARE THOUGHT TO BE MENTALLY ILL. THAT A PERSON IS TO BE PRESUMED INNOCENT OF A CRIMINAL OFFENSE UNTIL PROVED GUILTY IS OVERSHADOWED BY THE INEQUITIES OF THE AUSTRALIAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, ESPECIALLY BY THE INADEQUACY OF LEGAL AID. MANY RESTRICTIONS ON INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM HAVE BEEN IMPOSED WITHOUT SUFFICIENT CARE TO ENSURE THAT THE RESTRICTIONS GO NO FURTHER THAN NECESSARY, OR BECAUSE THE ACTS BEING REGULATED OR FORBIDDEN MIGHT PROVE INCONVENIENT FOR AUTHORITIES. IDEALLY, A BILL OF RIGHTS SHOULD BE WRITTEN INTO THE AUSTRALIAN CONSTITUTION. IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH A MOVE, RIGHTS SHOULD BE DELINEATED AND ENFORCED BY ACT OF PARLIAMENT. THE PROPOSED BILL SETS FORTH FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS AND PROVIDES MACHINERY TO ENFORCE THEM. PART OF THAT MACHINERY IS A HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONER EMPOWERED TO INVESTIGATE INFRINGEMENTS OF RIGHTS AND TO TAKE LEGAL ACTION ON THE PART OF THE AGGRIEVED. THE PROPOSED BILL IS IN SEVEN PARTS: PROVISIONS FOR BRINGING THE BILL INTO FORCE IMMEDIATELY, STATEMENT OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS, ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COMMISSIONER'S OFFICE, PROVISIONS FOR ENFORCEMENT, ESTABLISHMENT OF A HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL TO ADVISE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONER ON IMPLEMENTATION OF INTERNATIONAL INSTRUMENTS RELATING TO HUMAN RIGHTS, ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS, AND MISCELLANEOUS MATTERS. THE CONTENT OF EACH SECTION IS SUMMARIZED. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Australia; Bill of Rights; Civil rights; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Legislation
Note: PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES, NOVEMBER 21, 1973
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50486

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