An adoption of bill of right have been proposed by Chief Justice Sir Anthony Mason, who states that :
Australia’s adoption of a Bill of Rights would bring Australia in from the cold, so to speak, and make directly applicable the human rights jurisprudence which has developed internationally and elsewhere. That is an important consideration in that our isolation from that jurisprudence means that we do not have what is a vital component of other constitutional and legal systems, a component which has a significant impact on culture and thought, and is an important ingredient in the emerging world order that is reducing the effective choices open to the nation state.
Academic expert on citizenship, Brian Galligan, states:
… the old confidence in the effectiveness of parliamentary responsible government and the common law for protecting human rights has been undermined by more realistic accounts of the weakness of parliament and the increasingly residual domain of common law compared with the plethora of statutory laws.
Of the many arguments that have been presented in the case against having an individual bill of rights for human rights in the constitution. Consider the following: firstly, there are arguments of how the introduction of a separate bill of rights would result in the challenging of the sovereignty of the Australian parliament. This then would put limitations on some laws and in essence would be putting limitations on the Australian people increasing the rights of the Government. Fundamental reason of having a constitution to check the rule of law of government and to ensure people rights be protected could be imbalanced because of this. A second main argument is that it could result in a high amount of politicizing of the courts. The bill of rights implemented was expected to result in such a situation where the elected representative of the people will have less power. More power will be given to the judges who handle the human rights cases in their court. The values and traditional implementations in law will hence suffer here. The constitutional amendment would in fact mean that people’s faith in government could be lost as they start seeking the court for everything. It can also be argued that such form of politicization of the court could easily lead to the limitation of rights. Also, there are differences across territories which will have to be handled in the context of human rights issues with more sensitization. This would not happen if a bill of rights was introduced. Many new human rights problems are cropping up in many different regions and territories. All these issues being handled is a major thing to consider. Where a bill of rights is defined, the flexibility to address these specific issues could be lost. Legislation will not overthrow the fundamental rights to be guaranteed in any context.
Now despite the issues raised for a separated bill of rights, the arguments for the bill of rights are also stronger. For instance, the bill of rights will once and for all solve the defects that exist in democracy. From the initial conception of the constitution and legal system, Australia did not have a separate system to protect human rights. Now the issues would be handled. As a fast changing community with many new issues coming up, it is important to seek to create awareness in the individual and enable human rights protection at the individual level rather than impose it at a legal level.
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