14 January, 2009

Bill of Rights a potential tool of oppression

14th January 2009

The implementation of a Bill of Rights is no guarantor of human rights in this country-it is in fact a tool that can be used to further erode the freedoms so many Australians take for granted today.

We support the right of Australians to freedom of speech and freedom of association.

The Australian Constitution should be enough to guarantee these rights, if not, then careful changes must be proposed and put to the Australian people in the form of a referendum.

A Bill of Rights has been enacted by various countries, many of which have had the most brutal and oppressive dictatorships known to man, a perfect example being the Soviet Union-how did a Bill of Rights or a UN Charter defend those persecuted by the government or tortured by the KGB? If anything, such a Bill here could be used to stifle freedom of speech and religious expression.

A Bill enacted in Australia could be used to seriously curtail criticism of beliefs or behaviour one finds abhorrent in defence of “human rights”. Where would that leave those wanting to voice their concern about practices such as polygamy, sodomy, female circumcision and abortion?

Furthermore, a Bill could be used to deny the right of an employer to employ the most suitable candidate for a position-as in the case of religious based schools wanting teachers to support the Christian ethos of their institution.

Such a move, intent on transferring power from Parliament to unaccountable judiciary is fraught with dangers to the freedoms given to us by previous generations, not least those who gave their lives upon the battlefield- it must be rejected outright.