A blog post

Brennan committee back-up strategy

Posted on the 11 March, 2010 at 10:33 pm Written by in Blog

Well done to all for the flurry of sign-ins (70 in last 6 days).  But we need much more so please keep the networking going with emailing/tweeting/facebooking contacts – even talking!  Even though talk of a Bill of Rights has lapsed in the media and it is less and less likely that any bill would be introduced before the looming federal election, the risk is real. Professor James Allan, Garrick professor of law at the University of Queensland writes in The Australian that the Brennan committee foreshadowed a back-up strategy if a bill were not to be introduced:

“The ploy here will be to insert one of the key provisions of a statutory bill of rights, known as a reading-down provision, into another statute, probably the Acts Interpretation Act. This transplanted provision will do the same work of authorising judges to interpret all other statutes in a new-age way as it would in a real bill of rights. It will allow them to read other statutes in a way they, the judges, happen to think is more rights-respecting.”

He also writes “When you buy a bill of rights, all you’re really getting is the views of unelected judges rather than of elected legislators.”

The whole article is worth reading http://www.theaustralian.com.au/politics/opinion/rights-bill-is-still-a-threat/story-e6frgd0x-1225837499041