Chris Merritt; 5/3/10 (2 Items)
The chief proponent of a national charter of rights, Frank Brennan, will address the federal Labor caucus next week to bolster the government’s fading support for a national charter of rights. Father Brennan, who chaired a committee that called for a national human rights act, will address the Labor caucus following a cabinet decision last month that a national human rights charter was not a high priority. Cabinet decided it would not reject the option of such a charter, but would give it low priority. On Wednesday, Father Brennan will address a joint meeting of the caucus general and administrative policy committee and the social policy committee.
Human rights act based on tried and tested law
Adam McBeth; 5/3/10
In the latest wave of their misinformation campaign recently featured in The Australian, opponents of a federal human rights act have implied that the Victorian version currently in operation requires judges to engage in some sort of exercise that is less than legal. Various human rights act opponents have been quoted here saying that Victorian judges, in applying the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities, are making public policy decisions and could be considered “contaminated by non-legal reasoning”. The truth is that the Victorian charter is firmly based on two well-established and not particularly sexy areas of law that have operated in Australia since the beginning of English settlement: administrative law and statutory interpretation.