Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Albrechtsen on a human rights act

Not a good idea to move power away from the legislature toward the (unelected) judiciary:

Let’s be clear. We are not talking about a campus campaign to save the whales. The introduction of a human rights act will alter the carefully calibrated balance of power in Australia between the legislature and the judiciary. And that single fact requires a detailed consideration of the consequences, not a T-shirt revolution.

The list of vaguely described rights in a charter will necessarily require judges to determine important social policy questions that we have traditionally entrusted to politicians to decide on our behalf, politicians who can be voted out of office if we disagree with them.

On matters of rights, where reasonable people can disagree, a handful of judges will decide the outcome. By any measure, that is a shift of power to judges away from the people.

From The Australian.

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