More offerings on the Bill of Rights debate……. nothing much in them though.

June 17, 2009 |

Some more interesting though hardly surprising offerings on the Bill/Charter of Rights debate.  Timothy Watson posted Dragged kicking and screaming: towards an Australian bill of rights on the most recent On Line Opinion.  Watson has conducted an analysis of the coverage to date.  How dare he!  Not a bad article.  Michael Tate’s offering, Dangerous charter, is just plain silly.  Even using Lenin’s reference to Australia’s 1913 election as a hook to attract the reader’s attention (but it is more in this article) is as ridiculous as it is obscure. Where Tate gets it wrong in the specifics, rather than his overall flawed approach is to somehow suggest the courts will delve into the minutiae of the delivery of health services.  Wrong on any assessment of how Charters operate.  More to the point, assuming the presumption is correct, all a court would do is make a finding of incompatibility.  So what! It is far from dictating.  The new angle to this debate is Tate saying that the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills does what the Charter is envisaged to do.  Wrong.  The Committee system of the Senate is valuable but its effectiveness is compromised by its membership and the nature of the legislation.  It splits on party lines when a “hot bill” lands in its “In Tray”.  Hardly a comparison. 

Peter Cosgrave has done an audio on ABC’s Big Ideas.  A fairly predictable rehashing of the arguments. 


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