May 2nd 2009

  Buy Issue 2802

Articles from this issue:

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Labor's 'people overboard' fiasco

EDITORIAL: Human rights consultation hijacked?

TRADE: Government pushes China free trade agreement

FIJI: Australia and NZ silent as China bankrolls military junta

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: From Baghdad to Beijing: Labor's dodgy dealings

TRADE UNIONS: WA unions host Cuban ambassador... Why?

ILLICIT DRUGS: Australia's $10 billion industry - organised crime

GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR: A desperate fight to the death

THAILAND: Land of smiles descends into turmoil

PRE-SCHOOL: Conscripting our toddlers for political activism

OPINION: Legislative assault on freedom of conscience

POLITICAL IDEAS: Crisis of credibility that has shaken the world

AS THE WORLD TURNS: Productive investment vs. financial speculation / Free speech curtailed for the sake of pluralism

Human rights hearings (letter)

Australia to import food? (letter)

Telstra (letter)

ETS to cost billions (letter)

CINEMA: Katyn - Sombre depiction of unpunished WW2 crime

BOOKS: REFUGEES AND REBELS: Indonesian Exiles in Wartime Australia, by Jan Lingard

BOOKS: GIRLS LIKE YOU: Four Young Girls, Six Brothers and a Cultural Timebomb, by Paul Sheehan

Books promotion page

Human rights hearings (letter)

by John Morrissey

News Weekly, May 2, 2009

It was with some interest but little expectation of a level playing-field that I attended the opening Melbourne session of the national Human Rights Consultation Committee's roundtable meetings.

Although the majority of participants were avid supporters of a national bill or charter of human rights, the conduct of the meeting and the performance of some of the wiser heads were encouraging.

The chairman, Fr Frank Brennan, appeared quite open-minded about whether we need a charter of human rights in Australia; but his associate, Mary Kostakidis, did not bother to hide her enthusiasm.

My own table included a human rights lawyer, an adult undergraduate student in the human rights degree course at RMIT University, three welfare officers from one local government area, and others similarly disposed to a charter - leaving me outnumbered, to say the least.

Speakers in the plenary session were more typically espousing hobby-horses which they believed a charter might assist, but a courteous hearing was given to more sceptical contributions.

Babette Francis of Endeavour Forum blew away the claims of an Islamic woman who sought a national charter to aid her opposition to the war on terror, while Peter Stevens of FamilyVoice Australia warned of the obstacles which such a charter would present to parliamentary government.

Robert Ward of the Australian Christian Lobby bluntly pointed out that the Victorian charter had expressly removed the rights of the unborn, the most vulnerable members of society.

It was also encouraging that other speakers were sceptical about the capacity of a written charter to change society, and asked about balancing the burgeoning rights culture with more awareness of our own responsibilities.

John Morrissey,
Hawthorn, Vic.

Join email list

Join e-newsletter list

Your cart has 0 items

Subscribe to NewsWeekly

Research Papers

Trending articles

COVER STORY Don't grieve dumped TPP; rather, thank Trump

ENVIRONMENT U.S. Congress to investigate shonky climate report

COVER STORY Money flows freely to fuel anti-coal campaign

ENVIRONMENT Ignore claims that Antarctic ice sheet will melt away

EDITORIAL What future has Senator Cory Bernardi?

EDITORIAL Commission report demonstrates old saying about statistics

ELECTRICITY Green policies threaten energy security and jobs

News and views from around the world

Scientists criticise "hottest year on record" hype (James Varney)

States, territories slash school funding by $100 million (Stephanie Balogh)

Confirm Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court (Stephen Mosher)

Rescuing Governor Ahok (Bob Lowry)

Future shock: What happens when robots take our jobs? (Adam Creighton)

President Trump: Protect religious freedom (Ryan Anderson)

China to crack down further on "cult" activities (Ben Blanchard)

Polish president rules out gay marriage (Radio Poland)

U.S. state legislatures sign 334 laws in five years to restrict abortion (Micaiah Bilger)

Clinton, Trump and the politics of the English language (Ben Reinhard)

© Copyright 2017
Last Modified:
March 16, 2017, 10:40 am