Australian National Human Rights Consultation report chaired by Frank Brennan


God and Jesus Christ are constantly heard in the bible speaking about the need to be good, moral, to protect the weak and the helpless.

As regular readers will know, I rarely comment on political events, unless they are of exceptional impotance for the correct and free functioning of human society.

Enshrining good moral choices and behaviours in government should not be necessary… but realistically this is a fallen world and therefore it IS necessary. When the fabric of society and the functioning of government is unable to treat residents of their countries with common dignity and decency, then the sanctity and integrity of human beings must be legislated and protected.

Barack Obama’s election was of exceptional importance to turn back the tide of criminal behaviour in powerful governments, so I urged Christian people to pray about that.

This issue of establishing a culture of human rights in societies which were corrupted by George Bush, Dick Cheney, John Howard and Tony Blair (plus others) is of absolute importance, so I urge Christians to pray for this too.

Here are some articles written in Australia on this topic…

A fairer go for all – Frank Brennan – MORE than 40,000 people participated in the National Human Rights Consultation. Despite the burdens of the global financial crisis and the complexities of an emissions trading scheme, Australians are able to walk and chew gum at the same time. They are very interested in discussing the protection of human rights, even in times of economic uncertainty. The four-member consultation committee has now reported to government, making 31 recommendations. We spent four months traversing the country and attended 66 community round tables in 52 locations, from Christmas Island to Palm Island and from Thursday Island to Hobart.

That article was written by Frank Brennan, the architect of the Consultation Report. These next articles are written by other Australian writers…

Its aim is to entrench values enshrined in human rights ideology. Every vital institution is affected: public service, the parliament and the courts. For the the human rights lobby, with its long-run plan to transform Australia, this is an important start. – Human rights report poisoned chalice

Similarly, tough anti-terror laws allowing for detention without charge, and the locking up of asylum seekers’ children, may also have been scuttled, according to National Human Rights Consultation committee chair Frank Brennan. Tough anti-terror laws, introduced following the September 11 attacks in the United States, would also have been in trouble. “Eventually that legislation would end up before one of the superior courts and the court would then have the task … to interpret that law as consistently as possible with human rights.” – Australia close to a charter of rights

AUSTRALIA should introduce a human rights act to prevent discrimination, enshrine individual freedoms and ensure Federal Parliament remains committed to ”the fair go”, according to a historic review of the nation’s commitment to civil rights. – Human rights act promises a ‘fair go’

More than 35,000 submissions were received, but the Federal Opposition is not convinced that Australia wants a human rights act… He disagrees with the claim that a human rights act will be a triumph for the elites. “This is the largest community response in Australia’s history to any issue that’s been put to the public,” he said. “What this shows is that this is an issue that really does mobilise Australians generally; they care about the issue. They’ve often seen first hand that the system has failed them or someone they know and they want change.”…

Melbourne barrister Julian Burnside says Australia will have more credibility and leverage internationally if it adopts a human rights act. “In recent years, when Australia has spoken out about human rights matters, a substantial response from the international organisation has been ‘look at your own back garden’,” he said. – Human rights act ‘a triumph for elitists’

I feel strongly about this topic because my personal rights were disastrously and cruelly abused during my stay in Australia. I had no protection because the evil was being perpetrated by those with power. There was no higher power above them which I could appeal to. There was no guiding principle in the constitution that I could point to. I was helpless.

My story is not unique. It is a very common story and it is the defining characteristic of the dark years we have all just lived through – abuse of the individual by powerful people who were unrestrained by an inner moral code or compass.

This tide of darkness is what must not only be turned back, but it must be exposed to the light and then fenced in so it cannot resurface later during a time of public complacency, so that it can try to complete what it could not finish previously.

Changing leaders was step 1.

Now in step 2, let’s change the laws and ensure that this evil is never again perpetrated. We simply must move to a more open society in which power cannot be removed from people nor from democracy and used and abused in secret.

Step 3 would be to prosecute the people who did the evil, so that they do not entertain a “come back” scenario in which they plan to finish off what they started. Prosecuting the criminals also ensures future generations don’t succumb to the mindset that they too can “give it a go” and know that if they get caught red handed, then they too will be protected and not prosecuted.

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