The Roles Of: A Charter of Rights (Arguments For and Against)

A Charter of Rights (Arguments For and Against)

  • Most democracies like that of Australia adopted a Bill of Rights to ensure maximum protection of human rights and to keep a document that limits the ability of the parliament to dissolve or infringe certain human rights. Unlike most countries, Australia does not have a general Charter of Rights or Bill of Rights to protect the rights of the citizens yet.
  • Many arguments have been put forward both for and against the motion of a Charter of Rights. Some of these claims have been listed below –

Arguments For

Arguments Against

1. Provides explicit legal protection of human rights.

1. A threat to parliamentary sovereignty since it limits the authority of the elected members to make laws.

2. Provides a clear legal framework on holding violators accountable.

2. May increase judicial activism.

3. Provides clarity on the freedom and rights of citizens.

3. Subjective interpretations of the rights and freedoms in the charter may lead to ambiguity.

4. Will help in enhancing democratic processes in the country by entitling every citizen to human rights regardless of their race, gender, religion or other characteristics.

4. Inflexibility of the Charter of Rights may make it difficult to mould as per changing social and political circumstances.

Extract from Legal Studies Stage 6 Syllabus. © 2009 Board of Studies NSW.