human rights news & views

How Australians can take back their rights

Dear National Human Rights Consultation Committee,

Statute of Liberty by Geoffrey RobertsonI would like to submit to the Committee Geoffrey Robertson's Statute of Liberty: How Australians can Take Back their Rights (Vintage, Sydney 2009) in its entirety. I hope he has done so already. I'm sure you have it.

I work in human rights, and I thought I had heard all the arguments. But I read his new book in deference to a great thinker and writer. And it was a revelation.

In an era of slaves, Australia's first colonial law was a prohibition on slavery! I had no idea.

He also questions our foreign head of state and the very foundations of our constitution, but not for the jingoistic reasons usually put forward; he offers compelling, rights-based historical and legal analysis. Britain's monarchy, closed to Roman Catholics and inherited by primogeniture, is quite simply a violation of our Sex Discrimination Act and a violation of freedom of religion.

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