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Keywords: Bill Of Rights

  • RELIGION

    Where does Infinite Dignity meet finite reality?

    • Bill Uren
    • 24 April 2024

    The recent Vatican declaration 'Dignitas Infinita' aims to provide a response to pressing bioethical and social issues, from abortion and euthanasia to gender theory and the rights of migrants. But does it effectively bridge the gap between doctrine and the lived experiences of the marginalised?  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Where to now with Religious Discrimination?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 29 November 2021
    17 Comments

    On Thursday, three Bills were introduced to the House of Representatives: the Religious Discrimination Bill 2021, the Religious Discrimination (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2021, and the Human Rights Legislation Amendment Bill 2021.  Collectively, these bills constitute the Morrison Government’s response to the Ruddock Religious Freedom Review provided to government in May 2018.   

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Mobile phone bill threatens dignity and decency

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 24 September 2020
    21 Comments

    The objections to the legislation focus correctly on the infringement of human rights. That phrase, however, is bloodless. It might suggest that rights form a list to be ticked off. Human rights are better conceived as a way of speaking about the conditions necessary for people to live decent human lives. The proper place from which to reflect on them is the actual lives of the people who are affected.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Human rights for the climate 'apocalypse'

    • Cristy Clark
    • 19 December 2019
    10 Comments

    Toxic air, dwindling water supplies, extreme heat: it's bleak stuff. And yet, on Sunday, COP25 finished with very little progress. Our planet will warm to +3C or higher, unless we also do something about the vested interests that continue to profit from our demise. And they aren't going to give up their power (or profits) just because we ask nicely.

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  • RELIGION

    Religious freedom in schools

    • Frank Brennan
    • 15 January 2019
    40 Comments

    When Parliament resumes, one outstanding item of business will be Penny Wong's bill dealing with religious schools' capacity to discriminate against students on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. I support the bill subject to the proviso that religious schools should remain free to teach their doctrine respectfully and reasonably.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A bill of rights for the age of technology

    • Kate Galloway
    • 29 October 2018
    2 Comments

    A robust human rights framework would hold government to account in its own deployment of technology such as 'robodebt'. It would also provide protections against the government's increasing attempts to control data through legislation — where data is collected and deployed using diverse technologies.    

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Courting women's and gay rights

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 27 September 2017
    2 Comments

    The showdown between Bill Jean King and self-styled 'chauvinist pig' Bobby Riggs came at a time when King and other women tennis pros were protesting against unequal pay, and while King herself was coming to terms with her identity as a gay woman. A film about the match and its context should have plenty to say to present day socio-politics of sexuality and gender. But this one suffers from an identity crisis.

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  • RELIGION

    Citizenship and the Common Good

    • Frank Brennan
    • 30 August 2017
    6 Comments

    'There was one controversy in which Lionel Bowen was involved that does provide good lessons for the contemporary Catholic considering the desirable law or social policy on a contested issue - lessons for the citizen weighing what is for the common good. Back in 1979 there was debate in the Parliament on a motion which was framed to stop Medicare funding of abortions. Bowen, a strict Catholic, was strongly opposed to the motion. He did not think the motion was about abortion. He thought it was about money.' Frank Brennan's 2017 Lionel Bowen Lecture

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'Rule of law' furore reveals real thugs

    • Fatima Measham
    • 16 March 2017
    18 Comments

    A new round of anti-union chest-thumping is underway, following ACTU secretary Sally McManus' remarks that 'I believe in the rule of law where the law is fair ... But when it's unjust, I don't think there's a problem with breaking it.' If any other person had said this in the context of civil and political rights, the words might not be so incendiary. Laws are not as neutral as we imagine them to be. They are constructed by individuals of immense power, with their own set of values and connections.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Seven warnings for Queensland as it considers a human rights act

    • Frank Brennan
    • 31 October 2016
    3 Comments

    'First warning: if you're going to be serious about a Human Rights Act, make sure that your government departments are sufficiently resourced and encouraged to produce meaningful statements of compatibility. Second warning, especially in a unicameral legislature: make sure that your parliamentary committee on human rights has sufficient muscle and status to arrest the progress of any bill until it has been thoroughly scrutinised for human rights compliance.' Frank Brennan's remarks at the Fringe Conference of the 2016 Queensland ALP Convention.

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  • RELIGION

    'Equal laws and equal rights ... dealt out to the whole community'. How close 161 years on?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 04 December 2015
    1 Comment

    'Tonight, gathered here in the Southern Cross Club in the national capital, gathered as Eureka's children. We affirm that there is room for everyone under the Southern Cross. I hope you will return to Canberra carrying the Southern Cross flag when we proclaim the Australia Republic on 1 January 2020 which will be two elections after Australia last had a monarchist leader of a major political party. Tony Abbott is the last of his type. Whether the prime minister honoured to witness the proclamation is Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten or another matters not.' Annual Dinner for Eureka's Children, Southern Cross Club, Canberra, 3 December 2015.

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  • RELIGION

    How do we navigate medico-legal questions without a bill of rights?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 03 December 2015

    The consideration of medico-legal problems in the public square of a pluralistic democratic society keeping pace with profound technological change is often marked by simplistic assertions, precluding considerations of comprehensive world views, whether religious or philosophical. It is now commonplace for doctors to be told to leave their consciences at the door, as their patients are consumers and they are suppliers and of course the market decides. Debates about law and policy are often resolved with simplistic assertions about individual rights and autonomy, with little consideration for the public interest, the common good, and the doctor-patient relationship. Even conscience is said to be a matter for contracting out. This evening I ask whether there are more compelling ways to resolve medico-legal dilemmas, while conceding a limited role for law in determining the range of acceptable answers.

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