keywords: Human Rights Charter

  • AUSTRALIA

    UN human rights declaration turns 70

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 December 2018
    14 Comments

    It is appropriate to affirm the worldwide amplification system for the 'still, small voice' of conscience speaking to power, even when that voice of conscience maintains a religious tone, while the power of the state is increasingly secular and the tone of society more stridently secularist.

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  • RELIGION

    Religion and human rights

    • Frank Brennan
    • 20 July 2018
    4 Comments

    'I voted 'yes' in last year's ABS survey on same sex marriage. As a priest, I was prepared to explain why I was voting 'yes' during the campaign. I voted 'yes', in part because I thought that the outcome was inevitable. But also, I thought that full civil recognition of such relationships was an idea whose time had come.' — Frank Brennan, 2018 Castan Centre Human Rights Conference

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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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Human rights acts after Brexit

    • Frank Brennan
    • 28 October 2016
    7 Comments

    Even prior to Brexit, the Conservatives were wanting to replace the UK Human Rights Act with weaker legislation. They have been worried about what they perceive to be a loss of sovereignty. But even the British Conservatives remain committed to some form of human rights act. I commend the Queensland parliament for undertaking its present inquiry, and sound a cautious note of optimism about the modest gains which might be made by the enactment of a human rights act in Australia.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A Human Rights Day tribute to the Northern Territory's Tony Fitzgerald

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 December 2015

    I first met this Tony on my regular visits here to Darwin when he was working at the North Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service and then when he set up the mediation services under the auspices of Anglicare. In later years I knew him when he was your Anti-Discrimination Commissioner. He was a quiet, considered, gentle, strong and principled man. On Human Rights Day, it is only fitting that I honour Tony by offering some reflections on the architecture for human rights in Australia, on the contemporary human rights controversies, and on the way forward for better protection of the human rights of Aborigines and asylum seekers, two marginalised groups who had a special claim on Tony's sympathies.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Human rights are more than an inconvenient truth

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 09 December 2015
    11 Comments

    Although they can be inconvenient, human rights matter. It is important for nations to recognise them and for citizens to defend them. The survivors of the Second World War who had seen the gross violations of human rights under both Nazi and Communist regimes clearly saw this. These states regarded human rights as a privilege that they could give and take away as they chose. History spells out in the alphabet of gas chambers and gulags what that attitude meant for their subjects.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Human rights walking tall

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 December 2013
    4 Comments

    The Declaration of Human Rights exists as a standard by which we can judge our national life and priorities. By these criteria Australian public life displays grounds for concern. In the case of asylum seekers, prisoners and bikies, governments spend more effort on seeking to evade the claims of human rights than to uphold them. In the 'nonsense on stilts' stakes the unfettered appeal to national interest walks far taller than advocacy of human rights.

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  • RELIGION

    Advancing human rights in Australia

    • Frank Brennan
    • 17 October 2012
    1 Comment

    Full text from Fr Frank Brennan SJ's address 'Advancing human rights in Australia — lessons from the National Human Rights Consultation' at the 'Human Rights Matters!' conference marking Anti-Poverty Week 2012. 17 October 2012, Cardinal Knox Centre, St Patricks Cathedral, Melbourne.

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  • RELIGION

    Human rights and Christian lawyers

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 July 2011
    5 Comments

    When I appeared on Q&A with Christopher Hitchens, a young man asked whether we can 'ever hope to live in a truly secular society' while the religious continue to 'affect political discourse and decision making' on euthanasia, same-sex unions and abortion. Hitchens was simpaticao. I was dumbstruck.

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  • RELIGION

    Reconciling religion, politics and human rights

    • Frank Brennan
    • 04 November 2010
    15 Comments

    Cardinal Pell, with whom I have voiced disagreement, preached superbly at the mass of thanksgiving after the canonisation of Mary MacKillop. 'She does not deter us from struggling to follow her.' As we wrestle with the common good, let's make a place for all our fellow citizens.

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  • RELIGION

    Human Rights Act door still swinging

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 June 2010
    13 Comments

    When the Government announced that its response to the National Human Rights Consultation would not include a legislative Charter of Rights, many activists despaired. I am more sanguine. We knew from the beginning that a Human Rights Act would be a big ask.

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  • RELIGION

    Human rights framework only a start

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 April 2010
    19 Comments

    There is no getting away from the public's interest in a human rights act. But the Labor Government has baulked at the recommendation for such an act. While many Australians enjoy adequate human rights, we can do better.

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