Attorney General Robert McClelland

Julia Gillard’s human rights record by Amnesty International

I came across this story on the latest annual report by Amnesty International which drops the boot into the Australian Government and particularly Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

In an artical by Tom Reilly in the SMH it says:

“The group used the publication of its annual report to criticise the government and highlight areas of concern, including the proportion of indigenous people, especially juveniles, in prison; the failure to introduce a human rights act and the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.”

I will discuss the above in a minute but the article also goes on to say “Elsewhere, the rise of social media has left corrupt regimes around the world ”looking over their shoulder”, the report says.” I thought this was relevent to Julia Gillard and her government as well, as they should probably be looking over their shoulders given how corrupt they are. (Click here to read the full article).

Claire Mallinson, the national director of Amnesty International Australia, who wrote the report on Australia is critical of the fact that Australia has not introduced a human rights act. I do not disagree that Australia should have a human rights act, but I have no doubt that it is a case of the cart before the horse. If and when a human rights act is introduced in Australia it will be left up to the courts to determine its interpretation. So it is my belief that before we have a human rights act we need to do something about the corruption in the courts.

I suppose we could introduce the human rights act and then amend it if and when any dodgy judgements come down from the courts but this could take years and will the government have the time and committment to amend the act every time the courts hand down a dodgy judgment.

Claire Mallinson has posted a couple of stories on The Punch website that are of interest. The first is titled “Australia cannot claim leadership on human rights” from the 28th of May 2010 and the second is titled “Human rights at home and away” from the 13th May 2011 which relates to the latest report from Amnesty International. Both are well worth a read.

In all fairness I doubt that if the Liberal and National parties had been in power and Tony Abbott was Prime Minister that they would have fared any better and quite possibly worse in Amnesty International’s review.

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