Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Criticism of the Victorian charter of rights

OK, so here's a test case. Is using the charter of rights an entirely appropriate critique of the current Victorian abortion law, or as Janet Albrechtson puts it

the weapon of first resort for those opposed to laws duly enacted by the elected representatives of the Victorian people[?]

Apparently it's fine to protect people's rights, provided the majority of people want it.

Whatever your views about abortion, there is a much larger issue at stake. Since its introduction in 2006, this is the first – but it will by no means be the last time - that the Charter of Rights will be used by litigants who ask unelected judges to overturn the democratic decisions of Victorians.

Isn't the whole point to preserve essential rights of all individuals against potential neglect (or malicious harm) by will of the majority? Or have I misunderstood?

I should point out Janet does not support the law as it stands.

While I’m firmly in the camp that regards the new Victorian abortion laws as abhorrent because they legalise the killing of a baby that could survive outside the mother’s womb, the Victorian Charter is nearly as bad. It kills democracy.

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