The Rule of Law Institute of Australia today welcomed the announcement by the Attorney-General that the Government would be referring to the Australian Law Reform Commission the task of auditing legislative encroachments which have undermined fundamental individual freedoms, rights and privileges.
RoLIA President, Robin Speed, said; ‘During the past two decade there has been an exponential increase in the number of Bills passed by the Federal Parliament. There has also been a substantial increase in ‘reforms’ which undermine fundamental individual freedoms, rights and privileges which underpin a society based on the rule of law.
‘RoLIA research indicates that during the 42nd and 43rd Parliaments the Senate Standing Committee on the Scrutiny of Bills identified a significant increase in breaches of fundamental individual freedoms, rights and privileges such as new coercive powers, reversals of the onus of proof, secret examinations, unreasonable conferral of powers on the executive and retrospective provisions. Unfortunately, many of the new provisions were not rectified and led to injustices being played out in relation to Essendon Football Club and Australian sport.
‘It is good to know that the Government has referred this matter to the Australian Law Reform Commission. Hopefully the Commission will quickly identify the most egregious of these breaches of the rule of law which are not justified, and thereby give a brief to immediately restore the rule of law in Commonwealth legislation.
‘In the meantime RoLIA will continue its campaign to make the Senate Standing Committee on the Scrutiny of Bills a more effective parliamentary auditor of Commonwealth legislative provisions which undermine the rule of law’, Mr Speed concluded.