Common Law Rights

Resources on Common Law Rights

The development of common law rights has occurred over hundreds of years during which the practices and values of the legal system and the courts have recognised certain principles as essential in maintaining equality before the law.RoLIA sees the following principles as essential, and is strongly opposed totheir diminution, reversal or removal:

  • The presumption of innocence and the prosecution carrying the burden of proof
  • The right to silence
  • The privilege against self-incrimination
  • A presumption against construing laws so as to allow for arbitrary or unrestricted power
  • A tradition of independent judicial review of law and executive action
  • The provision of reasons for judicial decisions
  • Respect for legal professional privilege
  • The independence of the judiciary

Laws which effectively compel judges to “rubber-stamp” the actions of the executive, or use courts in the prevention of crime, no matter how well intended, chip away at the institutional integrity of the judicial system and are incompatible with the rule of law.