Friday, October 08, 2004

More on Human Rights

I see No Right Turn takes issue with my previous post on the Human Rights Act. I suspect we differ only on a point of semantics and not one I would go to the wall for. I would like to avoid confusion between the "basic human rights" which I believe we would both like to see strengthened and entrenched in a new Bill of Rights Act and anti-discrimination measures. NRT asserts that "Freedom from Discrimination is a core human right" and of course it is, as is the right not to be raped, murdered or robbed. But as NRT states

There is however one significant difference between freedom from discrimination and other human rights. Where freedom of expression and the right not to be tortured etc are primarily about how people are treated by their government, freedom from discrimination or the right to participate in society is really all about how people are treated by each other. This explains the different legal approach - while it's fine to lay down broad principles (such as those in the BORA) to guide and bind government action, law aimed at individuals and backed by possible criminal penalties needs to be a lot more specific. And so we get legislation like the Human Rights Act, designed to protect and enable a core right, rather than simply affirm it.

Precisely, but so many laws are designed to protect and enable our rights rather than simply affirm them. So we have the Crimes Act to protect us from rape or murder and the Race Relations Act to protect us from racial discrimination. Why not the "Unlawful Discrimination Act" to outlaw the other forms of discrimination.


5 Comments:

Blogger Dave said...

Thbe answer, is because some forms of discrimination are not unlawful - for example marriage is only between a man and a woman - and I think those that are unlawful are covered in the Relationships(Statutory References) Bill.

So why have two bills that say pretty much the same thing?

9 October 2004 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger Idiot/Savant said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10 October 2004 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger Greyshade said...

Sorry that previous comment was from me not Idiot.

10 October 2004 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger Greyshade said...

Dave

I was just suggesting that "Unlawful Discrimination Act" (or whatever) would be a more appropriate name for the Human Rights Act.

10 October 2004 at 1:50 PM  
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14 November 2005 at 9:50 AM  

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