A retired Supreme Court judge has called for a national bill of rights.
Speaking with Lawyers Weekly in relation to the publication of his recent book, The Quest for Justice, Ken Crispin outlines why he believes a bill of rights is an urgent priority in Australia.
"People keep asking why people like me become concerned when we take rights away from terrorists or members of bikie gangs, but the problem is the law applies to everybody," Crispin said. "When you start to take rights away from everybody, because you want to get at a terrorist, you are taking rights away from our children and grandchildren as well as the kind of people we are targeting."
To ensure that the legal rights and freedoms of Australians aren't further eroded, Crispin supports a bill of rights for Australia.
"The objections to a bill of rights have been largely hysterical," he says. One argument [against a bill of rights] is that future generations might take a different view about their rights. That is entirely possible, I accept that my great grand children might decide they want to live in a society where the Government can arbitrarily seize their property, they can be frogmarched off in the small hours of the morning without a trial and they can only articulate opinions the Government agrees with," he adds ironically.
An extended interview with Ken Crispin, in which he also discusses why he believes drugs should be decriminalised, the role of sentencing laws and his role as the sentencing judge in the Joe Cinque murder trial will be featured in an upcoming edition of Lawyers Weekly magazine.