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US Chief Justice withholds opinion on rights

US Chief Justice withholds opinion on rights

In the first-ever address by a Chief Justice of the United States to Australian audiences, the Honourable John G Roberts said domestic debate about a Bill of Rights is "none of his business".In…

In the first-ever address by a Chief Justice of the United States to Australian audiences, the Honourable John G Roberts said domestic debate about a Bill of Rights is "none of his business".

In Australia for personal reasons, Roberts made time to deliver speeches at the University of Melbourne and University of Sydney Law Schools, and while he discussed in detail the origins of the American Bill of Rights and Constitution, he would not be drawn into discussion about whether or not Australia should adopt its own Bill of Rights.

"My attempt to shed some light on the origin of the United States' Bill of Rights is not meant to provide any prescription for whether Australia should or should not adopt its own Bill of Rights," Roberts said.

"That is none of my business."

Numerous members of the Australian judiciary turned out to hear Roberts speak, including Chief Justice Spigelman and Justices Allsop, Mason, Brennan and Gleeson.

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