Lefties just don’t get it

Ben Saul has an op-ed in the Fairfax press launching into Tim Wilson’s appointment to the Human Rights Commission.

Simply astonishing.

So let’s have a look at what he thinks human rights is:

t is inevitable, and right, that those concerned about human rights should focus on the most harmful abuses. Usually this means speaking out for the poor, the vulnerable, the marginalised, and the powerless.

To be sure that is what the human rights lobby has become – yet I’m not convinced that is what human rights is about. What Saul is describing sounds more like social work and charity.

But he is not entirely ignorant of human rights – he has heard of the Magna Carta.

Since the Magna Carta 800 years ago, the most important civil right has been freedom from arbitrary executive detention, without charge or effective judicial control.

Well he is on the right track – the Magna Carta does emphasise freedom from arbitrary executive power, where detention is one of those powers. Okay, moving on.

For 20 years, Australian governments have violated this freedom tens of thousands of times. Mandatory immigration detention is a grave human rights abuse, all the more so when it is inflicted on refugees seeking our protection.

I agree – mandatory detention without trial is disgraceful. Always will be.

If the Attorney-General was genuinely concerned about civil rights, he would phone the Immigration Minister Scott Morrison to release all asylum seekers detained for, say, more than 30 days. In seconds, he could stop thousands of serious rights violations.

Saul can’t really imagine that detainees only have human rights after 30 days? Surely not. Mind you with the progressive left anything is possible. But this is the problem with the progressive lefts entire argument; only some people have rights some of the time.

After that the argument deteriorates pretty quickly.

Why wasn’t the position publicly advertised and competitively selected based on merit?

Heh – so the ALP gets to appoint its mates, but the Coalition has to advertise? I don’t know if Saul has been calling for open and transparent appointment processes over time and has form in the area, but I suspect not. He is just bitching because one of his mates didn’t get appointed. But look at this:

It is an obvious point, but the Human Rights Commissioner should be a human rights expert, not an ideological appointee. Why not appoint one of the many Australians who have spent their careers working at the coalface, with victims of violations, in human rights organisations?

Human rights isn’t an academic discipline or institutionalised social work – it is a lived experience. I understand that academics want to transform our institutions and legal system into something like the European codes of law where academics and theoreticians imagine a better world and deploy the states to socially engineer those outcomes, but that isn’t how the common law countries have evolved. The lived experience, solving actual problems, and a preference for the real over the imagined is how progress is made. That is why someone like Tim Wilson is a better appointment than a ‘human rights expert’.

Finally:

[Brandis] could also listen to his own Human Rights Commission.

Oh, he will be. There is no doubt that he will hear Tim Wilson promoting free speech. More importantly he will hear Tim Wilson calling for the abolition of 18C. We’ll be watching to see if he actually acts.

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103 Responses to Lefties just don’t get it

  1. Des Deskperson

    ‘the poor, the vulnerable, the marginalised, and the powerless. ‘

    In practice this usually means those groups that have the money, the resources and the contacts to successfully promote themselves as ‘victims ‘

  2. entropy

    Underlying all this bitching is the belief that human rights as an issue and it’s institutional responses belong to the left. And for too long they have been correct with the right letting them get away with it.

  3. Chris M

    So let’s have a look at what he thinks human rights is

    I’ve never seen a satisfactory explanation of what ‘human rights’ are.

    Can anyone enlighten me? It just seems like a PC / marxist term and I hope Abbott drops it entirely. Are we being enslaved by some non-human species or something?

  4. Empire Strikes Back

    The MSM have been bitching that our new government isn’t providing adequate leading content for their publications. Stop your whinging, you just got gifted a monty (pun intended).

    I strongly encourage Ben and his fellow travellers to continue beclowning themselves. This is priceless entertainment.

  5. Arnost

    … mandatory detention without trial is disgraceful. Always will be.

    Always?

    With respect to the illegal immigrants – these people were apprehended blatantly breaking a law. Regardless of what claims they have to asylum – a trial should be merely a formality, and hence “mandatory” detention.

    Otherwise if you flow your line of argument, you can claim that the Islamists caught butchering that SAS soldier should have been free to roam about until their trial…

  6. Chris M

    I agree – mandatory detention without trial is disgraceful.

    A trial is manifestly not required when someone broke the law by arriving without documentation. There are many offences that are so clear cut they don’t require the level of investigation of a trial, it’s fair and efficient and is not a disgrace at all.

  7. blogstrop

    Sinc, I need to amend that “… mandatory detention of Australian citizens without trial is disgraceful. Always will be.” I can’t agree in respect of people who just try to game the system.

    As you’ve said before, open borders are ok provided there’s no welfare state. We have a welfare state, and that’s part of the sugar on the table. The other part would be lack of deterrence like … mandatory detention, offshore processing, resettlement elsewhere, and (drumroll) TPVs.

  8. jupes

    I agree – mandatory detention without trial is disgraceful. Always will be.

    Though far, far preferable than illegal immigrants roaming around the countryside.

  9. .

    Otherwise if you flow your line of argument, you can claim that the Islamists caught butchering that SAS soldier should have been free to roam about until their trial…

    No.

    Anyway all you need to do is cut off welfare to non citizens and have long periods of PR before citizenship. Not that the welfare state has had great results…or any high return in reducing rather than engendering poverty for the public spend on it.

  10. Louis Hissink

    Here’s another label to use “UI’s”

    Useful Idiots.

  11. James of the Glen

    “It is an obvious point, but the Human Rights Commissioner should be a human rights expert, not an ideological appointee. Why not appoint one of the many Australians who have spent their careers working at the coalface, with victims of violations, in human rights organisations?” – says the suddenly interested Mr Saul.

    Surely, Mr Andrew Bolt has been a ” victim of violation ” of a most basic human right, the right of freedom of speech.
    So even better than one of the make-work heroes of ” the coal face” would be the appointment of such a victim and an erudite one at that, namely Mr Bolt.

  12. 'S

    It’s obvious he wanted David Hicks.

    Also not a fan of asylum seekers who throw away documents – how is the Gov’t supposed to properly investigate their cases? so yeah mandatory detention till people are investigated isn’t a human rights breach.

  13. Ant

    I hope this disgusting little episode lights a fire under the Coalition’s collective arse.

    This one relativley minor appointment of one individual to one of the huge number of para-government organisations shows that the left are prepared to mobilise all their influence through their dominant control of the media to thwart any idea of a balance of views in public debate that they insist is their exclusive domain. All, of course, funded by taxpayers.

    The left can’t be negotiated with. Only defeated.

    And we have a small window of opportunity now to flush the leftist filth out of the swamp. I can only hope they turn the pressure up.

  14. jupes

    I blame the Nazis and the Imperial Japs.

    Their evil conduct led to the formation of the United Nations and the Universal Declarartion of Human Rights. This in turn led to another avenue for the left to march through the institutions with a new class of parasite – the Human Rights Lawyer.

  15. Rococo Liberal

    Haven’t you heard of summary or strict liability offences, Sinc?

    There are many of the both of these whereby a trial is not necessary. For example, traffic offences. Those who seek to enter Australia illegally don’t have ‘human rights’ other than those we choose to give them. That is the whole thing about Nation States. They exist to preserve the rights of their own citizens. One of these is not to be swamped by millions of incomers.

  16. blogstrop

    Triggs on the subject of Wilson is beyond parody:
    “We have a legal obligation internationally and under the treaties to implement legislation that protects people from racial vilification in public. That is all 18C purports to do,” she said.

    “Of course it is possible to tweak it, to amend it, to take language out and to put new language in that strengthens it – all of that we of course fully support as a matter of law.”

    She said the Human Rights Commission “isn’t a place for party political rhetoric”, and must be independent of government.

    “We are not here to give effect to government policy as such, we are here to monitor compliance by Australia with its international obligations to human rights,” Professor Triggs said.

    (This is the same Gillian Triggs who had to be reminded in a senate committee that freedom of speech was a human right, and whose commission usually has no difficulty blending seamlessly with the sort of leftist dogma espoused by Labor governments, like putting stupid UN developed international treaties into effect regardless of their working against our national interests.)

  17. Rabz

    Why wasn’t the position publicly advertised and competitively selected based on merit?

    Wilson’s appointment is extremely meritorious, especially when you compare him to the vile, self aggrandising, parasitic totalitarian dirtbags currently infesting that collectivist cesspit.

    However (BIRM):

    Shut. It. Down.

    Fire. Them. All.

    Now.

  18. jupes

    That is the whole thing about Nation States. They exist to preserve the rights of their own citizens. One of these is not to be swamped by millions of incomers.

    Liberty quote.

  19. Sinclair Davidson

    Haven’t you heard of summary or strict liability offences, Sinc?

    Perhaps you could give some examples where people are imprisoned on the say so of a police officer? Maybe in New South Wales?

  20. Arnost

    However (BIRM):

    Shut. It. Down.

    Fire. Them. All.

    Now.

    Yes – and besides we can’t afford it…

  21. Chris M

    Illegal immigrants are not ‘imprisoned’.

    For our protection they are detained in the sense of being denied immediate access to Australian society however they are free to leave at any time and return to their country of origin. So not imprisoned at all.

    Do you view mandatory health checks for illegal immigrants a disgrace also?

  22. HRC should be expanded. Create more positions and fill them with non-Left, until Left vs non-Left = 50:50.

  23. .

    jupes as a colonial settlement we were never swamped and the British couldn’t get enough people to come with very loose immigration bar quarantine.

    As for affordability…I hope this kills the extent of what we are spending on illegal entrants, but also the PPL…and NBN.

  24. Rabz

    HRC should be expanded. Create more positions and fill them with non-Left, until Left vs non-Left = 50:50.

    No. Refer to my comment above.

  25. Spiro

    Mandatory detention is not arbitrary. It is common for lawbreakers to be denied liberty subject to the legal process. Enter any country illegally and more than likely you will be denied some rights and liberty. It is a human right of citizens of a country that the government ensures that illegal immigrants are dealt with according to the law, however benign they may seem.

    If the Attorney-General was genuinely concerned about civil rights

    The word civil refers to the citizens of a country, so by the very phrase civil rights, detaining lawbreaking immigrants is not a denial of civil rights.

  26. jupes

    jupes as a colonial settlement we were never swamped and the British couldn’t get enough people to come with very loose immigration bar quarantine.

    Not sure that I follow you here dot. Is it an attempt at humour perhaps?

  27. Arnost

    …they are free to leave at any time and return to their country of origin. So not imprisoned at all.

    True. We even stump up for the airfare… Something that should be front and centre in the debate about the “poor detainees”.

  28. Cato the Elder

    They aren’t imprisoned – they are detained pending resolution of their visa status. If they choose to ditch their identity documents to make it harder to figure out who they are and whether they are the refugees that they claim to be, then they will be detained that much longer.

    OTOH, if they choose to go home (as many Sri Lankan Tamils apparently have) then they are released to do so. How is that imprisonment? If I won’t let you in my house; but will let you walk away, how are you imprisoned?

  29. Cato the Elder

    Too slow, I see – the same point was made by two others while I was still gathering my thoughts. Such is life . . back to work.

  30. mmxx

    I am intrigued that in her public utterances, Gillian Triggs persists in referring to the Attorney General as the “Attorney”.

    The official title for the role is Attorney-General for Australia.

    I have not otherwise heard it referred to as simply Attorney.

    Is her usage correct or appropriate or is this some unsubtle attempt to diminish in some way the role or more specifically the incumbent?

  31. jupes

    Is her usage correct or appropriate or is this some unsubtle attempt to diminish in some way the role or more specifically the incumbent?

    Or is she just a numptie?

  32. Yohan

    A sound Libertarian position on human rights is based on the protection of property rights, property in ones body and physical property voluntarily exchanged for.

    Contrast that to Ben Saul theory. Human Rights is for the poor, marginalised and vulnerable. As Sinclair says, it allows open ended and unlimited social engineering because the definition of who falls under these ‘human rights’ is so broad and subjective as to make it useless. This is exactly the way the Progressive left likes it, so they can wield the power of the state to oppress their ideological enemies.

  33. Rafe

    the poor, the vulnerable, the marginalised, and the powerless.

    Like the people priced out of work by minimum wage laws and penalty rates.

    Go for it Ben!

  34. james

    I’ve never seen a satisfactory explanation of what ‘human rights’ are.

    Civil rights I can understand, they are the rights due to a citizen living within a particualr nation state.

    “Human rights” are guaranteed by no-one, yet asserting their existence also asserts the need for a body to enforce them.

    Since these rights are applicable to all humans the body enforcing these rights would have to have authority over all humans.

    Ultimately it is a call for world government, and the fact that most of the supposed “Rights” that all humans should enjoy according to the left are almost all government handouts [freedom from poverty] or government restrictions [freedom from "discrimination"] it is ultimately a disguised call for world government.

    Please convince me I’m wrong, ’cause I can’t come up with any other conclusion.

  35. rafiki

    Sinc – Unless you are using the word ‘imprisonment’ in the narrow sense of going to jail, there are plenty of examples of legally authorised executive detention, and while some (perhaps now most) High Court judges take as the base line that detention must be judicially authorised, they allow for executive detention. Detention for medical or psychiatric reasons is a common justification. Short term detention on order of the police is permissible under AVO laws. (Hubbie arrives home to find the cops have responded to a complaint from the wife. Hubbie objects, wants to go inside. Police whack him a wagon for a while.)

    Can I make a broader point? Why is it that we have so many academics (and ex-academics like Triggs) promoting views that rights derive from international treaties, and encompass a wide rand of social and economic rights? Views that are opposed to and undermine the classical liberal/common law approach? Partly – and I suspect largely – because they are rewarded for so doing. In particular by the Australian Research Grants Council (or whatever it is now called). The academic gets a grant, and from that flows teaching relief and promotion on the basis that they are a grant-getter and thus bring money to the university (which gets its own pile of money in addition). Research projects promoting this view of rights are favoured, in particular if the are used to direct criticism at some right of centre policy. Millions of dollars are misdirected in these projects. And the academics are then treated as darlings by the media, and promote their views through the ABC in particular.

    I am only here saying what many of you know about how the cultural left operates. My point is that attempts to take them on might well have a very good look at the ARGC. Howard tried, but making a few appointments won’t work. Cut the money supply.

  36. Sinclair Davidson

    rafiki – please don’t treat me like a fool.

  37. Pat Warnock

    It is astonishing the abuse hurled at one man! So Mr Blair can’t say anything unless the rest of them vet the script! What sort of Commision is this? Human rights protection is for all Australians and hopefull for the world sometime. I can’t understand the reaction.

  38. A Lurker

    It is instructive to observe the frantic and demented jumping up and down and screaming behaviour of the Progressive Left simply because of one (1) Libertarian appointment.

    Can you imagine the almighty dummy spit the Progressive Left would throw if the Coalition actually really tried to defund and then shut down all these Socialist constructs in our society – you’d hear the screaming even out in airless space, let alone try to withstand the cacophony down here on Earth.

    The Progressive Left do not like having their toys taken away from them or not letting them get their own way on things – which is all the more reason to not give into them, and immediately remove those toys and bin them as soon as possible.

  39. Rabz

    So Mr Blair can’t say anything unless the rest of them vet the script!

    Pat, that’s Tim Wilson, not Tim Blair (although appointing the latter to the AHRC would cause quite a few lefty head explosions as well, I’m sure!).

  40. Joe in FNQ

    the HRC sounds just like the AFL……

  41. Leo G

    Since the Magna Carta 800 years ago, the most important civil right has been freedom from arbitrary executive detention, without charge or effective judicial control.

    How is the reference to Magna Carta relevant? Detention- under Australia’s mandatory detention policy- of those arriving unlawfully is not arbitrary, not normally involuntary, and not without judicial control.
    Moreover, if Ben Saul is so convinced that the most harmful abuses include those against the vulnerable, the marginalised, and the powerless, then why has he been among those directing harmful abuse at conservatives?

  42. lotocoti

    Usually this means speaking out for the poor, the vulnerable, the marginalised, and the powerless.

    Sounds like he’s confusing a social justice warrior with a human rights commissioner.

  43. rafiki

    Sinc – I apologise most sincerely. Without qualifying that, I really thought you wanted to know, and I do have expertise in this area. I am a bit confused.

  44. Hugh

    And of course, precisely who constitutes “the poor, the vulnerable, the marginalised, and the powerless.” depends on one’s ethical point of view …

    Here are some possible candidates Ben Saul and his ilk will fail to mention:

    1. victims of abortion, embryo experimentation and IVF culling
    2. children deprived of the a priori right to be raised by their natural parents (so, those adopted by same sex “families”, children created by same sex couples, other children of donor insemination, etc.
    3. children (many of them aboriginal) NOT removed from families which are so dysfunctional that there is a serious threat to life and limb,
    4. poor, young and unskilled people deprived of the right to work by coercive minimum wage and other labor laws.
    5. Doctors and nurses who refuse to cooperate in procedures they find gravely morally objectionable, by action or referral.

    The point being that the Left, for all its hosannas to “tolerance” and “diversity”, anathematizes the very thought that its political and moral worldview might not be the only one decent, intelligent people may find persuasive.

  45. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    Discussion and debate in polite society on human rights theory will continue to amuse me until the day the fierce participants form a protective ring around the infant in Arukun, Oombulgurri or Wadeye who was done over last night by a noble savage, to say “We’ll give you ten yards start, sport. Start running.”

    “I agree – mandatory detention without trial is disgraceful. Always will be.”

    is a bit absolute, when faced with Arnost’s

    “Otherwise if you flow your line of argument, you can claim that the Islamists caught butchering that SAS soldier should have been free to roam about until their trial …”

    when the only reasonable right due to them was to be shot where they stood and fed to the pigs.

  46. You’ve got to be joking…..
    Andrew Bolt, purveyor-in-chief of hate, is having a whinge about criticism of Tim Wilson’s appointment.
    And he compounds the felony by a gratuitous reference to Wilson’s sexuality.

  47. Gab

    Great article by Tim Wilson:

    AUSTRALIA’S most fundamental human rights have been diluted over decades. It is time to recognise them as central and essential building blocks for a free society.

    Attorney-General George Brandis has asked me, as Australia’s next human rights commissioner, to focus on traditional liberal democratic and common law rights, particularly article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

    From a classical liberal perspective, traditional human rights are a set of universal principles about the rights of individuals that protect their freedom including freedom of movement, association, worship, property and self-determination.

    More important, human rights are not a gift bestowed on us by government; they are our basic birthright as free people.

    All rights should be defended, but the human right most being neglected is free speech. Arguably freedom of speech is the most important human right. It is the human right necessary to protect and defend all other human rights.

    Article 19 of the covenant states: “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.”

    Article 19 ought to be the human rights community’s starting point. But at the moment it seems more like a footnote.

    Increasingly free speech has been pushed aside in favour of laws and regulations designed to stop people being offensive to each other, a steadily expanding corpus of anti-discrimination and defamation law, and the growing momentum towards restrictions on speech online.

    Some of these new threats have come from politicians, responding to the latest moral panic. Others are the result of a judiciary incrementally lowering the bar on what constitutes legitimate speech.

    But too often these threats have come from the very human rights activists and organisations that ought to be defending free expression.

    This time last year the government presented for Australia’s consideration a radical new change to Australia’s anti-discrimination laws, the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill.

    The bill was sold to the public as a minor consolidation of our labyrinthine discrimination laws. But it would have made it unlawful to offend someone, in any work-related environment, on the basis of a long list of attributes including their political opinion.

    As such, it represented a fundamental threat to free expression. It would have buried Australian workplaces in litigation and had a substantial chilling effect on speech. Sadly, when such a fundamental human right was under attack, many human rights advocates didn’t raise an eyebrow. In its own submission the Australian Human Rights Commission did not defend free speech.

    Of even greater concern, the commission recommended “further consideration of possibilities for the bill to cover discrimination on the basis of all protected attributes in all areas of public life”, not just the workplace.

    If such a recommendation were implemented it would have been a wholesale assault on democracy. Political debate ought to be robust. That is a sign of health. We want politics to be a topic of passion.

    Human rights activists have been missing in action on the way our mandatory film and literature classification system suppresses speech. They ran dead on the previous government’s internet filter.

    Even more extraordinary was the absence of human rights voices in the debate earlier this year about media regulation.

    A direct extension of free speech is press freedom. Protecting free speech is fundamental to the operation of liberal democracy. It is an essential principle for freedom of the press. Free speech and press freedom are one and the same; they are essentially interchangeable and mutually reinforcing concepts.

    As 19th-century French liberal Benjamin Constant argued in his 1815 work, Principles of Politics: “Restrain(ing) the freedom of the press is to restrain the human race’s intellectual freedom. The press is an instrument such freedom can no longer do without, the question of press freedom is therefore the general one about the development of the human mind.”

    Rather than identifying the proposed new media regulation as a dangerous reversion to state supervision of the free press, many human rights activists underplayed the threat or outright ignored it.

    As human rights commissioner I will seek to reorient the human rights debate towards liberal democratic values and the philosophy of individual freedom. The most obvious freedom of speech issue this parliament will face is the Coalition’s promise to repeal section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Section 18C has recently been controversial because of the Andrew Bolt case but, as its supporters are first to say, it has been used against many other Australians.

    I will be urging the full repeal of section 18C. It is an unjustifiable limitation on free expression. The best way to undermine offensive or hateful language is not to shut it down, it is to challenge it, expose it for its flaws. The solution is more speech.

    It is a central tenet of liberal democracy that the government’s primary task is to protect our human rights, not restrict them.

  48. Hugh

    “Andrew Bolt, purveyor-in-chief of hate, is having a whinge about criticism of Tim Wilson’s appointment.” Well-purveyed, Numbers … you’d beat AB in a hate contest hands down.

  49. Rabz

    Latest addition to the AHRC webshite:

    On behalf of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, the Commission’s President, welcomes the appointment of the Commission’s seventh Commissioner, Mr Tim Wilson.

    “As a new Commissioner, Mr Wilson will join our team of six other Commissioners, headed by me as President,” said Professor Triggs. “We all look forward to Mr Wilson’s fresh voice in our discussions and collegiate development of Commission policies.”

    As Human Rights Commissioner, Mr Wilson will join the team of Commissioners comprising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda, Age Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan, Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell, Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes, Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane and Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick.

    As President, Professor Gillian Triggs is wholly responsible and accountable for all activities of the Commission.

    “Mr Wilson has seven years’ experience as Policy Director at the Institute of Public Affairs and is particularly concerned to support liberal approaches to freedom of speech,” Professor Triggs said. “We look forward to having him join our team as we continue to meet the challenges of protecting human rights in Australia.”

    Mr Wilson is expected to commence his tenure of Human Rights Commissioner in February.

  50. Sinclair Davidson

    rafiki – you think I don’t know that the cops throw people in the paddy wagon or that people who are mentally impaired can be permanently detained? (Mind you, this is usually authorised by parliament and involves the courts). Yet somehow you think that these very special circumstances – especially around people who are mentally ill – make my argument re restraints on executive power to detain people invalid? Really? Our criminal justice system operates to restrict the power of the state to arbitrarily imprison people.

    Now I don’t want to make a fuss about this and lets move on.

  51. C.L.

    As President, Professor Gillian Triggs is wholly responsible and accountable for all activities of the Commission.

    Iron Tim’s shirt, dear. NOW.

  52. Bruce

    I agree – mandatory detention without trial is disgraceful. Always will be.

    Sorry Prof Davidson I don’t agree.

    People apprehended by legal authorities in many cases should be held on remand until their cases are decided by the legally constituted authority for whichever offense against Commonwealth or State law they are suspected of committing.

    Your statement is both over-broad and abhorrent. Do you wish mass-murderers to be released into the community pending their trials? Terrorists?

    As for illegal entrants to this country they are apprehended by the authorities under the law, where they are suspected of the offense of illegally entering the country. They may be released if it is found their entry was not illegal, ie they qualify for asylum under Australian law. Until then they can stay in protective custody.

    The common principle here is rule of law. Remand of suspects of an offense is a part of that principle. If you don’t like detention of suspected lawbreakers change the law. You need 50% plus one in both houses.

  53. Sinclair Davidson

    For the love of Christ – which part of “without trial” don’t you understand.

  54. Andrew of Randwick

    Ben Saul (Professor of International Law at the University of Sydney, an international human rights barristers) suggests more appropriately qualified candidates – one is Prof Sarah Joseph so lets have a look:

    PHD, Monash University, 2003
    MASTER OF LAWS, University of Cambridge, 1992
    BACHELOR OF LAWS, University of Sydney, 1990
    BACHELOR OF ARTS, University of Sydney, 1988

    Professor Sarah Joseph is the Director for the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law. Her teaching and research interests are international human rights law and constitutional law. Particular areas of interest include economic globalisation and human rights, and the media and human rights.
    .
    She has published a number of books including Blame it on the WTO: A Human Rights Critique (OUP, 2011), Corporations and Transnational Human Rights Litigation (Hart 2004), co-authoring The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: Cases, Commentary and Materials (OUP, 2nd ed, 2004), Federal Constitutional Law: A Contemporary View (LBC, 3rd ed, 2010), A Handbook on the Individual Complaints Procedures of the UN (OMCT, 2006) and Human Rights Translated: A Business Reference Guide (UN 2008). She has also co-edited two recent books for Edward Elgar Publishers, Research Handbook on International Human Rights Law (2010) and The World Trade Organization and Human Rights: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (2009). Sarah has also published numerous articles and presented many papers in the fields of international human rights law and constitutional law.

    Research & Supervision Interests
    - International human rights law
    - corporations and human rights
    - terrorism and human rights
    - media and human rights
    - social media

    CONSULTING

    Professor Joseph has conducted numerous human rights training programs on behalf of AusAID and other organisations, including in Burma and Indonesia, as well as training delivered to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and the Judicial College of Victoria.
    Professor Joseph has performed contract research for a number of organisations, including the United Nations, Oxford University Press, the World Organisation against Torture, and the Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department.

    Now that is a very impressive academic record in the human rights ‘industry’, but it does not qualify her to be a Commissioner any more than Tim Wilson.
    Perhaps her skills would be better used as a ‘worker bee’ or a ‘consultant’ to be called upon for specific technical advice – on a daily rate.

  55. Rabz

    I will be urging the full repeal of section 18C. It is an unjustifiable limitation on free expression. The best way to undermine offensive or hateful language is not to shut it down, it is to challenge it, expose it for its flaws. The solution is more speech.

    This is inspirational stuff.

  56. val majkus

    Go Tim! You’ve got to be doing something right to earn all this ire from the left

  57. Dianne

    the poor, the vulnerable, the marginalised, and the powerless.

    Slightly O/T, but I heard those words used by a spokesman from the Society of St Vincent de Paul on (where else) but Radio National.

    In between gimmegimmegimme, there was abbottabbottabbott – so I’ve come home & fired off a missive – suggesting that vinnies now seek donations from “their” side of politics – it sure as hell won’t be coming from me.

    I am constantly amazed at the stupidity of these people – the hypocrisy in those seeking to make us all equal is just breathtaking.

  58. Noddy

    The Human Rights Commission is a ‘creature of the government OF THE DAY’ and I expect reflects the ideology of the government, therefore, if the present Australian Government says it is not needed in a free country then it should be abolished… let it happen.
    I loathe the voices who say the Human Rights of new arrivals also includes the right to vote.
    Abolish the Australian Human Rights Commission NOW and the right to vote for proper immigrants begins when you have been in Australia ‘full time’ for 20 years.
    And while you are about it… dual citizenship in Australia is NOT a Human Right.

  59. johninoxley

    Human Rights, what about Human Responsibility?.

  60. C.L.

    Abolish the Australian Human Rights Commission NOW …

    The Liberals don’t have the guts.

  61. hzhousewife

    Where is the Commission for Human Responsibilities ??

  62. Violet Pimpernel

    Dear Sinclair,

    Just loved this post.

    It seems the teachings of the Scottish Enlightenment are no longer on the curriculum.

    Saul would do well to read up on Hutchinson’s influence on Adam Smith. He then might understand the role of ethics and morality in the teaching of classical economics.

  63. Tintarella di Luna

    Wilson’s appointment is extremely meritorious, especially when you compare him to the vile, self aggrandising, parasitic totalitarian dirtbags currently infesting that collectivist cesspit.

    Have a look at the qualifications if you will of the rest of the Commissioners. the one that really gets me is that lisping bint, Elithissssabeth Roderick. That spitting twit really is beyond the pale. Why the hell does every Sex Discrimination Commissioner have to be a woman? Don’t men have sex?

  64. Tintarella di Luna

    Abolish the Australian Human Rights Commission NOW …

    The Liberals don’t have the guts.

    They sure don’t. The Human Rights Commission has become an overpaid grievance committee.

    I wrote to the then president of the Human Rights Commission, Catherine Branson QC about the fact that so many women caring for severely disabled sons and daughters for 20,30,40 years are in a cycle of poverty because of the lack of services and support have no remunerative employment, no super, no capacity to asset build etcc….

    She wrote back about how hardly done by muslim women are in Australia. Very helpful not. As for Elithisssabeth Broderick … I think I’ve said enough

  65. History

    As others have observed, a ‘human right’ that is not available to all is not a human right at all – it’s a privilege. So, perversely, the HREC exists to defend the granting of privilege (and ideological and politically motivated privilege at that).

  66. Driftforge

    Why the hell does every Sex Discrimination Commissioner have to be a woman? Don’t men have sex?

    You think lefty heads have exploded with Tim Wilson being appointed. Imagine the effect of following this up tomorrow by replacing ‘Elithisssabeth Broderick’ with a man…

  67. A Lurker

    Human Rights, what about Human Responsibility?

    Amen to that.

  68. thefrollickingmole

    Having seen a ‘uman rights commissioner trying to order the strip search of a detention officer for “spying on him” at Port Hedland I judge all of them by the same yardstick..

    Self aggrandizing scum pushing whatever pet grievance they have, even if it means ignoring real problems.

  69. Empire Strikes Back

    Why the hell does every Sex Discrimination Commissioner have to be a woman? Don’t men have sex?

    ROFL. Thanks Tinta.

  70. Toiling Mass

    Ben Saul is being deliberately retarded.

    The people in the camps are being protected from what every lefty truly believes to be the horrible xenophobic racist Australians.

  71. Mr Rusty

    Ant
    #1116697, posted on December 19, 2013 at 9:27 am
    The left can’t be negotiated with. Only defeated.

    That’s going on my wall of awesome quotes.

    Noddy
    #1116875, posted on December 19, 2013 at 11:33 am
    Abolish the Australian Human Rights Commission NOW and the right to vote for proper immigrants begins when you have been in Australia ‘full time’ for 20 years.

    No, the right to vote for immigrants begins when you start paying tax. “No taxation without representation!” – an idea that gave birth to a Nation.

    Tintarella di Luna
    #1116916, posted on December 19, 2013 at 12:00 pm
    Why the hell does every Sex Discrimination Commissioner have to be a woman?

    Yep, high time we had a man to redress the absolutely vile and widespread use of that favourite bludgeon of aggressive, aggrieved, lefty, loser biatches – sexual harassment.

  72. Driftforge

    No taxation without representation

    I wonder if the option to be exempt from taxation at the cost of being without representation was put to people, how many would take it up…

  73. Leo G

    Saul would do well to read up on Hutchinson’s influence on Adam Smith. He then might understand the role of ethics and morality in the teaching of classical economics.

    Perhaps Saul should read up on ” St Francis of Asinine” (Francis Hutcheson- not Hutchinson). Hutcheson’s ethics were based, in part, on his belief that human consciousness was an innate sense and that ‘awareness of one’s superiority’ was necessary for ethical decisions.

  74. Viva

    For the left “rights” are only for their specially nominated minority groups – so-called rights which are perpetually being expanded. Apparently there is now a right to marry, for example.

    IMO what are termed by lawyers as “rights” are in reality only an expectation of decent behaviour by government and society at large in the treatment of individuals. Expectations become legally enforceable demands in the hands of the left however. We all become leftists insofar as we adopt their language, no more so than in the case of so-called “rights”.

  75. Tintarella di Luna

    Yep, high time we had a man to redress the absolutely vile and widespread use of that favourite bludgeon of aggressive, aggrieved, lefty, loser biatches – sexual harassment.

    I have worked as a sweathog in what used to be a man’s world – the legal industry(a lesser Olive if you will) – the only people who ever tried to put me down were women, so many were uppity know-it-alls who wouldn’t take advice and guidance from someone like me (no university degree you see) and they always got bitch-slapped – that’s when I would be called on to fix the dyke – all sweetness and light I would say “you see I have been doing this a long time and I know what will get over a public servant’s desk and what won’t and better still I am on your side”

  76. Toiling Mass

    Human Rights, what about Human Responsibility?

    Everyone has the right not to be held responsible.

    Except white males, who must at every turn be punished in compensation for what their ancestors did. But again, that is not guilt personally incurred so it is not quite an inconsistency.

  77. Tintarella di Luna

    What the Australian Human Rights Commission is traduce the rights of the all in favour of collecgive rights for some select minority groups who have the loudest voices.

    The Human Rights Commission then gives those who self-identify as minority groups (Alphabet people come to mind) rights that then trump our individual rights. They are all for minorities but are against the smallest minority of all – the individual.

    Our children are being taught the the UN gave us our human rights when in fact we have rights that are inalienable simply because we are human beings – though, judging by the response to Tim Wilson’s appointment, of some ALPBC and Fauxfax journalists I wonder about that.

    Born homo sapiens, most become human beings but I wonder if some, through arrested development or suffering leftism, just don’t get past the higher animal version.

  78. Tintarella di Luna

    - that’s – ‘collective”

  79. Bruce

    which part of “without trial” don’t you understand

    Sorry, Sinc, you are wrong in this respect.

    1. Quite a few people who are remanded in custody on suspicion of committing an offense are released without trial. Should we abandon remand because some were remanded mistakenly?

    2. As the law now stands illegal entrants to this country do not receive a trial. Maybe they should. But the outcome would be no different. The law is the law. Evidence of illegal entry does not usually require sleuthing by NCIS. Do we inflict this upon the legal system or do we just apply the law?

    Whether they receive a trial or not they are being subject to the rule of law in this country. One law for all.

    Indeed I would favour trials of illegal entrants with mandatory sentence of 4 years for the offense, commutable to release if the offender agrees and is successfully deported.

    Mandatory detention without trial is not disgraceful where it is carried out lawfully. If you think the law is disgraceful, or should be changed, say so or do so.

    I say that Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act is disgraceful and should be repealed. I support Mr Wilson as HRC appointee pending abolishment of that commission.

  80. jupes

    As for Elithisssabeth Broderick … I think I’ve said enough

    Then pass the baton to me Tinta. Here’s my two bob’s worth:

    After watching the clip from the Dumb on the Let’s have more of this from Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson thread, I had to ask myself why Liz bothered to show up for that program. Surely she must have known Tim was also a guest. Did she really have the hubris to believe that could win the debate with him? Seriously?

    Tim’s point – which he wielded like a claymore sword – was simple: Free speech was under threat from Finkelstein and the HRC submission not only failed to defend free speech, it didn’t even mention it!

    To counter this Liz floundered with the following pathetic and largely irrelevant excuses:
    Australia allows Geert Wilders to speak in Australia (though she forgot to mention that his visa was delayed for ages and wether the HRC spoke out about allowing him in).
    The HRC works every day on this issue we even let old people whinge to us.
    The HRC is doing other good work such as Freedom from Violence which is a ‘major part of the work I’m doing’. LOL (Perhaps she could take her ‘major work’ to Western Sydney or Kings Cross).
    Only four out 17,000 complaints related to freedom of speech. (Says more about the nature of the HRC and the victim culture it encourages).
    Freedom of speech is already well protected and they ‘absolutely talked about it’. (Absolutely!).

    Tim won that debate 10 – nil and Broderick came across as flustered moron. Again I ask why she even bothered to turn up?

  81. gnasher

    you got a bit of a kicking on this one Sinc & the posters were right, you & TA are doing the same tap dance, hope you both don’t fall in the same sink Sinc.

  82. cohenite

    Don’t men have sex?

    I can only speak for myself and would be offended if anyone presumed to speak for me. It’s this sort of thing which leads to the need for a Sex Discriminator in the first place.

  83. Mr Rusty

    I wonder if the option to be exempt from taxation at the cost of being without representation was put to people, how many would take it up…

    It would have to be more than just ‘without representation’ – add without access to benefits, handouts, Medicare and free education. Still, I think more than a few Cats would take it up.

    On another note, if the Libs were smart they could boost their support by 2-3% by allowing taxpaying permanent residents to vote. The vast majority are Chinese who don’t want to give up their Chinese citizenship and Poms who want to remain fully loyal (and don’t want the lobotomy) as well as a hodge-podge of other Nationals with similar reasons. In other words, Nationalists, traditionalists and conservatives – I reckon 8/10 of them would vote Liberal.

  84. HK_Brother

    Human Rights…

    For the Right, its about common sense laws for all. These are often based on principles and values which remain consistent over time.

    For the Left, its about advocacy based on who they feel sorry for. This will vary over time. Mainly because their whole sense of being is based on what they feel. Not on what they think. They rarely think. Its why they come up with all sorts of BS that leaves everyone scratching their heads…Kind of like the insane running the mental asylum.

    Then one must also consider the Left are the ones who invented political correctness and the victimhood/grievence industry.

    They always need victims to feel good about themselves. Everything they do is based on their form of “justice”. That is, to give power to minority groups so they can act like victims.

    Fundamentally, Human Rights for the Left is really about power.

  85. Tintarella di Luna

    Don’t men have sex?

    I don’t think I phrased that very well, perhaps I mean’t gender.

  86. Andrew of Randwick

    At 11:01am I wrote about Prof Sarah Joseph — a suitably qualified candidate, according to Ben Saul.
    .
    Sarah has decided to have her say – I am sure she would have been a terrier in turning back governments’ attempts to impose more restrictions on their citizens.
    .
    The defence of free speech is vitally important, especially in Australia, but this should not come at the expense of the dignity and equality of the disadvantaged, writes Sarah Joseph.

    Wilson and the IPA believe that human activity is best “regulated” by the free market rather than by governments, which they seem to believe are inherently oppressive, inefficient, or at the very least expensive (interfering with us by taxing us). This “free market approach” to human rights, however, takes no account of existing power relations. Such an approach, if adopted exclusively, protects human rights for the strong but offers far less to the disadvantaged…….

    However, certain viewpoints simply do not capture the attention of the commercial media. For example, commercial broadcasters have a tendency to be conservative and mainstream in choosing content, so as not to scare off advertisers and viewers. There is a need for government broadcasters such as the ABC and SBS to cater for non-commercial tastes to ensure access to a wide variety of views and ideas. Yet the IPA is a vigorous supporter of the privatisation of these institutions……

    The “free market” approach to human rights certainly upholds freedom. However, it obscures two other key components of human rights, dignity and especially equality. It is to be hoped that Commissioner Wilson takes into account and embraces the full spectrum of human rights, including an appropriate balance between them, while performing his new role. I wish him well.

  87. Ellen of Tasmania

    Could Sinc, or someone who shares his open border views. please explain to me -

    1. What conditions/laws would you want in place before that was established (eg. no welfare)?
    2. Would you still have democracy and at what point would immigrants get to vote?
    3. How could you stop invasion by immigration?

    Genuine questions. I used to be in favour of open borders, but now I just don’t know.

  88. jupes

    From Sarah:

    There is a need for government broadcasters such as the ABC and SBS to cater for non-commercial tastes to ensure access to a wide variety of views and ideas.

    That is not their charter.

  89. Toiling Mass

    For example, commercial broadcasters have a tendency to be conservative…

    Arlene Composta?

  90. jupes

    Genuine questions. I used to be in favour of open borders, but now I just don’t know.

    The biggest problem with open borders is a rather popular belief system called Islam.

  91. Rabz

    There is a need for government broadcasters such as the ABC and SBS to cater for non-commercial tastes to ensure access to a wide variety of views and ideas.

    That is not their charter.

    They’re not bloody well “ensuring access to a wide variety of views and ideas”, either, as much as it pains me to point this out.

  92. Noddy

    >No, the right to vote for immigrants begins when you start paying tax. “No taxation without representation!” – an idea that gave birth to a Nation.<

    Not applicable… you still have to qualify with 20 years resident before you can vote… tax only helps pay for the benefits you are already enjoying.

    Tintarella di Luna
    #1116916, posted on December 19, 2013 at 12:00 pm
    Why the hell does every Sex Discrimination Commissioner have to be a woman?

    I can add to that… why does the government always appoint left-wing zealots to these positions?
    Have a look at some of the names… they surface like dross on a cesspit and never likely done a decent days work in their lives.

  93. steve

    It should be clear to all by now that the most important thing Abbott can achieve is to make the comrades feel like all they think they achieved in the last government is now going to be unwound. This will mean that if and when they ever get in again, they will think twice before they try to destroy western civilisation.

  94. Andrew

    I’m one for zero tolerance of the boatees – but for the sake of argument and skipping over the “free to leave at any time” thing, surely they are also getting a “trial”? Someone assesses their claim to genuine refugee status. If successful in establishing their case, they’re released. If not (eg the middle class Lebs travelling on forged Syrian passports with a fraudulent back story) then they are by definition felons. It’s not like we’re saying claims will NEVER be processed (although Gillrudd were getting pretty close to that result). How is this not the same as a trial for this purpose?

  95. Dan

    We’ll, the right to remain silent is being slowly eroded and the HRC was MIA on that one. Same as association in QLD… I’m not saying it’s a basic human right, but gives an idea of where they are at when the left considers all those things a Human Right. So they talk big about such things as I have a right not to be ‘vulnerable’, but having coppers coerce me into saying whatever or lock me up because I refuse to say anything at all…. Well….

    It really all falls down when it’s considered a human right ;

    1 to be vaccinated

    2 consciously object to be vaccinated

    3 free access to public health

    Unions believe it’s a basic human right to be in paid employment. Yet the left hates work for the dole.

  96. james

    “Ben Saul” hey?

    Wouldn’t happen to be yet another member of a certain community arguing against free speech would it?

    Starting to be a pattern.

  97. I’m all for minority rights. After all, the greatest minority of all is the individual.

  98. .

    James

    Is the group you referring to fucktards? I’m confused.

  99. .

    1. What conditions/laws would you want in place before that was established (eg. no welfare)?
    2. Would you still have democracy and at what point would immigrants get to vote?
    3. How could you stop invasion by immigration?

    1.No welfare until you are a citizen, 10 year minimum PR (easy to get) before you can be naturalised.
    2. Yes and already answered.
    3. It has never happened formally or informally, viz colonial Australia. The other solution is harpoon missile at the office of the government who gets up to such hijinks.

  100. james

    Is the group you referring to fucktards?

    Nope.

    Ben Saul is one of the anti-Israel crowds pet members of the Jewish community, one of the ones they throw out at anyone who critiques their Jew hatred to prove how super fantastically tolerant they are.

    It is interesting to see just how many of the enemies of free speech in Australia seem to come from a single community.

  101. wreckage

    Wilson and the IPA believe that human activity is best “regulated” by the free market rather than by governments, which they seem to believe are inherently oppressive, inefficient, or at the very least expensive (interfering with us by taxing us).

    Well, what government on the world stage currently is not oppressive, inefficient, and expensive?

    The market doesn’t regulate behaviour. It’s not a choice between being micromanaged by the government and being micromanaged by the market. It’s a rejection of micromanagement, and of the notion that one’s neighbours are rabid animals controlled only by the threat of violence at the hands of the State!

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