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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 1 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 88..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

I will establish terms of reference for the committee. They will include the examination of matters such as: what form a bill of rights should take, with special reference to whether the bill would be an ordinary statute or a declaration; whether it should apply to all citizens or only government and its officers; whether there can be exemptions from the provisions of the bill or whether it can be overridden by the Assembly; whether the bill should involve a requirement on courts to interpret legislation in a manner which is compatible with international human rights instruments; whether the bill should incorporate rights set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; whether the bill should include economic, social and political rights; whether responsibilities, as distinct from rights, should also be included; and the bill's relationship to the Commonwealth law.

I will be asking the committee to consider Mr Connolly's draft, as well as the models adopted by other nations. The committee will, of course, establish its own procedures and approach to the task. However, I envisage that a draft report will be prepared after the initial distribution of a discussion paper.

I believe that it is paramount to protect those rights we all regard as fundamental but all too often take for granted. If the events of recent months have taught us anything at all, surely it is that we must remain vigilant against their erosion.

In conclusion, if there is one sentiment that sums up Labor's approach to government and our determination to deliver the platform we went to the election on, it is embodied in the words of the social researcher, Hugh Mackay, who, when posed the question, "What are we in Australia hoping for?", answered, "A society that resists the pressures to give up on egalitarianism; that refuses to institutionalise socioeconomic class; that rates need ahead of entitlement." That is the fundamental basis from which Labor's platform is derived. Our commitment is to develop the program to deliver it and, in so doing, help Canberrans realise their aspirations.

I present the following paper:

The Labor Government's Commitments-Ministerial statement, 11 December 2001.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Debate (on motion by Mr Humphries) adjourned to the next sitting.

Crimes Amendment Bill 2001 (No 2)

Mr Stanhope, by leave, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for Women) (4.09): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.


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