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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Statute of Liberty - Chapter 2

Still proceeding slowly, though Robertson has now given a potted account of the development of rights in the traditions of Britain, Europe generally, the US and Canada, and the UN, with some focus on Australia's proud role in the creation of the original Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He has also, rightly, emphasised the role played by judges in the historical development of rights, and has made the point that a democratic country is not supposed to be a tyranny of the majority over the minority.

We still haven't encountered a lot of compelling argument one way or another, or learned a great deal about what Robertson actually wants for Australia, beyond the obvious fact that he's aiming for some sort of statutory charter with legal force similar to that of the charters introduced in recent years in the ACT and Victoria. I'll read on ...

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