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Positive and negative aspects of Bill of Rights

Question:

Discuss about the Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Bill of rights consists of several rights that are necessary for the citizens. The main purpose of these rights is to secure the interest of the citizen, whether it is public official or private individual (Galligan and Morton 2017). The term bill of rights can be termed as charter of rights. Under the English legal charter, the term bill of rights had been introduced by Magna Carta where certain rights of the individual has been established for secure the interest of the individuals. Further, certain statutory rights have been introduced in England in the year 1689. Right to freedom is the main aspect of bill of rights and it has been observed that the rights are helpful for the citizen when they held liable for any criminal offence. There are certain guaranteed bill of rights provided to the individuals such as freedom of speech, freedom of press, right to petition the government, protection against unreasonable search and seizure and rights to carry arms. There are certain legal rights have also been imposed on the individual regarding the same such as right against double jeopardy, rights for speedy trial, rights against self-incrimination and right to held the trial by jury (Weins and Flynn 2014). Considering all the rights stated therein, it could be mentioned that the bill of rights reflects the constitutional law.

However, there are certain loopholes engraved under the bill of rights. The rights regarding the search and seizure has enabled the police personnel to conduct a search by breaking through the house of any individuals without any warrants. This cause a great suffering for the respective person and the fundamental rights of the person is hampered to certain extent. Therefore, it can be stated that bill of rights has positive as well as negative aspects and a thorough argument is required to this effect to understand whether the rights are intended to help the social change or the rights pose any threat to the societal change (Williams and Williams 2016).

Certain constitutional rights are engraved under the bill of rights that ensure the basic rights of the citizen. Freedom of speech and freedom of religion have helped the citizen to enjoy their democratic rights and this mentality could make a huge societal change. The people can enjoy the rights and liberties and they are allowed to do anything freely without any unjustified interference of the government or anyone else. All the legal rights that are included under the bill have given ultimate securities to the people.

Importance of the political system in a democracy

On the other hand, there are certain negative grounds too that can cause impairment to the society. it has been stated earlier that the bill of rights are helpful regarding criminal offence. Right to carry arms has been ensured by the right and it instigates certain criminal activities to certain extent (Williams and Reynolds 2017). Further, there are certain weak points in the constitutional rights. The term right to work allows the individual to do any work and sometimes the individuals are attempted to conduct illegal works. These create serious harm to the society and it can be stated that amendments are required regarding the rights.

Political system plays an important role in any country, as it includes government and politics of the country. There are many political systems present in the globe and each reflects different political styles and criteria thereto. Democracy is a part of the political system. Under democracy, there are certain steps such as the government is acted as the representatives of the common people, all the citizens are allowed to participate in the political process, the citizens can enjoy all the fundamental rights without any hindrance, and the political activities are quite transparent in its literal views (Bennett 2016). Therefore, it is important for the people to be depended on the political system of the democracy and the government is required to take rational steps for securing the interest of the people. However, in the modern world, it has been observed that the acts of the government have confused the people and they have started to lose their faith on the democratic system. In many countries, the government has failed to implement policies for the protection of the common people and the individual has to face serious problems due to this.

The modern has been changed a lot and the definition of politics has changed due to this. It has been observed that the intention of politics is not to create security for the individual any long. Some politicians are using this system to feather their own nest and earning illegal profits from the same. Therefore, the common people are losing their faith on the system and they are confused regarding the representative criteria of the government in the democratic system. The people are choosing their representative through voting and in case of democratic state, casting vote is very important thing. The future of the country is depending on the transparent voting system. The concept behind the voting has also been changed and the people have a strong perception that the result of the votes is not depended on their cast and the powerful parties will remain in the top governmental posts (Roberts 2015). This mentality has been grown up among all the countries and the same too have affected Australia.

Change in the definition of politics


A change has been made in the communication system also and it has been observed that the ruling party or the opposition parties are using social media in this case. The role of social media in this case is very crucial and the agenda of the political parties are posted in the social media. Certain changes has been made by the government in this regard and they are choosing their yes man in the administration. Therefore, the real nature of the democracy could not be entertained.

In this perspective, it can be stated that common people are playing an important role under the democratic system and it should not be forgotten that government should work for and on behalf of the people. The government neither takes any immoral decision nor imposes anything on the common people (Stoker 2016). Total participation of the common people in the governmental work can give birth to healthy democracy.

There are two parts in the legal system such as the common law and the statutory law. When legislative body has implemented a law, the same is termed as statutory law. Racial Discrimination Act 1975 is statutory in nature and the Australian Parliament has enacted it. The Australian Human Rights Commission is the regulatory authority regarding the proper implementation of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Sargeant 2016). The ultimate purpose of the Act is to find out whether any discrimination regarding the race, caste and creed has been organized or not and if any complaint has been made, commission will mitigate the complaint with highest priorities. Certain norms has been mentioned under this Act. Certain grounds are mentioned under the Act that defined as non-discriminated grounds such as employment right, rights of accommodation, rights regarding goods and services, advertisement right and trade union right. However, certain prohibitory grounds have been mentioned under section 18C of the Act. It has been mentioned under the Act that any person is not allowed to act in any manner that is offending or insulting in nature and that act should not disregard the race or ethnic origin of a person (Triana, Jayasinghe and Pieper 2015). On the other hand, it has been mentioned under section 18D of the Act, if any act has been made during any artistic work or for any scientific purpose that will not be treated as a breach regarding the provision mentioned under section 18C of the Act.

Racial Discrimination Act 1975: Statutory law, its purpose, and provisions


In the case of Rugema v Gadsten Pty Ltd & Derkes [1997] HREOCA 34, the court has held that workplace discrimination comes under the purview of the provision and the offender will be held liable for the same.

Certain contradictions have been made in this regard. It has been stated under section 26 of the Act that not every unlawful act is an offence and does not form part of criminal act. There is a proviso mentioned under the Act that states only those acts provided in Part IV of the Act will be considered as an offence. The provisions of section 18C have prohibited a person to do any work or say any word in the public place that defames the race or caste of an individual.

The provisions of section 18C have been criticized and it has been held that the section is denying the freedom of speech and political interaction of an individual. According to Alan Tudge, the main problem of the Act is that it attempts to take subjective action and treating any discriminatory thing as crime. Controversy arose, as the definition of crime is different according to section 26 of this Act (Magarey 2014). Further, the definition of unlawful and criminal act is different and section 18C has failed to maintain the same. Amendments are required in this field. in the case of  Eatock v Bolt [2011], it has been held that offending nature of an act is depending on the circumstances and the provision of section 18C has failed to insert any such interpretation in it

The abovementioned issues are quite transparent in nature and I agree with the facts stated therein. It is to be observed that the constitutional rights are also not beyond the amendments. There are certain loopholes in the bill of rights. Further, the right to possess weapons sometimes harm to the society. The rate of murder and suicide has been increased in the continents of USA for the same and therefore, the implementing body should have to consider the same. The student has rightly observed the positive and negative sides of the bill but failed to state about the resolving procedure of these faults. Sense of securities among the public is required to be increased and the purpose of the bills should be act for the development of the society. It can be stated that the fundamental rights promised under the bills has achieved success to certain effect. A denial regarding the rights of the individual has been observed in this era and rights of the bills can help the individual to this effect. The legislative body should have to avoid the loopholes and apply the rights for the betterment of the society. It is the duty of the lawmaker to implement the Acts for the protection of the people and sufficient amendments are necessary to this effect. Proper surveillance should be taken so that no individual could abuse the provision of Bill of rights. 

Criticism of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

The student has able to demonstrate the role of the common people in the political arena and raise their voice against the forced voting system and autocratic behavior of the government. I am agreeing with the view with the student that voting plays an important role in democracy; but voting is not the only terms here. It is true that proper education must be given to the citizens so that they can understand the importance of voting system. Concurrently, people will understand the political system of a country and role and objectives of the government in a state. Freedom of speech is one of the main criteria to this effect and I agree with the views of the student that this freedom must be ensured to all the citizens and not to the voters only. The modern approach and communicating process of the democratic government has changed the idea of democratic principle. The tech savvy attitude of the government has opened a new door of people involvement and role of social media to this effect is significant. This give an option to the common people to get involved in the political arena and this process will lead the people towards the healthy democratic system. The direct involvement of the common people will help to decrease the autocratic nature of the government and the forceful voting process can be stopped. However, it has been observed that the faith of the people on the government has been decreased gradually and one of the reasons are corruption in the voting process. In this way, the faith of the people on the government policies can be retained and regained. The student has created extra focus on the voting system, where there are many topics under the democratic system such as fundamental rights of the citizen, liberal rule of laws and fair and impartial nature of the justice system. The role of the citizens is also important in these cases.

Reference:

Galligan, B. and Morton, F.T., 2017. Australian exceptionalism: Rights protection without a bill of rights. In Protecting Rights Without a Bill of Rights (pp. 27-50). Routledge.

Weins, W. J., and Flynn, S. J. (2014). Bill of Rights. The Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Williams, A., and Williams, G. (2016). The British Bill of Rights debate: lessons from Australia. Public law., 2016(July), 471-490.

Williams, G., and Reynolds, D. (2017). Bill so frights: Out on a limb: Australia's troubling exceptionalism on human rights. LSJ: Law Society of NSW Journal, (38), 40.

Bennett, W. L. (2016). News: The politics of illusion. University of Chicago Press.

Roberts, N. C. (2015). The age of direct citizen participation. Routledge.

Stoker, G. (2016). Why politics matters: Making democracy work. Palgrave.

Magarey, K., 2014. The Attorney-General’s suggested changes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975.

Sargeant, M., 2016. Age discrimination in employment. Routledge.

Triana, M.D.C., Jayasinghe, M. and Pieper, J.R., 2015. Perceived workplace racial discrimination and its correlates: A meta?analysis. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 36(4), pp.491-513.

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