Wednesday 25 June 2008

Jesus is a %$#*&^^

Watch what you wear, and I'm not just talking about Woree fashion disasters.
A 16 year old Gold Coast lad has been nabbed for wearing a t shirt.
Not just any t shirt. This one was from Cradle of Filth, an English band. The t-shirt, which most media have refused to publish, is here for you to see.
He was wearing a t-shirt saying "Jesus is a Cunt" and depicts a nun masturbating. Nice.
The boys in blue charged him offensive behaviour under the Summary Offences Act for public nuisance. "I'm not religious but that's just offensive,'' the copper said.
Such incidents reignite debate about Australia's lack of a Bill of Rights.

Lawyer Bill Potts says that one of the great problems is that we talk about rights such as privacy and freedom of speech, but they are not enshrined or protected in any way.
"While there are always limits on freedom of speech, you can't incite violence or anything like that, it seems to be now more than ever that our rights to freedom of speech and freedom of expression should be protected."
Potts says that a Bill of Rights, enshrines that freedom of speech, is long overdue. I have to agree. It's amazing for all the right wing fundies in the USA, you certainly have the ability there to express an opinion about anything, and criticise the establishment, with the protection of free speech. Remember when Byrne ran this city what it was like to speak out?
A Bill of Rights was endorsed at the recent 2020 Summit, and almost every country in the world has one. The ACT passed its Human Rights Act in 2004 and in January, Victoria adopted a Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.
Former NSW Premier Bob Carr says a Charter of Rights represents nothing unless there's an ethos of a people behind it.
"Freedom derives from the ethos of a people, not from charters," he says. "My challenge to people who want a Charter of Rights is this: put it to the people in a Referendum. If there's going to be a charter that enables judges to interpret vaguely-expressed rights, that represents a significant shift in our system."
Victorian Attorney General Rob Hulls said they introduced a Bill of Rights because 'it was the right thing to do.' "Every major democracy in the world has woken up to the need for a lasting statement of fundamental human values," he said.
Hulls says it's important to write legislation to protect human rights. "We thought it was appropriate to do it in Victoria. I find it amazing that still in Australia we're debating the worth of such legislation. We've had Vivian Alvarez, Cornelia Rau, the children overboard controversy, far-reaching anti-terrorism legislation, the David Hicks saga unfolded, and still critics managed to choke out the argument, the improved human rights protection is unnecessary in our country."
And will it mean that you can wear any t shirt you want too? Well, maybe. And maybe not. However it will allow every citizen to have the freedom to express themselves, and in a world with more and more open citizen journalism, this kind of change in very important.

Listen to ABC's Law Report (click the icon) when Rob Hulls,Victorian Attorney General; John Hatzistergos, NSW Attorney General, along with former Premier Bob Carr, debate introducing a bill of rights for Australia.

You can also download the MP3 file here, or read the transcript.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would not vote for a Bill of Rights if it meant that it protected a person's right to insult me or my beliefs without me having redress. The kid wearing the T Shirt is obviously doing it to be outrageous. Behavior that is against the public grain inevitably brings violence, and makes a lot of people very unhappy. That is why we have laws that punishes us for inciting violence and damaging life and property. A Bill of Rights won’t alter that, but it may encourage people to take more outrageous risks like the T Shirt insulting Jesus. Generally, Australia is a Law abiding country, but introducing a Bill of Rights and a Republic will change the fabric of our Society with unknown consequences. The UK needs a Bill of Rights because they don’t have a Federal Constitution like us. Nine out of Ten Republics have had their Presidents Assassinated, some of them, like the USA, have had four Presidents Assassinated and Five unsuccessful attempts. There is no question that the proverb, “You reap what you sow!”, is still alive and well. I would not be surprised if the T Shirt wearing kid copped a hiding and not necessarily from his parents.