Friday, 16th March, 2012

The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed disappointment that the Baillieu Government has decided not to repeal the Victorian Charter of Rights.

ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said the Government’s decision this week to retain the charter-inspired role for unelected judges in Victorian politics was leading to the Americanisation of our system

“Australians expect elected politicians, accountable to them, to make decisions,” he said.

“Retaining a role for judges in our politics, as the Baillieu Government said this week it wanted to do, means that judges are looking over the shoulder of our elected representatives.”

Mr Wallace said Australians didn’t like the way activist judges made law in the United States.

“We pride ourselves in the separation of powers in Australia but a charter or bill of rights puts this at risk, ” he said.

Mr Wallace said there were very few examples in the world where politicians dared to override declarations of incompatibility issued by charter-empowered judges.

“By failing to adopt the SARC recommendation to at least remove the role of the courts from politics, the Baillieu Government has squandered an opportunity to roll back policy even Federal Labor is opposed to,” Mr Wallace said.

“Everyone wants to see human rights upheld but where there are competing rights as there will be in any society, these need to be decided by democratically elected and accountable politicians, not unelected judges.”