Media Release: Friday, July 3, 2009

Embargoed until 3 pm

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today questioned the inherent integrity of a proposed charter of rights which purports to protect human rights but – if it follows the model of the ACT and Victoria – would explicitly exclude the right to life of a child before birth.

Speaking at the National Human Rights Consultation’s public hearings at the Great Hall of Parliament House this afternoon, ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said that “the right to life is the most fundamental of rights, an inalienable right”.

“The duty of governments to protect children before and after birth is explicit in international conventions to which we are signatories. But it didn’t suit the ideology of those who wrote or enacted these charters, they ignored the inherent incoherency, and would have to be totally in denial to even suggest that a charter can have any credibility having ignored so fundamental a right for nearly 100,000 Australians per year,” he said.

In his address, Mr Wallace also said that introducing a charter would not be an effective way of establishing a culture of human rights or a human rights dialogue.

Instead it would “establish a system and educate our younger generation in a culture of adversarial legal remedy”.

Attached is the full text of Jim Wallace’s address, which is embargoed until 3 pm today (July 3).

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan