Bills of rights in functioning parliamentary democracies: Kantian, consequentialist and institutionalist scepticisms

Ratnapala, Suri (2010) Bills of rights in functioning parliamentary democracies: Kantian, consequentialist and institutionalist scepticisms. Melbourne University Law Review, 34 2: 592-617.

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Author Ratnapala, Suri
Title Bills of rights in functioning parliamentary democracies: Kantian, consequentialist and institutionalist scepticisms
Journal name Melbourne University Law Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0025-8938
Publication date 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 34
Issue 2
Start page 592
End page 617
Total pages 26
Place of publication Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Publisher Melbourne University Law Review Association
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Abstract Most functioning democracies have charters of rights as part of the constitution or as a special statute. These instruments are generally accepted as valued constitutional features despite local debates about their scope and application. However, in the parliamentary democracies of the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, there is continuing debate about the wisdom of having a bill of rights. This paper is a critical examination of the principal theoretical arguments against a bill of rights in any form, focusing on Kantian, consequentialist and institutionalist objections. The paper finds flaws in the Kantian and consequentialist arguments and proposes that the institutionalist approach to the issue is more instructive in evaluating the worth of a bill of rights. It concludes that, given the institutional settings of the Australian political and legal system, a statutory bill of rights narrowly focused on Lockean natural rights may strengthen constitutional government. Copyright © 2010 Thomson Reuters
Keyword Law
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
TC Beirne School of Law Publications
 
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Created: Sat, 26 Mar 2011, 20:53:29 EST by Ms Barbara Thorsen on behalf of T.C. Beirne School of Law