On 28 September 2023, ACFP's Founder Bronwyn Kelly addressed the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights in its inquiry into Australia’s Human Rights Framework. She made a case in support of a Human Rights Act but stated that the Constitution is a barrier to security of the human rights of Australians.
Dr Kelly testified that executive governments can - and they do - all too easily reduce or revoke human rights because rights are not enshrined in the Constitution. But with a process of nation-wide community engagement to build a new Constitution, Australians can finally secure the rights that have long been denied to them in Australian law. Read the full opening statement and the supporting material submitted by Bronwyn Kelly here.
The supporting material contains:
Five reasons why Australians must all have human rights in the Constitution.
A seven-step program to safely enshrine the rights of Australians in a Constitution fit for a 21st century democracy.
How did the Committee respond?
Those in attendance responded positively, which provides some indication that there is a will among some Committee members to secure human rights for Australians in domestic law. We shall see whether the Committee is inclined to take up the invitation to embark on process of nation-wide community engagement so that Australians can build a new Constitution - one fit for a 21st century democracy.
Listen to the response from the Committee's Deputy Chair, Russell Broadbent, MP.
What’s the basis of Bronwyn Kelly’s testimony?
The full reasoning behind Bronwyn Kelly’s testimony can be found in her book, The People’s Constitution: the path to empowerment of Australians in a 21st century democracy, available in paperback here and on Kindle here. Or click on the picture below. Or visit the Australian Community Futures Planning website to purchase The People’s Constitution at https://www.austcfp.com.au/publications
Listen to the full reading of The People’s Constitution on Apple Podcast
A full reading of The People’s Constitution: the path to empowerment of Australians in a 21st century democracy is available in The Australia Together Podcast here.
Chapter headings of The People’s Constitution
Chapter 1: The limits of Australia’s representative democracy
Chapter 2: Setting a path to power for the people
Chapter 3: Finding a place to start
Chapter 4: Essentials for a new start as a nation
Chapter 5: Essential No. 1 – Building a statement of Australian national values
Chapter 6: Essential No. 2 – Enshrinement of human rights and obligations in an Australian people’s constitution
Chapter 7: Essential No. 3 – A process for expression on the Australian people’s national voice
Chapter 8: Essential No. 4 – Priority constitutional amendments for an inclusive democracy
Chapter 9: Processes for engagement on and adoption of The Australian People’
Chapter 10: The possibilities of a new democracy under a people’s constitution