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Sweden’s Human Rights – Ha! They Have a Charter !

February 8, 2011

Appalled by the trial that Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, will face in Sweden ? A secret court, observers locked out ? Three of the judges political appointees ? No scrutiny ? No resemblance to British justice or Australian ?

But hang on. Sweden is covered by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. And we have been told by Australian advocates of a charter ( Geoffrey Robertson, Susan Ryan, David Marr and Michael Kirby – not forgetting Father Brennan ) that Australian rights are deficient because we have not got such a charter. That our freedoms will not be complete, as they are in Europe, because we have not a charter. We must have one, they say, or our legal system will fall behind that of other jurisdictions that have a charter of rights.

Like Sweden.

Where a trial on a rape is held behind closed doors, with three out of four judges political appointees. Poor old Australia without a charter of rights and only its common law and parliamentary democracy and freedom of speech to shore up our liberties.

As I’ve always argued freedom has everything to do with the ethos of a country, and charters and bills of rights guarantee nothing.


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