Competing Visions of Liberalism: Theoretical Underpinnings of the Bill of Rights Debate in Australia
When the bill of rights debate is evaluated in terms of the different traditions within liberal constitutionalism. it becomes evident that the debate is about more than the best means for securing civil liberties. It articulates a profound tension between differing notions of right and competing visions of liberal constitutionalism. From this theoretical perspective, the Australian reluctance to entrench rights reveals the strength of the dominant constitutionalism characterized by a parliamentarianism influenced by Mill and Dicey. It also highlights the character of the competing traditions, especially those of natural rights and human rights elaborated by Locke and Kant. The extent to which it is possible to say that there is now 11 confluence of these traditions, and the political and theoretical implications of such changes are explored in the light of the bill of rights debate in Australia.
Melbourne University Law Review