Bill of rights

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A bill of rights, sometimes called a declaration of rights, is a list of the most important rights to the citizens of a country. The purpose of these bills is to protect those rights against infringement. The term "bill of rights" originates from England, where it refers to the Bill of Rights enacted by Parliament in 1689, following the Glorious Revolution, asserting the supremacy of Parliament over the monarch, and listing a number of fundamental rights and liberties.

Bills of rights may be entrenched or unentrenched. An entrenched bill of rights cannot be modified or repealed by a country's legislature through normal procedure, instead requiring a supermajority or referendum; often it is part of a country's constitution and therefore subject to special procedures applicable to constitutional amendments. A not entrenched bill of rights is a normal statute law and as such can be modified or repealed by the legislature at will. In practice, not every jurisdiction enforces the protection of the rights articulated in its bill of rights.

Exceptions in Western democracies[edit]

Australia is the only Western democratic country with neither a constitutional nor federal legislative bill of rights [1][2] to protect its citizens, although there is ongoing debate in many of Australia's states. Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard has argued against a bill of rights for Australia as transferring power from elected politicians (populist politics) to unelected (Constitutional) judges and bureaucrats.[3][4] Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) are the only states and territories to have a human rights bill. Australia decided to list Human Rights Watch’s Australian affiliate, Human Rights Watch Australia, as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) on June 28, 2013.[5]

List of bills of rights[edit]

General[edit]

Specifically targeted documents[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]