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"Bill of Rights" redirects here. For the English law, see Bill of Rights 1689. For the United States constitutional amendments, see United States Bill of Rights.

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 An entrenched bill of rights cannot be modified or repealed by a country's legislature through normal procedure, instead requiring a supermajority or referendum; often it is part of a country's constitution and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 A not entrenched bill of rights is a normal statute law and as such can be modified or repealed by the legislature at will.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. Although, the Republic of South Africa is the only country in the world which has included the bill of rights in its constitution.

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] Australia is on the Surveillance list on reporters without borders.

Press freedom in Australia is upheld by convention rather than by constitutional guarantees, except in the state of Victoria, where it is protected under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities. In 2006, Australia consolidated varying state-level defamation regulations under the Uniform Defamation Laws Reform Act, which allows only individuals, nonprofits, and corporations with fewer than 10 employees to sue over defamation. Although rarely invoked, criminal defamation laws are still on the books in Australia. Civil cases, which are more common, can result in heavy fines. In May 2012, the News Corporation media group was ordered to pay A$325,000 (US$339,000) for an article in the Sunday Telegraph that labeled a former police detective as “corrupt.”[6]

List of bills of rights[edit]


Specifically targeted documents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.wesleymission.org.au/archives/suter/080718.asp
  2. ^ Anderson, Deb (21 September 2010). "Does Australia need a bill of rights?". The Age (Melbourne). 
  3. ^ "Howard opposes Bill of Rights". PerthNow (The Sunday Times). 2009-08-27. Retrieved 2009-09-14. 
  4. ^ Howard, John (2009-08-27). "2009 Menzies Lecture by John Howard (full text)". The Australian (News Limited). Retrieved 2009-09-14. 
  5. ^ http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/06/30/human-rights-watch-open-australia
  6. ^ "Australia Freedom of the Press 2013". Freedom House. 
  7. ^ "The Gun Owner's Bill of Rights". Alaska Freedom News. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_of_rights — Please support Wikipedia.
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6975 news items

Madame Noire
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 07:55:39 -0700

LAICOMM_Alicia Reece Official Headshot-1 Ohio State Rep. Alicia Reece, a Cincinnati Democrat, is on a mission. And despite recently falling short of her July deadline to gather enough signatures on a “Voters Bill of Rights” constitutional amendment to ...
Thu, 17 Jul 2014 12:30:00 -0700

Robert Kennedy Jr. of Pelham has been nominated for the 14th Annual Bill of Rights Award by the Tennessee Committee for the Bill of Rights. The award will be presented at the group's banquet in December. The committee's June Griffin of Dayton, Tenn., ...
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Sat, 19 Jul 2014 08:56:15 -0700

In today's social media-centric society, it is very nearly impossible not to have your favorite television show or movie spoiled for you. Thankfully the guys at Screen Junkies, have compiled a Spoiler Bill of Rights to help you navigate the murky ...

Conservative Home

The Times (subscription)
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:54:16 -0700

Human rights will be a battleground in the coming general election. The suspicion is that Dominic Grieve was sacked as attorney-general in last week's reshuffle for refusing to back a proposed Conservative manifesto commitment to square up to the ...


Fri, 27 Jun 2014 11:24:04 -0700

The Indiana University athletic department will immediately begin implementing a 10-point student-athlete bill of rights, athletics director Fred Glass told The Indianapolis Star this week. Among the benefits, Indiana will now guarantee multiyear ...

Accounting Today

Wed, 16 Jul 2014 20:00:00 -0700

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights is a list of 10 rights that already exist in the Tax Code but are not incorporated into manageable bites for taxpayers. The Tax Advocate has long supported making a list of rights accessible to taxpayers, saying, “Taxpayer ...
Hustle Belt (blog)
Sat, 19 Jul 2014 12:07:30 -0700

Glass claims that the idea of a 10-point bill of rights came to him "when he was struck by how little the parents knew of the benefits and guarantees of a scholarship" according to the Indianapolis Star. Indiana's plan also includes legacy costs in the ...

Cleveland Leader

Tue, 01 Jul 2014 10:25:00 -0700

Some had pointed to the Voters Bill of Rights as a mechanism to increase turnout among African-American voters in a gubernatorial election year, when Ohio's Democrats are usually less reliable voters than Republicans. Activists had been aiming to get ...

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