A Bill of Rights?


Expressing a radical perspective, Libertarian Alliance Director, Dr Sean Gabb, says:

“The most fundamental right within the western liberal tradition is the right of individuals to be left alone in the enjoyment of life, liberty and justly-acquired property. The most fundamental obligation is to leave others alone in their enjoyment of the same.

“The sole function of a bill of rights is to protect this fundamental right from violation by the State, which in every time and place has been the foremost threat to life, liberty and property. Therefore, bills of rights have generally enumerated aspects of the right to be left alone, together with promises of due process in all areas where state and individual are brought together.

“Some bills of rights have been more technically comprehensive than others. Some have been more effective than others. But, historically, it has been fear of the State that has lain behind calls for any bill of rights.

“The effect – and probably the intention – of this proposed bill of rights is to weaken protection of genuine rights by the enumeration of non-rights.” (more)

I do not believe this Government capable of introducing a Bill of Rights that will achieve good ends by simple and effective means. More likely, there will be grotesque unintended consequences, not least of which will be further bureaucracy and a growth in frivolous legal action.

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