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About the book
  • Published: 1 July 2011
  • ISBN: 9781742745428
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 256
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The Statute of Liberty

How Australians can take back their rights




The case for giving Australians back their rights, briliantly argued by Geoffrey Robertson.

The case for giving Australians back their rights, brilliantly argued by Geoffrey Robertson.

The Australian people emerged from a polyglot mixture of nationalities and other races: a kind of human minestrone. Not only a race, but a race apart, thanks to the kindness of distance. What distinctive moral vision have we attained from the struggles and sacrifices of our forebears? If we are to preserve the part of our heritage to do with freedom, we must write down the entitlement of every citizen in a way that politicians and public servants will respect. That means they must be turned into law. If they are not capable of legal enforcement then they are not 'rights', they are empty promises.

In this short book, Geoffrey Robertson QC puts the case for an Australian Bill of Rights cogently and dramatically, proving with evidence from other countries how a statute of liberty helps ordinary citizens and improves standards of governance and public services. He exposes the lies and urban myths the Australian people face from opponents of the bill, and shows how the charter he has drafted reflects the history and real contemporary values of Australians.

This is a provocative argument for change, which explains that real democracy only exists if politicians give the courts power to defend citizens against abuses of their human rights by governments and public servants.

  • Pub date: 1 July 2011
  • ISBN: 9781742745428
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 256

About the Author

Geoffrey Robertson

Geoffrey Robertson QC has had a distinguished career as a trial counsel and human rights advocate. He has been a UN war crimes judge, a counsel in many notable Old Bailey trials, has defended hundreds of men facing death sentences in the Caribbean, and has won landmark rulings on civil liberty from the highest courts in Britain, Europe and the Commonwealth. He is founder and head of Doughty Street Chambers, a Master of the Middle Temple, and a visiting professor at the New College of Humanities in London.

His book Crimes Against Humanity has been an inspiration for the global justice movement, his other books include Freedom, the Individual and the Law, The Tyrannicide Brief, The Statute of Liberty, Dreaming Too Loud and the acclaimed memoir The Justice Game. He has made many television and radio programmes, notably Geoffrey Robertson's Hypotheticals, and has won a Freedom of Information award for his writing and broadcasting. In 2011 he received the New York State Bar Association’s Award for ‘Distinction in International Law and Affairs’, and was Australian Humanitarian of the Year in 2014. In 2018 he was awarded an order of Australia (AO) for ‘his distinguished service to the law and the legal profession as an international human rights lawyer and advocate for global civil liberties’.

Also by Geoffrey Robertson

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Praise for The Statute of Liberty

“[Robertson's] forensic intelligence can penetrate where professional historians have not reached”

Literary Review

“A work of literary advocacy as elegant, impassioned and original as any the author can ever have laid before a court”

Observer

“Robertson tells a spellbinding story. He combines lucid analysis of the legal issues with acute understanding of the various factions. His prose is crisp and he inserts some comments that only a professional advocate ... would make”

Daily Telegraph

“This is a work of great compassion and ... it is an essential read for anyone who believes in the fearless independence of the law”

The Times


Awards & Recognition

  • The John Button Prize

    Shortlisted • 2009 • The John Button Prize


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