Should Australia have a Bill of Rights?

Whether or not Australia should adopt bill of rights has become a very contentious topic. While Australia is the only Western democratic state without a bill rights, this does not mean we as a nation should simply adopt such a bill purely to fall inline with the rest of our western brethren. The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia does protect only a limited number of rights, however the structural protections within the constitution – and the ability of the High Court to interpret the constitution and it’s meaning – provide for protections of citizens of the Commonwealth as well as flexibility and discerning in individual cases by justice’s of the High Court where appropriate. However in saying this, a Bill of Rights, such as that in the Unites States’ Constitution, does provide benefits of its own, such as giving the judiciary more power over the legislative, whom may be better distinguished to protect individual freedom’s and create precedents for such scenarios, rather than politicians.

A Harmonious Society – China’s National Interest

In the twenty-first century, the Asia-Pacific state of the People’s Republic of China has been successful in perusing and achieving their national interest goals to a great extent, and has done so through the incorporation of all types and forms of power. However in saying this, China’s predisposition to favour certain elements of the national interest over others, can seriously undermine the extent to which they are able to pursue their national interest as a whole.

Institutions of Global Governance

The power and influence of two major contemporary global actors – the United Nations and the International Criminal Court is both widely acclaimed and criticised. The United Nations is hamstrung with its unavoidable and inherent paradox of holding the preservation of state sovereignty as sacred, whilst counter-intuitively aiming to encourage international cooperation; which at times requires the restriction of state sovereignty to meet its aims to keep peace throughout the world, whilst also fulfilling its role as an institution of global governance in maintaining international peace and security. However the United Nations has performed effectively to the best of its capability, if you can appreciate the complexity of taking on such a colossal role and the challenges such a role faces; the United Nations is very much a quiet achiever. The International Criminal Court however, is very much a ‘toothless tiger’, “a mosquito in the ear of an elephant” (as it was compared to by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir). Not due to incompetence or bad administration, but due to its embryonic nature, as the newest institution of global governance in the global community, and the many hardships the International Criminal Court faces and the difficulties of tackling state sovereignty and the national interests of states that act unilaterally.

The Cold War – Ideology or Power?

The Cold War was an ideological conflict to a minor, but nonetheless relevant extent. While ideology, be it communism or capitalism & democracy, were exclaimed as the be-all and end-all by both parties throughout the duration of the Cold War, many times were used as convenient justifications of a state’s actions which, behind closed doors, was very much a traditional power-play between the superpowers of the world, and the acquisition of geo-strategic assets for these ‘superstates’. Both parties were more than happy to throw away their ideology in favour of power, in some shape or form – as seen in cases of both US and USSR aggression throughout the late half of the 20th century. However there were times during the Cold War when it was genuinely ideological, be it for better – such as the Space Race, or for worse – such as the Cuban Missile Crisis.