In the eighteenth century, Jeremy Bentham famously described natural rights as nothing more than nonsense on stilts. Almost two centuries later, Bentham’s natural rights provided the foundation for human rights. Today, it is less common for human rights to be based on natural rights, but the concern that human rights is at risk of becoming nothing more than nonsense on stilts remains as alive as ever.
In Nonsense on Stilts essayists Terri Butler MP, Jennifer Cook, Emma Dawson, Professor Bryan Turner and Tim Wilson MP respond to Damien Freeman and Professor Catherine Renshaw’s proposals for rescuing human rights in Australia. Michael Casey provides a prologue explaining the place of the book in the institute’s The End of Human Rights? work stream. The collection offers several perspectives on what it means to recognise and protect human rights in Australian law and politics today.
Nonsense on Stilts: rescuing human rights in Australia was published in 2019 by the Kapunda Press.
We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday
If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.