As public debate about whether Australia should enhance our constitution by taking up a Bill of Rights, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court John G. Roberts explores the differences between the U.S. and Australia.
The visiting judge was careful to say he didn't have an opinion on whether Australia should or shouldn't go down the Bill of Rights path itself. But, Roberts did illuminate just how torturous and fraught the process was for America, as well as the specific historical circumstances and strong personalities that came into play.
Along the way he explores the implications the U.S. Bill of Rights has had on the history of the United States in areas such as property ownership, crime and the abolition of slavery.
The talk was presented by the Law Faculty at University of Queensland at Brisbane's Banco Court, with introductions by Queensland's Chief Justice Paul de Jersey and UQ Law Professor Ross Grantham.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts
John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the United States, was born in Buffalo, New York, January 27, 1955. He received an A.B. from Harvard College in 1976 and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1979.
He served as a law clerk for Henry J. Friendly of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1979-1980 and as a law clerk for then Associate Justice William H. Rehnquist of the Supreme Court of the United States during the 1980 Term.
He was Special Assistant to the Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice from 1981-1982, Associate Counsel to President Ronald Reagan, White House Counsel's Office from 1982-1986, and Principal Deputy Solicitor General, U.S. Department of Justice from 1989-1993.
From 1986-1989 and 1993-2003, he practiced law in Washington, D.C. He was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2003.
President George W. Bush nominated him as Chief Justice of the United States, and he took his seat on September 29, 2005.