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Law Council of Australia

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A federal Human Rights Act is just right

30 May 2024

The Law Council of Australia strongly welcomes the release today of a Parliamentary report which recommends establishing a federal Human Rights Act and re-establishing and significantly improving Australia’s Human Rights Framework.

“The report from the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights on its inquiry into Australia’s Human Rights Framework reflects that all persons – Australian citizens, non-citizens, ordinary and marginalised people – are equal before the law and are afforded human rights.

“Unfortunately, under our current patchwork of laws, there is inadequate protection for many rights and when people’s rights are breached, there may not be a means through which they can seek effective remedy,” Law Council of Australia President, Mr Greg McIntyre SC said.

“The primary recommendations of the Joint Committee’s report regarding a federal Human Rights Act and Human Rights Framework, align with recommendations we made in our submission to this inquiry.

“In fact, the Law Council has been advocating the adoption of a federal Human Rights Act for many years, as set out in our Human Rights Charter Policy. The introduction of a comprehensive federal Human Rights Act is long overdue.

“Such an Act would not only better implement Australia’s international human rights obligations in a coherent way, but also bring the country into line with other Western democracies that provide much-needed legal remedies for those whose rights have been breached.

“Over the last decade, we have seen a series of Royal Commissions investigating serious human rights breaches. A federal Human Rights Act would be a positive step towards better protection of human rights in Australia into the future.

“The Law Council is reviewing the Joint Committee’s 17 detailed recommendations and 486-page report closely, and we look forward to participating in discussions about the implementation of these recommendations.”

Contact: Kristen Connell, P. 0400 054 227, E. kristen@talkforcemedia.com.au

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