Guidelines for appointments to the Australian Human Rights Commission
The Law Council of Australia provided a submission to the Attorney-General’s Department in response to its consultation regarding new Guidelines for appointments to the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).1
The new Guidelines are a welcome follow-up to the Australian Human Rights Commission Legislation Amendment (Selection and Appointments) Act 2022 (Cth).2 The Law Council was disappointed that the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) deferred the AHRC’s reaccreditation as an ‘A-status’ National Human Rights Institution in 2022.3 The AHRC is a vital institution for safeguarding individual rights in Australia, and we are of the firm view that it should be independent and adequately funded to fulfil its executive oversight role. This role is especially important in the absence of a federal Human Rights Act.4
1 Attorney-General’s Department, Guidelines for appointments to the Australian Human Rights Commission: <https://consultations.ag.gov.au/rights-and-protections/guidelines-appointments-to-ahrc>.
2 The Law Council also welcomed the relevant Bill in October 2022 – see Restoring Australia’s human rights status, Media Release, 28 October 2022: <https://lawcouncil.au/media/media-releases/restoring-australias-human-rights-status->.
3 Law Council, Australia must work to ensure AHRC remains fully compliant with Paris Principles, Media Release, 8 April 2022: <https://lawcouncil.au/media/media-releases/australia-must-work-to-ensure-ahrc-remains-fully-compliant-with-paris-principles>.
4 See Law Council, Federal Human Rights Charter policy, November 2020: <https://lawcouncil.au/resources/policies-and-guidelines/federal-human-rights-charter>.