New human rights association formed

A need to promote human rights law as a discipline has prompted the formation of a Human Rights Law Association (HRLA) in Brisbane.

“While there are other human rights organisations out there, they are focused on advocacy rather than human rights as an area of law,”  HRLA Deputy President Kent Blore said.

“Now that there are three states and territories in Australia with human rights Acts, there is a real need for an association to foster awareness within the profession of the emerging discipline of human rights law.”

He said HRLA envisaged it would work with other human rights organisations but that its focus was different.

“Rather than advocate for reforms or a particular policy position, HRLA will focus on the law of human rights – the technicalities about the scope of human rights, how the different mechanisms in human rights legislation work, new case law and emerging trends,” he said.

“Focusing on the law also means that government lawyers can feel comfortable being involved.


“Advocacy is important, but we will leave that to other organisations.” 

HRLA Secretary Rose Barrett said early signs for the group were positive, with membership applications from lawyers, barristers and policy officers from the south-east to Cairns, but also interest from around the country.

Rose said the HRLA activities would include convening speeches, panel discussions, a mooting competition and an essay competition.

She said the association welcomed membership applications from colleagues in Queensland who were learning, practising, teaching or researching domestic human rights law.

HRLA will hold its inaugural oration in the Queensland Banco Court on 30 April at 5.15pm. HRLA Patron Pamela Tate KC will speak on Proportionality under Australian State-level human rights statutes. 

Justice Peter Applegarth will chair, and Human Rights Law Professor Sarah Joseph, from Griffith University, will respond to the paper. A Q&A session and drinks will follow. Tickets are available here.

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