Human rights report welcomed

Chair of the Queensland Law Society Human Rights and Public Law Committee Emma Phillips welcomes the strong recommendations in the federal Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights report.

The Parliamentary report, which was released yesterday, recommends establishing a federal Human Rights Act.

Emma said the report followed an in-depth inquiry into Australia’s human rights framework which Federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus initiated in March 2023.

“The first recommendation, to introduce a federal Human Rights Act with comprehensive and effective protection of human rights, is a very important and welcome recommendation,” she said.

“It’s encouraging to see the high level of support for this proposal from a significant majority of submitters to the inquiry.

“The (parliamentary) committee has taken a thoughtful and pragmatic approach in considering how to address the significant deficits in existing mechanisms to protect human rights in Australia and to foster a culture where human rights are understood, respected and protected.


“The introduction of comprehensive legislative protection for human rights in Australia is long overdue. It is my hope that the recommendations will be supported and implemented.”

The Law Council of Australia also strongly welcomed the report, with President Greg McIntyre SC saying: “The report … 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.

“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.”

Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search by keyword