Pressure is mounting on the federal government to announce a national review leading to introducing a Human Rights Act (HRA) for Australia. A HRA is a priority issue once a National Integrity Commission law is before parliament: a full review is promised in the Labor Party platform. Meanwhile, the Justice committee of the ACT Legislative Assembly is urging improvements to the ACT Human Rights ACT – possibly as a model for a national Act – to ensure that in future there are ‘No Rights Without Remedies’. Also in the JULY 2022 CLArion:
- Attorney-General’s Department newly responsible for the federal police
- $6m waster in wrongful prosecutions: end Collaery, McBridge, Boyle fiascos
- The Force searches your IT devices ‘on suspicion’
- 2001-inspired terror laws are past their use-by date
- When will the territories get their democratic rights back?
- State’s ‘justice’ fails children as young as 10
- Justice systems are not fit for purpose
- State laboratory gives wrong forensic results/advice: biologist
- Beware unintended consequences of tracing family DNA
- Forensic ‘certainty’ starts to face a reality backlash
Throughout the world, people are losing the human rights protection they thought they had. The loss of a layer of personal protection is happening at the stroke of the pen of judges, presidents and ministers. In Australia, we don’t have a layer to lose: that’s why it’s even more urgent fo the new government, the Greens and Independents to require the Albanese government to bring in a national Human Rights Act, much sooner than later.
Horrific stories of kids locked up 23 hours a day forming suicide pacts, regular riots and a juvenile jail smashed to pieces are the backdrop for an urgent need to change tack on how the state of WA treats its young, and old, prisoners. Australia needs an inquiry – one it has never had in its 120 years – into the state of justice in the nation, CLA’s CEO Bill Rowlings writes.
In this excellent article, social justice journalist Paul Gregoire outlines – with the help of CLA’s CEO Bill Rowlings – how bringing in a Human Rights Act to accompany a new National Integrity Commission will help complete Australia’s ethical infrastructure. Doing so would also go a long way towards fulfilling PM Albanese’s commitment on election night to ‘looking after the disadvantaged and vulnerable’ and to ‘shard values of fairness’.
CLA has formally asked the ’teal’ members of the Parliament, and other independents, to support a Human Rights Act (HRA) for Australia as an early, first 100 days, action item alongside a National Integrity Commission. Together, the two initiatives would rein in the excesses of politicians and elites at the top end of town, and underpin rights, liberties and justice for the bottom end among people who are doing it tough. Australia has already held its biggest-ever consultation on a HRA, with massive support for the concept. It’s time to make it happen.
The federal Labor Party’s election platform for 2022 promises a ‘Review of the Human Rights Framework’ for Australia.The new government has also promised to create an international Human Rights Ambassador. CLA is campaigning for a review in the first 100 days, alongside developing a National Integrity Commission. In 2009 the Brennan Inquiryundertook had the biggest consultation in Australia’s history on the subject of human rights, with an overwhelming positive response by Australians. Now is time to introduce a Human Rights Act, or Bill of Rights, for Australia. Read the latest news.
What should the incoming Australian government set as priorities for the 2022-2025 parliamentary term? You can read about what CLA believes priorities should be in the CLArion MAY 2022 (see below), or here –in response to those priorities – is what noted museum and education expert Dr Des Griffin AM proposes as early-term ‘must-dos’ for whomever forms government.