Inquiry into Human Rights Framework recommends a federal Human Rights Act

By | 1 Jun 2024

In May 2024 the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights recommended, by a majority, that Australia introduce a Human Rights Act.

It is now up to the Government to take action.

Humanists Victoria have been supporting the campaign for this reform for many years, by writing submissions and for the last three years have also supported the work of the Human Rights Law Centre in this area.

The report from the Inquiry made 17 recommendations, including the enactment of a Human Rights Act, which would encompass economic, social and cultural rights.

The proposed act would mean public authorities would have a duty to consider human rights when making decisions or taking action, with recourse to the Federal Court if non-compliance occurred.

Education about human rights, for schools as well as the broader community, was also recommended.

Although three States, Victoria, Queensland and ACT, already have legislation addressing human rights, Australia is the only western liberal democracy without a legislated Human Rights Act, or similar, at a federal level.

Fairness, transparency and accountability would be given greater protection with a Human Rights Act.