A HUMAN Rights Act would ensure all Australians are protected and respected, a leading advocate says.
Human Rights Commission President Rosalind Croucher said Australia was not meeting all its obligations under international law.
A Human Rights Act would ensure such rights were protected and furthermore, there would be consequences for those who breached such rights.
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Professor Croucher is the guest speaker at Armidale Sanctuary's annual human rights lecture, to be held on September 14 at the Ex-Services Memorial Club.
She will be discussing the need for a federal human rights Act which she says would ensure unlawful schemes such as Robodebt would not be enacted in future.
"The Human Rights Act model is based on the positive duty of public authorities to take into account human rights in framing policy and making decisions," Professor Croucher said.
"To give it effect, we also advocate for making a breach of human rights actionable. In legal terms, you can not just make a complaint, you can also seek a remedy.
"So it's about changing the whole mindset of public authorities in the way they go about their business and how legislation is framed.
"We call for 'rights mindedness' across the public sector."
Importantly, the Act's framework would give people a pathway to address breaches of their rights.
"Through the availability of conciliation at the Australian Human Rights Commission, administrative review and access to courts, those most affected by human rights breaches will have the ability to hold government to account for breaching their rights," Professor Croucher said.
Begun in 2003, Armidale Sanctuary Humanitarian Settlement is a voluntary organisation that supports Australia's humanitarian program by assisting refugees to settle in Armidale.
Since 2018 members have worked closely with the Ezidi community from northern Iraq, helping them with humanitarian visas and generally supporting individuals.
Previous speakers included Gillian Triggs (Speaking up: Human Rights in Australia), Bernard Collaery (Time for reform: Australia's misdeeds in Timor Leste and secret trials in our democracy) and Paul Power from the Refugee Council of Australia (Advancing a fairer Australia: The role of local communities in refugee policy reform).
The Australian Human Rights Commission is the nation's human rights institution that investigates and conciliates discrimination and human rights complaints.
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