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Submission: Inquiry into Australia's Human Rights Framework

Rights and Freedoms

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights

Committees submitted to
Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights

Submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights (PJCHR)

May 2023


In April 2010, the Australian Government introduced Australia's Human Rights Framework (2010 Framework).

The Australian Government chose not to pursue a Human Rights Act as part of the framework at that time, deferring consideration of introducing a Human Rights Act to a review of the operation of the 2010 Framework.

The Australian Human Rights Commission (Commission) considers that the 2010 Framework did not meet its objectives. The failure of the Framework was due to lack of implementation and lack of commitment from the Government at the time.

Many of the measures committed to under the 2010 Framework were not completed or lapsed during or soon after the Framework ceased to exist.Since the lapsing of the 2010 Framework, governments have not put into place adequate, alternative steps to protect human rights. The lapsing of the Framework constitutes a regression in the systems for protecting human rights at the national level.

The Commission supports the establishment of a new National Human Rights Framework. The Commission has made ten recommendations in this submission to guide the development of a new Framework.

The centrepiece of the Commission’s proposed National Human Rights Framework is a national Human Rights Act. The Commission is strongly of the view that the next step in the development of a Human Rights Act is to develop a Draft Exposure Bill based on the Commission’s model.