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Act Aims To Enforce Human Rights

Filed under Breaking News, Latest News

Acting Attorney-General Dr Anthony Lynham

January 3, 2020

New human rights legislation came into force in Queensland on January 1.

Acting Attorney-General Dr Anthony Lynham said the Human Rights Act 2019 meant public entities had a specific obligation to act and make decisions compatible with human rights.

“Queenslanders will no longer have to rely on a patchwork of protections when they believe their freedom, equality or dignity is being challenged by a public entity,” he said.

“Instead they will have access to a momentous piece of legislation – one that protects their human rights when interacting with public entities.

“This includes the State Government, Local Government, public service employees and other organisations performing public work.

“It’s a significant step towards a human rights-based approach to government planning, policy and service delivery.”

The Human Rights Act protects 23 human rights:

  • Recognition and equality before the law;
  • Right to life;
  • Protection from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment;
  • Freedom from forced work;
  • Freedom of movement;
  • Freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief;
  • Freedom of expression;
  • Peaceful assembly and freedom of association;
  • Taking part in public life;
  • Property rights;
  • Privacy and reputation;
  • Protection of families and children;
  • Cultural rights — generally;
  • Cultural rights — Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders;
  • Right to liberty and security of person;
  • Humane treatment when deprived of liberty;
  • Fair hearing;
  • Rights in criminal proceedings;
  • Children in the criminal process;
  • Right not to be tried or punished more than once;
  • Retrospective criminal laws;
  • Right to education; and
  • Right to health services.

Dr Lynham said the newly established Queensland Human Rights Commission, which replaces the Anti-Discrimination Commission, would administer the Human Rights Act.

“The Queensland Human Rights Commission will also have the power to receive and conciliate human rights complaints,” he said.

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