skip to Main Content

Queensland

Queensland’s Human Rights Act 2019, which came into full effect at the start of 2020, is the most comprehensive of all states and territories, listing 23 protected rights:

  • Recognition and equality before the law

(Every person is equal before the law and is entitled to the equal protection of the law without discrimination)

  • Right to life

(Every person has the right to life and has the right not to be arbitrarily deprived of life)

  • Protection from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment

(A person must not be subjected to torture or treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way, or be subjected to medical or scientific experimentation or treatment without the person’s full, free and informed consent)

  • Freedom from forced work

(A person must not be held in slavery or servitude and a person must not be made to perform forced or compulsory labour)

  • Freedom of movement

(Every person lawfully within Queensland has the right to move freely within Queensland and to enter and leave it, and has the freedom to choose where to live)

  • Freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief

(Every person has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief, including the freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of the person’s choice and the freedom to demonstrate the person’s religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching, either individually or as part of a community, in public or in private)

  • Freedom of expression

(Every person has the right to hold an opinion without interference.  Every person has the right to freedom of expression which includes the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, whether within or outside Queensland.  It includes whether it is done orally, in writing, in print, by way of art, or in another medium chosen by the person)

  • Peaceful assembly and freedom of association

(Every person has the right of peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions)

  • Taking part in public life

(Every person in Queensland has the right, and is to have the opportunity, without discrimination to participate in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives.  Every eligible person has the right, and is to have the opportunity, without discrimination to vote and be elected at periodic State and local government elections that guarantee the free expression of the will of the electors, and to have access, on general terms of equality, to the public service and to public office)

  • Property rights

(All persons have the right to own property alone or in association with others.  A person must not be arbitrarily deprived of the person’s property)

  • Privacy and reputation

(A person has the right not to have the person’s privacy, family, home or correspondence unlawfully or arbitrarily interfered with, and not to have the person’s reputation unlawfully attacked)

  • Protection of families and children

(Families are the fundamental group unit of society and are entitled to be protected by society and the State.  Every child has the right, without discrimination, to the protection that is needed by the child, and is in the child’s best interests, because of being a child)

  • Cultural rights – generally

(All persons with a particular cultural, religious, racial or linguistic background must not be denied the right, in community with other persons of that background, to enjoy their culture, to declare and practise their religion and to use their language)

  • Cultural rights – Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders

(Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples hold distinct cultural rights.  Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples must not be denied the right, with other members of their community—
(a) to enjoy, maintain, control, protect and develop their identity and cultural heritage, including their traditional knowledge, distinctive spiritual practices, observances, beliefs and teachings; and
(b) to enjoy, maintain, control, protect, develop and use their language, including traditional cultural expressions; 
(c) to enjoy, maintain, control, protect and develop their kinship ties; and
(d) to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual, material and economic relationship with the land, territories, waters, coastal seas and other resources with which they have a connection under Aboriginal tradition or Island custom; and to conserve and protect the environment and productive capacity of their land, territories, waters, coastal seas and other resources)

  • Right to liberty and security of person

(Every person has the right to liberty and security.  A person must not be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention.  A person must not be deprived of the person’s liberty except on grounds, and in accordance with procedures, established by law.  A person who is arrested or detained must be informed at the time of arrest or detention of the reason for the arrest or detention and must be promptly informed about any proceedings to be brought against the person.  A person who is arrested or detained on a criminal charge must be promptly brought before a court, and has the right to be brought to trial without unreasonable delay.  A person awaiting trial must not be automatically detained in custody, but the person’s release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial and at any other stage of the judicial proceeding, and if appropriate, for execution of judgement)

  • Humane treatment when deprived of liberty

(All persons deprived of liberty must be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.  An accused person who is detained or a person detained without charge must be segregated from persons who have been convicted of offences, unless reasonably necessary.  An accused person who is detained or a person detained without charge must be treated in a way that is appropriate for a person who has not been convicted)

  • Fair hearing

(A person charged with a criminal offence or a party to a civil proceeding has the right to have the charge or proceeding decided by a competent, independent and impartial court or tribunal after a fair and public hearing)

  • Rights in criminal proceedings

(A person charged with a criminal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law. They are to be informed promptly and told the detail of the nature and reason for the charge.  They must have adequate time and facilities to prepare their defence and to communicate with a lawyer or advisor.  They must be tried without unreasonable delay, and to be provided with legal if the interests of justice require it, without any costs payable by the person if the person is eligible for free legal aid under the Legal Aid Queensland Act 1997)

  • Children in the criminal process

(An accused child who is detained, or a child detained without charge, must be segregated from all detained adults.  An accused child must be brought to trial as quickly as possible.  A child who has been convicted of an offence must be treated in a way that is appropriate for the child’s age)

  • Right not to be tried or punished more than once

(A person must not be tried or punished more than once for an offence in relation to which the person has already been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with law)

  • Retrospective criminal laws

(A person must not be found guilty of a criminal offence because of conduct that was not a criminal offence when it was engaged in.  A penalty must not be imposed on any person for a criminal offence that is greater than the penalty that applied to the offence when it was committed)

  • Right to education

(Every child has the right to have access to primary and secondary education appropriate to the child’s needs.  Every person has the right to have access, based on the person’s abilities, to further vocational education and training that is equally accessible to all)

  • Right to health services

(Every person has the right to access health services without discrimination.  A person must not be refused emergency medical treatment that is immediately necessary to save the person’s life or to prevent serious impairment to the person)

Victoria

The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities came into effect in 2004, and contains 20 basic rights that promote and protect the values of freedom, respect, equality and dignity.

The 20 protected rights are:

  • Right to recognition and equality before the law

(Everyone is entitled to equal and effective protection against discrimination, and to enjoy their human rights without discrimination)

  • Right to life

(Every person has the right to life and to not have their life taken.  The right to life includes a duty on government to take appropriate steps to protect the right to life)

  • Right to protection from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment

(People must not be tortured.  People must also not be treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way.  This includes protection from treatment that humiliates a person.  People must not be subjected to medical treatment or experiments without their full and informed consent)

  • Right to freedom from forced work

(A person must not be forced to work or be made a slave.  A person is a slave when someone else has complete control over them)

  • Right to freedom of movement

(People can stay in or leave Victoria whenever they want to as long as they are here lawfully.  They can move around freely within Victoria and choose where they live)

  • Right to privacy and reputation

(Everyone has the right to keep their lives private.  Your family, home or personal information cannot be interfered with, unless the law allows it)

  • Right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief

(People have the freedom to think and believe what they want, for example, religion.  They can do this in public or private, as part of a group or alone)

  • Right to freedom of expression

(People are free to say what they think and want to say.  They have the right to find, receive and share information and ideas.  In general, this right might be limited to respect the rights and reputation of other people, or for the protection of public safety and order)

  • Right to peaceful assembly and freedom of association

(People have the right to join groups or unions and to meet peacefully)

  • Right to protection of families and children

(Families are entitled to protection.  Children have the same rights as adults with added protection according to their best interests)

  • Right to take part in public life

(Every person has the right to take part in public life, such as the right to vote or run for public office)

  • Cultural rights

(People can have different family, religious or cultural backgrounds.  They can enjoy their culture, declare and practice their religion and use their languages.  Aboriginal persons hold distinct cultural rights)

  • Property rights

(People are protected from having their property taken, unless the law says it can be taken)

  • Right to liberty and security of person

(Everyone has the right to freedom and safety.  The right to liberty includes the right to not be arrested or detained except in accordance with the law.  The right to security means that reasonable steps must be taken to ensure the physical safety of people who are in danger of physical harm)

  • Right to humane treatment when deprived of liberty

(People have the right to be treated with humanity if they are accused of breaking the law and are detained)

  • Rights of children in the criminal process

(A child charged with committing a crime or who has been detained without charge must not be held with adults.  They must also be brought to trial as quickly as possible and treated in a way that is appropriate for their age.  Children are entitled to opportunities for education and rehabilitation in detention)

  • Right to a fair hearing

(A person has a right to a fair hearing.  This means the right to have criminal charges or civil proceedings decided by a competent, independent and impartial court or tribunal after a fair and public hearing)

  • Right to criminal proceedings

(There are a number of minimum guarantees that you have when you have been charged with a criminal offence. These include the right to be told the charges against you in a language you understand; the right to an interpreter if you need one; the right to have time and the facilities (such as a computer) to prepare your own case or to talk to your lawyer; the right to have your trial heard without too much delay; the right to be told about Victoria Legal Aid if you don’t already have a lawyer; you are presumed innocent until proven guilty; and you don’t have to testify against yourself or confess your guilt unless you choose to do so)

  • Right not to be tried or punished more than once

(A person will only go to court and be tried once for a crime.  This means if the person is found guilty they will only be punished once.  If they are found to be innocent they will not be punished)

  • Retrospective criminal laws

(A person has the right not to be prosecuted or punished for things that were not criminal offences at the time they were committed)

ACT

The majority of human rights in the ACT’s Charter are based on a treaty which Australia ratified in 1980 called the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The relevant rights are:

  • Recognition and equality before the law

(Everyone is equal before the law and is entitled to the equal protection of the law without discrimination)

  • Right to life

(From the time of birth, everyone has the right to life.  In particular, no-one may be arbitrarily deprived of life)

  • Protection from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment

(No-one may be tortured or treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way.  In addition, no-one may be subjected to medical or scientific experimentation or treatment without his or her free consent)

  • Protection of the family and children

(The family is the natural and basic group unit of society and is entitled to be protected by society.  Every child has the right to the protection needed by the child because of being a child, without distinction or discrimination of any kind)

  • Privacy and reputation

(Everyone has the right not to have his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence interfered with unlawfully or arbitrarily, and not to have his or her reputation unlawfully attacked)

  • Freedom of movement

(Everyone has the right to move freely within the ACT and to enter and leave it, and the freedom to choose his or her residence in the ACT)

  • Freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief

(Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, which includes having the freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his or her choice,  With this comes the freedom to demonstrate his or her religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching, either individually or as part of a community and whether in public or private)

  • Peaceful assembly and freedom of association

(Everyone has the right of peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of association)

  • Freedom of expression

(Everyone has the right to hold opinions without interference and has the right to freedom of expression.  This right includes the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of borders, whether orally, in writing or in print, by way of art, or in another way chosen by him or her)

  • Talking part in public life

(Every citizen has the right to take part in public affairs and events, vote in elections, and have the chance to be appointed to public service and public office)

  • Right to liberty and security of person

(Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person.  No-one may be arbitrarily arrested or detained or deprived of liberty, except on the grounds and in accordance with the procedures established by law.  Anyone who is arrested must be told, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for the arrest and must be promptly told about any charges against him or her)

  • Humane treatment when deprived of liberty

(Anyone deprived of liberty must be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person)

  • Children in the criminal process

(An accused child must be segregated from accused adults and be treated in a way that is appropriate for a person of the child’s age who has not been convicted.  In addition, a child must be brought to trial as quickly as possible.  A convicted child must be treated in a way that is appropriate for a person of the child’s age who has been convicted)

  • Right to a fair trial

(Everyone has the right to have criminal charges, and rights and obligations recognised by law, decided by a competent, independent and impartial court or tribunal after a fair and public hearing)

  • Rights in criminal proceedings

(Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.  Anyone charged with a criminal offence is entitled to be told promptly and in detail, in a language that he or she understands, about the nature and reason for the charge;  to have adequate time and facilities to prepare his or her defence and to communicate with lawyers or advisors chosen by him or her; and to be tried without unreasonable delay)

  • Compensation for wrongful conviction

(If anyone is convicted by a final decision of a criminal offence, and the person suffers punishment because of the conviction, and the conviction is reversed, or he or she is pardoned, on the ground that a new or newly discovered fact shows conclusively that there has been a miscarriage of justice, then the person has the right to be compensated according to law)

  • Right not to be tried and punished more than once

(No-one may be tried or punished again for an offence for which he or she has already been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with law)

  • Freedom from retrospective criminal laws

(No-one may be held guilty of a criminal offence because of conduct that was not a criminal offence under Territory law when it was engaged in.  A penalty may not be imposed on anyone for a criminal offence that is heavier than the penalty that applied to the offence when it was committed)

  • Freedom from forced work

(No-one may be held in slavery or servitude, or forced to perform forced or compulsory labour)

  • Rights of minorities

(Anyone who belongs to an ethnic, religious or linguistic minority must not be denied the right, with other members of the minority, to enjoy his or her culture, to declare and practise his or her religion, or to use his or her language.  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples hold distinct cultural rights and must not be denied the right)

To contact our team at Human Rights Claims, please call

1800 437 825

To connect with us, please follow us on

 

Back To Top