The Queensland Human Rights Commission is looking forward to the introduction of the new Human Rights Act.
Next month, the Act will come into effect in Queensland.
Additionally, the Anti-Discrimination Commission of Queensland will change its name to the Human Rights Commission.
The QHRC will be responsible for handling human rights complaints from the beginning of 2020.
Furthermore, it will continue its role managing discrimination and sexual harassment complaints.
Queensland to have strongest protections
Commissioner Scott McDougall says the new legislation provides the strongest human rights protections in the country.
“The passing of the Bill is a great step forward for Queensland and really does make us a national leader in terms of human rights protections.”
Queensland third jurisdiction to get protections
Queensland is the third Australian state with human rights protections, following Victoria and the ACT.
However, those jurisdictions do not have a dedicated complaints process.
The Queensland Human Rights Act places obligations on public entities, for example:
- state government departments,
- local councils,
- Queensland police,
- state schools,
- and organisations delivering public services.
Furthermore, it includes a complaints mechanism to be administered by the QRHC from 1 January 2020.
Parliament required to consider human rights
The Act also requires parliament to consider human rights when debating and passing legislation.
As a result, the Commission argues the relationship between the parliament and the people will be strengthened.
“Before I came to the Commission, I spent many years working in the community legal sector.
“Over the course of my career, I would have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of our clients who would have benefited from a human rights act.
“This Act will extend protections to every person in Queensland, and give them ways to raise their concerns if they feel their rights are being trampled.
“This is definitely a cause for optimism and celebration.”
Human Rights Claims welcomes new legislation
Miles Heffernan from Human Rights Claims welcomed the legislation.
“Anything that gives stronger protections for people’s basic human rights is a good thing,” he said.
To contact our team at Human Rights Claims, please call