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It's time to take Human Rights seriously

20-Jul-2016

It's time to take Human Rights seriously

In a letter to the editor in today's Courier Mail, Caxton Legal Centre's director Scott McDougall said:

Professor James Allan (C-M, July 13) has built his academic career around his passionate advocacy against human rights instruments.

Yet the fears he has repeatedly raised have not come to pass in other human rights jurisdictions such as Victoria and New Zealand.

There are compelling ways that an effective human rights scheme would benefit Queensland.

Our single house of parliament needs a more robust process to ensure new legislation takes into account it potential effect on the rights of vulnerable Queenslanders. A Human Rights Act can do that.

The extension of parliamentary terms to four years increases the need for effective checks and balances on executive decision-making particularly by government wielding significant majorities.

In the next fe years the expansion of Queensland's community services sector, particularly under the NDIS rollout, is tipped to eclipse the growth of other industries. A Human Rights Act would provide a government regulatory framework which could be extended to ensure human service providers meet human rights standards.

There is no need to delay introducing human rights protections in Queensland.

It is mischievous to suggest  a plebiscite is necessary or desirable. It is legislation that can be repealed at any time.

It's time to take human rights out of the realm of academics and into the reach of everyday Queenslanders.

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