Yesterday, the Attorney-General referred the issue of a Human Rights Act for Queensland to the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee.
The Attorney-General asked:
"That the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee inquire into whether it is appropriate and desirable to legislate for a Human Rights Act in Queensland, other than through a constitutionally entrenched model.
That, in undertaking the inquiry, the committee consider:
1. the effectiveness of current laws and mechanisms for protecting human rights in Queensland and possible improvements to these mechanisms;
2. the operation and effectiveness of human rights legislation in Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and by ordinary statute internationally;
3. the costs and benefits of adopting a Human Rights Act (including financial, legal, social and otherwise); and
4. previous and current reviews and inquiries (in Australia and internationally) on the issue of human rights legislation.
That, if the committee decides it would be appropriate and desirable to legislate for a Human Rights Act in Queensland, the committee consider:
1. the objectives of the legislation and rights to be protected;
2. how the legislation would apply to: the making of laws, courts and tribunals, public authorities and other entities;
3. the implications of laws and decisions not being consistent with the legislation;
4. the implications of the legislation for existing statutory complaints processes; and
5. the functions and responsibilities under the legislation.
That the committee invite public submissions, consult with the community and key stakeholders and report to the Legislative Assembly by 30 June 2016."
Written submissions addressing the terms of reference will be accepted until 4.00 pm on Monday, 18 April 2016. More details about making a submission can be found on the Committee's website.