NEW legislation handing police the right to enter in “emergency circumstances” has been welcomed by the national human rights commission.
Individuals’ rights and liberties will be protected under the Independent National Security Legislation, introduced into parliament last week by Attorney General Robert McClelland, according to the Australian Human Rights Commission.
The Commission’s president, Cathy Branson QC, welcomed the passage of the Bill, saying it means that a Monitor will be in place “with the important role of safeguarding the protection of individual rights and liberties.”
Branson said passage of the Bill was an important step in the strengthening of Australia’s human rights protections.
“The Commission has consistently argued that Australia's national security legislation should not infringe fundamental human rights,” she said.
“Importantly, the Monitor will review whether national security legislation is consistent with Australia's international human rights obligations as well as review and report on the operation and effectiveness of national security legislation.
“The Australian Human Rights Commission looks forward to working with the Monitor in carrying out this important task of ensuring that Australian national security laws protect human rights and are consistent with our human rights obligations,” Branson said.
The country’s legal professional body, the Law Council of Australia, last week also applauded the passage of the Bill.
The legal professional body said in a statement it is pleased that many of its recommendations about improving the role have been adopted in amendments approved by Parliament yesterday.
The Law Council has now urged the Government to “move swiftly” to appoint the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor and to ensure that they have adequate resources to fulfil this critical role.