find the latest legal job
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Legal Inhouse / Lawyer / Company Secretary
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Fantastic Company · Potential to be Part Time / Flexible Work Pattern
View details
Infrastructure Lawyer/SA
Category: Construction Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Global elite law firm · Dedicated Infrastructure team
View details
Australian human rights record under review by UN

Australian human rights record under review by UN

Legal bodies are hoping that Australia’s second review before the UN Human Rights Council will encourage the country to clean up its human rights act.

Australia appeared for its second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday.

Although the UPR's recommendations are yet to be announced, it was largely expected by legal bodies that Indigenous and asylum seeker issues would come under particular scrutiny.

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) national committee member Benedict Coyne, who attended the hearing, said: “Australia remains the only liberal democracy and common law legal system without a federal Human Rights Act or Bill of Rights.”

He continued: “This international forum of accountability provides a great opportunity for Australia to improve its human rights record.”

The UPR is a relatively new scheme run by the UN, where every four years each of the 193 UN member countries undergoes a peer review and assessment of their human rights record.

At its first UPR in January 2011, Australia received 53 red cards and 145 recommendations to clean up its act from fellow UN member countries.

While more than 90 per cent of the recommendations from 2011 were accepted in whole or in part by the Australian Government, only 10 per cent of those have been implemented.

ALHR submitted a report, produced collaboratively with a contingent of NGOs, to the UN Human Rights Council reflecting on the past four years and how Australia’s human rights record has demonstrably worsened in alarming ways.

Mr Coyne said that Australia’s human rights record has plummeted since 2011 with the resumption of offshore processing, wide-ranging claims of physical, psychological and sexual abuse of women and children, condemnations of torture of asylum seekers and plans to dispossess 150 remote Aboriginal Communities.

“We hope that greater engagement by Australia with the UN system will lead to a greater understanding within Australia of the need for stronger protections including a federal Human Rights Act,” Mr Coyne said.

The Law Council of Australia (LCA) made a submission to the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights to assist in the review of Australia’s human rights record through the UPR.

The LCA has called on the Australian Government to follow through on its previous UPR commitments by addressing the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in prison.

In terms of asylum seekers’ rights, the Law Council urged the Australian Government to ensure that, in accordance with its previous UPR commitments, the processing of claims is in accordance with the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and that detention only occurs when strictly necessary.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

The LCA has said it will be encouraging the Australian Government to embrace the recommendations that arise from the second UPR.


Australian human rights record under review by UN
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Nov 24 2017
Demand lifts in 2017/18 for short-term finance to cover crises
Promoted by NWC Finance. The first five months of the 2017-18 financial year have seen unpreceden...
LCA welcomes religious freedom panel
Nov 24 2017
LCA welcomes religious freedom panel
The Law Council of Australia says the establishment of a panel which will examine the human right to...
Law Society launched a new website, legal politics and lawmaking
Nov 24 2017
Law Society launches project to engage young Aussies
The Law Society of NSW has launched a new website to engage young Australians in legal politics and ...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...