SHADOW FEDERAL Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has welcomed the launch last week of a draft Human Rights Bill by online magazine New Matilda, saying it addresses the key questions that should be answered by such legislation.
She said Labor’s own Party Platform commits the party to supporting constitutional reform to achieve a “recognition of the rights enjoyed by all Australians” as well as the introduction of a legislative Charter of Citizenship and Aspirations.
New Matilda had released a “very detailed” model for a human rights act, Roxon said in a statement, addressing important questions such as what rights should be protected; how courts, parliament and government should work together to protect these rights; and what exceptions should apply.
She said while the threat of terrorist attacks means law enforcement agencies need stronger powers, it is just as important to consider steps to ensure those powers cannot be misused.
The Bill was drafted by Spencer Zifack with contributions from Professor Hilary Charlesworth, Professor George Williams, Brian Walters SC, Jo Swarzc and Julian Burnside QC.