The legislation will make a substantial difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our society, the ALA said in a statement, while noting “there are opportunities to make the bill stronger and more effective”.
In a submission to the Queensland Parliament Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee, the ALA said that the Queensland Bill of Rights significantly improves on the both the Victorian and ACT acts.
“However, there is the opportunity to make the bill even more effective with a few improvements,” said ALA Queensland state president Greg Spinda.
“Similar bills in the ACT and Victoria have resulted in significant improvements to the quality of the services provided to the people in the community who need help the most.”
All Queenslanders will benefit from having their rights protected in law, he continued, but people with disabilities, those facing homelessness, the elderly and those needing social housing will experience practical benefits from the improved focus on human rights, he posited.
“The bill includes an avenue for people to complain to the Human Rights Commission if they feel their rights have not been respected,” he noted.
“However, the bill will be more effective if it is amended to allow people to take direct legal action if their rights have been breached. Enabling individuals to access remedies is an important element in ensuring that the quality of services improves.”
“The Queensland Bill of Rights is a positive and effective mechanism for safeguarding the dignity and well-being of everyone. We encourage other states and territories, and the federal government, to consider the broader introduction of these types of laws,” he concluded.