Role of the Committee

Role of the Committee

The committee is established by the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011. The Committee has the following functions: 
  1. to examine Bills for Acts, and legislative instruments, that come before either House of the Parliament for compatibility with human rights, and to report to both Houses of the parliament on that issue; 
  2. to examine Acts for compatibility with human rights, and to report to both Houses of the Parliament on that issue; 
  3. to inquire into any matter relating to human rights which is referred to it by the Attorney-General, and report to both Houses of the Parliament on that matter.

The committee is to report on each of these matters to both Houses of Parliament.

What human rights must be considered in preparing a statement of compatibility?

Human rights are defined in the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 as the rights and freedoms contained in the seven core human rights treaties to which Australia is a party. These treaties are:

• International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 
• International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 
• International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 
• Convention on the on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women 
• Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment 
• Convention on the Rights of the Child 
• Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Composition of the Committee

The committee is composed of ten members - five from the House of Representatives and five from the Senate. The list of current members can be found on the Committee Membership page.

When we report

We report on the first Tuesday of every sitting week, examining the Bills and Instruments that have been introduced since our last report. Our recent reports can be accessed on the Committee Reports page.

PJCHR Mailing List

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights (PJCHR) secretariat is establishing a mailing list for the 44th Parliament to notify subscribers when new information becomes available on the committee's website.

Subscribers to the mailing list will receive an email when the committee tables its regular report (generally once every sitting week) and may occasionally receive emails in regards to other aspects of the committee's work.

To subscribe to the mailing list, please send an email to with 'Subscribe PJCHR Mailing List' as the subject line and include the email address you wish to subscribe with. Please note the secretariat will retain email addresses for the purpose of this mailing list only and no other identifying information will be recorded. Email addresses will not be used for any other purpose and will not be shared with anybody else.

The mailing list is open to all interested parties. If you have any questions or require more information please contact the secretariat.

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About this committee

The committee's main function is to examine bills and legislation (including delegated legislation) for compatibility with international human rights standards.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights
PO Box 6100,
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: 02 6277 3823
Fax: 02 6277 5767

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