Inquiry into Australia's Human Rights Framework

On 15 March 2023, pursuant to section 7(c) of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011, the Attorney-General referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights the following matters for inquiry and report by 31 March 2024:

  • to review the scope and effectiveness of Australia's 2010 Human Rights Framework and the National Human Rights Action Plan;
  • to consider whether the Framework should be re-established, as well as the components of the Framework, and any improvements that should be made;
  • to consider developments since 2010 in Australian human rights laws (both at the Commonwealth and State and Territory levels) and relevant case law; and
  • to consider any other relevant matters.

The committee accepted submissions in relation to these matters, and in particular:

  • whether the Australian Parliament should enact a federal Human Rights Act, and if so, what elements it should include (including by reference to the Australian Human Rights Commission's recent Position Paper);
  • whether existing mechanisms to protect human rights in the federal context are adequate and if improvements should be made, including:
    • to the remit of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights;
    • the role of the Australian Human Rights Commission;
    • the process of how federal institutions engage with human rights, including requirements for statements of compatibility; and
  • the effectiveness of existing human rights Acts/Charters in protecting human rights in the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Queensland, including relevant caselaw, and relevant work done in other states and territories. 

Note that the Attorney-General (at the request of the committee) granted an extension to 30 May 2024 to report on the Inquiry.


Committee Secretariat contact:

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

Phone: 02 6277 3823