Public Lecture: Human Rights in Queensland and Beyond

Crime, Justice and Social Democracy Research Centre member and Australian Privacy Foundation Board member Dr Monique Mann organised a large public lecture on the topic of Human Rights in Queensland and Beyond. Professor George Williams AO, Dean and Anthony Mason Professor of Law at the University of NSW, joined the QUT Faculty of Law to deliver a keynote lecture examining a range of issues relating to human rights in Australia and internationally.

This event was co-hosted with a range of community, legal and government partners including: Human Rights Act for Queensland Campaign, Australian Privacy Foundation, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, Queensland Council for Civil Liberties and Office of the Information Commissioner Queensland.

Professor Williams discussed the current state of human rights (or lack thereof) in Australia, the process and challenges associated with the development, implementation and enforcement of human rights charters, and most importantly, how a Queensland Human Rights Act would affect Queenslanders and Australians more broadly.

Following the lecture, a diverse panel of experts reflected on the importance of a Human Rights Act in their specific domain. The panellists included:

•             Ms Aimee McVeigh, Human Rights for QLD Campaign

•             Mr Shane Duffy, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service QLD

•             Ms Karyn Walsh, Micah Projects

•             Mr Phil Green, QLD Privacy Commissioner

•             Dr Bridget Lewis, QUT Faculty of Law

The event and discussion around this topic is particularly relevant following the Palaszczuk Government’s election commitment in early 2018 to introduce a Human Rights Act in Queensland. It is anticipated that the Palaszczuk Government will release a draft of the Queensland Human Rights Act in the near future.

The lecture attracted over 150 community, government and academic representatives. Philip Green, QLD Privacy Commissioner and panelist, found the discussion highly rewarding and shared his experience of the event: “I believe the discussion will be of tremendous benefit as Queensland embarks on public debate of a draft bill and as Australia debates some very concerning legislative