We believe in a strong and healthy Australian democracy where our governments serve the people; where institutions are transparent and accountable to the people; where we are free to join together and speak out on issues we care about; where public debate is diverse, informed and robust; and where our media is free and independent.
Australian Federal Police raids on journalists and news outlets are part of a damaging trend of attacks on press freedom and democracy in Australia, said the Human Rights Law Centre.
To strengthen democracy and trust in politics, the NSW public must know who is influencing political decisions, the Human Rights Law Centre stated in a submission to the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption.
The Australian Council of Social Service, the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Human Rights Law Centre today welcomed Labor’s election commitments that would protect and encourage public advocacy in the community and charity sectors.
Lawyers for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange confirmed overnight that they have received a warrant and a provisional extradition request from the United States. The US indictment charges Assange with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for his role assisting whistleblower Chelsea Manning to leak US government information including evidence of civilian deaths and potential war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Government’s proposed new laws to enhance the Home Affairs Minister’s powers to strip citizenship from dual nationals would unnecessarily place Australians and their children at risk of statelessness and harm, the Human Rights Law Centre has warned a parliamentary committee this week.
Launched today at NSW Parliament House, Say it loud: Protecting Protest in Australia, criticises recent attempts by governments to undermine protest rights and outlines ten principles to better protect our rights.
The Human Rights Law Centre welcomes the passing of the electoral funding bill, which, after consultation with charities and not-for-profit organisations, is vastly different from the initial flawed proposal that would have stifled vital public advocacy by charities.
The Human Rights Law Centre welcomes the electoral funding bill that is to come before the Senate today, which is vastly different from the initial proposal that would have stifled vital public advocacy by charities.
"With this prosecution, the Government is trying to send a message to all public servants that if they dare to speak up about corruption or wrongdoing, the government will come down on them like a tonne of bricks. For a healthy democracy, we want people speaking up when they see something wrong," said Hugh de Kretser.
The Human Rights Law Centre welcomed changes recommended by a Parliamentary Committee into proposed national electoral laws, which are a further step towards rolling back proposed legislation that would have stifled vital public advocacy by charities.
The Human Rights Law Centre has welcomed the Australian Government’s new strategy for the abolition of the death penalty, but warned that further action is needed to avoid the risk of another tragedy like the deaths of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
The Human Rights Law Centre welcomed new changes to proposed electoral laws that had originally threatened to shut charities out of public policy debates, yet called for further improvements in a submission to a Parliamentary inquiry.
The Human Rights Law Centre welcomed new changes to proposed electoral laws that threatened to shut charities out of public debates about laws and policies.
New laws proposed by the Department of Home Affairs would create a massive database of photos of millions of ordinary Australians, including children, from passports, state and territory drivers’ licences and more.
The Human Rights Law Centre believes in a future where human rights are universally understood, upheld and protected. We secure law and policy change that eliminates inequality, abuse and injustice and builds a society grounded in decency, compassion and respect. We are currently recruiting for two people to join our diverse team who have a strong, shared commitment to creating a better, fairer Australia.
Young people, who are most likely to feel the long-term effects of today’s political decisions, should be allowed to vote from the age of 16, the Human Right Law Centre said today in a submission to the Australian Parliament’s electoral committee.
Attorney-General Christian Porter has approved the criminal prosecution of a former Australian spy and his lawyer for their role revealing that the Australian Government had bugged the East Timorese cabinet room during sensitive negotiations about oil and gas revenue.
Charities and unions will largely be exempt from the foreign agent register if recommendations from a parliamentary committee’s inquiry into foreign influence are acted on.
Australia has a new espionage and secrecy regime, after the Parliament voted to pass the Turnbull Government’s proposals on Thursday evening. Over the last six months, civil society and lawyers’ groups, including the Human Rights Law Centre, raised serious concerns over impacts on freedom of expression.
New criminal offences will make it easier to charge and prosecute prejudice motivated threats or incitement of violence, under new laws tabled by New South Wales Parliament this week.
New laws proposed by the Department of Home Affairs would authorise the creation of a “dragnet database”, compiling images of innocent Australians – including children – from their drivers’ licences, identification cards and passport photos.
The growing threat to press freedom posed by laws that fail to properly protect journalists and their sources has been highlighted by a new report by the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance.
The Human Rights Law Centre welcomed a Parliamentary Committee report which recognises major problems in the Turnbull Government’s foreign donations bill as it applies to third parties (individuals and organisations that do not stand for office).
Proposed amendments to the Turnbull Government’s secrecy laws are a step in the right direction but don’t go far enough, the Human Rights Law Centre told a parliamentary committee this morning.
In response to serious concerns about the harshness and breadth of the Government’s proposed secrecy laws, the Commonwealth Attorney-General, Christian Porter, has unveiled amendments to improve the protections available to journalists who publish potentially sensitive government information.
The Turnbull Government’s anti-democratic slide has been criticised at the United Nations Human Rights Council overnight, with the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders delivering a major report on Australian democracy.
The Australian Government’s proposed legislation to overhaul Australia’s secrecy laws is excessive and poorly designed, the Human Rights Law Centre has told the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.
“Charities have enormous expertise to contribute to public debates. Whether it’s running a homeless shelter or a community health service – charities are uniquely placed to understand how government policies impact on the people and communities they serve. The Government should be encouraging charities to participate in public discussions, not making it harder for them,” said Hugh de Kretser.
Civil Voices, an initiative by Pro Bono Australia in partnership with the Human Rights Law Centre, has found Australian not-for-profit organisations are treading carefully in their advocacy work. This trend threatens to silence a sector that has much to contribute to Australian public debate and policy making.
Charities in Australia will be silenced from speaking publicly on issues in an election, under law reforms announced by the Australian Government. The Prime Minister, the Attorney-General and the Special Minister of State today outlined plans to ban international donations to charities that engage publicly in election issues.
It was not Bob Brown’s first arrest, but it’s probably the one he’ll remember best.
Over the weekend, millions of demonstrators across the world took to the streets with a clear message for the new U.S. President: if you tread on women's rights, you've got a fight on your hands. It was a stunning display of the dynamic relationship between the state and its people and how democracy continues to operate in between elections.
While the exhibition, Another Day in Paradise which opens at the Campbelltown Arts Centre on Friday, is a chance to reflect on his life and the brutality of the death penalty, we mustn't shy away from a difficult home truth: the Australian Federal Police's role in his death.
Late last year, a friend told me that we need to make sure we don't look back in the future on human rights as just a passing phase. It was a comment that kept coming back to me over the past 12 months with Brexit, the re-rise of Pauline Hanson, the hardening of Turnbull and now Trump.
The HRLC's Tom Clarke looks at whether the back-peddling has already begun on Indonesia's announcement that it will let foreign journalists into West Papua.
Chan & Sukumaran have been denied the chance to learn from their mistakes. We owe it to them to learn from ours, writes the HRLC's Daniel Webb.
Human Rights Law Centre Executive Director, Hugh de Kretser, outlines what 2015 may have in store for human rights in Australia.
HRLC Executive Director, Hugh de Kretser, delivered a speech at the Australian Communities Foundation’s end of year event. Here’s what he had to say.
Across the globe, civil society advocacy is increasingly being threatened by laws and practices that criminalise protest, prevent association, threaten funding and curtail independence, writes the HRLC's Hugh de Kretser.
The Australian Human Rights Commission’s Race Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Tim Soutphommasane, asks whether scrapping section 18C of the RDA will unleash a wave of humiliation of the vulnerable.