The Human Rights Law Centre has made a submission to the UN Human Rights Committee ahead of its next review of Australia's compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The HRLC submission sets out a number of issues which we recommend the Committee should consider in its development of its List of Issues Prior to Reporting, including:
- Australia's constitutional and legal framework for the protection of human rights;
- equality and non-discrimination laws;
- counter-terrorism measures;
- the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
- violence against women;
- refugees and asylum seekers;
- prisoners' rights;
- policing and use of force; and
- foreign policy and extra-territorial obligations.
In relation to each of these areas, the HRLC's submission addresses previous Concluding Observations made by the Committee, significant developments in relation to the issue since the Committee’s last review in 2009, and proposed questions for the List of Issues.
About the Review
Since Australia was last reviewed in 2009, the Committee has developed a new optional process for the review of states known as the List of Issues Prior to Reporting (LOIPR). Australia has opted into this process and the key steps are:
- The HRC develops a LOIPR on the basis of previous Concluding Observations and information provided by OHCHR, the UPR, Special Procedures, NGOs and NHRIs. The LOIPR on Australia is scheduled to be adopted by the HRC at its 106th session in Geneva in Oct/Nov 2012.
- Australia submits its report in response to the LOIPR by 1 April 2013.
- Australia is scheduled for review by the Human Rights Committee, most probably in 2014.
Further information about the List of Issues Prior to Reporting process is available at http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/loipr.htm.
Further information about Australia's review by the Human Rights Committee is available at http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/sessions.htm.