The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, mandated by the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011, has recently been established. Under section 7 of the Act, the Committee has two primary functions:
- to examine Bills, existing Acts and legislative instruments for compatibility with human rights and to report to both Houses of the Parliament on that issue; and
- 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.
Pursuant to section 5 of the Act, the Committee is comprised of 5 Senators and 5 members of the House of Representatives. As at 26 March, the membership of the Committee was:
- Senators: Senator Sean Edwards (Lib); Senator Gary Humphries (Lib); Senator Ursula Stephens (ALP); Senator Matt Thistlethwaite (ALP); Senator Penny Wright (Greens)
- House of Representatives: Mr Harry Jenkins (Chair) (ALP); Ms Melissa Parke (ALP); Mr Dan Tehan (Lib); Mr Kelvin Thomson (ALP); Mr Ken Wyatt (Deputy Chair) (Lib)