The right to free speech and the prohibition against discrimination

The right to free speech and the prohibition against discrimination

There is much to admire in Tony Abbott’s recent speech on the right to freedom of expression given to the Institute of Public Affairs. He is right to affirm, for example, that freedom of speech is a cornerstone of democracy, echoing the words of the UN Human Rights Committee, which has described the rights to freedom of opinion and expression as “the foundation stone for every free and democratic society”.

Read More

Detention treaty in everyone’s interests

Detention treaty in everyone’s interests

In a long overdue move, Australia has moved a step closer towards independent monitoring, inspection and oversight of places of detention. A few weeks ago, the Commonwealth Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, tabled a report in parliament outlining the national interest in Australia becoming a party to a major international treaty on detention monitoring, the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.

Read More

Northern Territory intervention law must comply with Australia’s human rights obligations

“There is a path that the Government can take to reassure its critics that it wants the Stronger Futures legislation to comply with human rights standards. Putting it up for review by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights would be a strong signal,” writes Matilda Bogner, UN Human Rights Office Regional Representative in the Pacific.

Read More