Hugh de Kretser - Executive Director


Hugh was a board member of the Human Rights Law Centre when it was established in 2006 and joined the staff team in 2013 as the Executive Director. Under his leadership, the Centre has more than tripled in staffing and resources and continues to extend its positive impact on human rights in Australia.

Hugh started his legal career at the law firm Mallesons and then began working to protect and promote human rights as the Manager of the Brimbank Melton Community Legal Centre and the Executive Officer of the Victorian Federation of Community Legal Centres.

Hugh currently serves as a Director of the Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council and a member of the Advisory Board of the University of Melbourne Law School. He has previously served as Commissioner of the Victorian Law Reform Commission, a board member of the National Association of Community Legal Centres and a governance committee member for knowmore – the national service that provided legal help for people navigating the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.



Six years after Manus Island decision, we must end the suffering
Herald Sun July 23 2019

Australia has a long history of protests. Our rights should be better protected
The Guardian March 15 2019

Treating young offenders harshly serves no purpose
Herald Sun May 15 2017

Government must stop jailing children in the state’s most notorious prison
Herald Sun January 2 2017

It is no answer to dump youths in adult jails after centre riots
Herald Sun November 25 2016

Is this the end of the age of human rights? Let's hope not
The Sydney Morning Herald November 11 2016

NSW anti-protest laws are part of a corrosive national trend
Sydney Morning Herald March 22 2016

Cruel and costly boats policy: There is a better way
The Age July 1 2015

Attacks on our Human Rights Commission part of a broader, disturbing trend
The Sydney Morning Herald February 25 2015

Choices must be seen to be unbiased
The Australian January 31 2014

Strong and effective racial vilification laws must be retained
The Herald Sun November 28 2013

The Adrian Bayley case raises questions about who gets limited legal funding
The Herald Sun October 1 2013

How to break the cruel cycle of indigenous imprisonment
The Australian September 27 2013

Strong parole system will benefit community
The Herald Sun July 29 2013

The evolution of human rights in Australia: A vision for stronger, more universal protection
The Joan Kirner Social Justice Oration May 27 2013