Canstockphoto23119468-1600x476
Canstockphoto16654729-1600x476
Canstockphoto18263782-1600x476
Canstockphoto26998849-1600x476

Shocked Lawyers say Unredacted Youth Justice Report Proves Urgent Need for Queensland Human Rights Act

posted on June 29, 2017

Media release For release on Thursday 29 June 2017 Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) welcomes the Attorney-General’s re-release of the unredacted final Report of the Queensland Youth Justice Review. ALHR says the report clearly reinforces the urgent need for the Palaszczuk government to stay good on its promise to pass a Queensland Human Rights … Read More >>

Citizenship law changes penalise women escaping domestic violence

posted on June 26, 2017

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) condemn the proposed changes to the citizenship laws, which if passed will have many adverse impacts on human rights, including severe consequences for migrant women attempting to escape domestic violence. According to Anna Kerr, Co-chair of the Women and Girl’s Rights Subcommittee of ALHR, “women’s refuges are frequently unable … Read More >>

Homosexual vilification in the age of new media: Lawyers are keen to resolve federal issues of homosexual hate speech.

posted on June 24, 2017

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) welcomes the High Court of Australia’s decision to grant special leave to Garry Burns to appeal a NSW Court of Appeal decision that the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) has no power to determine anti-discrimination matters between residents of different States. The Court of Appeal was asked whether … Read More >>

ALHR President and Vice President’s Report April 2016 – April 2017

posted on June 22, 2017

Executive Summary We are very pleased, honoured and excited to provide our first ALHR annual President and Vice President’s Report. We were both incredibly fortunate
to take up our positions following
a stellar two years of growth for ALHR under the brilliant leadership of Nathan Kennedy. During our first year in these roles we have also been … Read More >>

Rushing Native Title Act changes risky, human rights lawyers say

posted on June 16, 2017

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) believes there are substantial risks involved with this weeks fast-tracked changes to the complex law governing Australia’s traditional owners’ native title rights, the Native Title Act (NTA) and calls for further consultation before the Senate votes later today. Further consultation is required to examine how the Native Title Amendment … Read More >>

ALHR one of 88 organisations urging government to further protect victims of domestic violence renting in NSW – in an initiative led by Women’s Legal Service NSW

posted on June 16, 2017

In an initiative led by Women’s Legal Service NSW, ALHR along with 87 other organisations has signed an open letter to Minister Kean and Minister Goward, urging the NSW Government to expand the evidence victims of domestic violence will be able to rely on to end their tenancy immediately without penalty. As the Women’s Legal … Read More >>

Abandoning rule of law does not make us safer

posted on June 12, 2017

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) fears the Australian Government is abandoning vital principles that form the bedrock of our criminal justice system in knee-jerk anti-terror proposals regarding bail and parole. ALHR Vice President Kerry Weste said, “We are concerned that the Prime Minister’s hasty proposal to create presumptions against bail and parole for people … Read More >>

Inquiry into establishing a Modern Slavery Act in Australia

posted on May 24, 2017

The Foreign Affairs and Aid Sub-Committee of the Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade has commenced an inquiry into whether Australia should adopt national legislation to combat modern slavery, comparable to the United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act 2015.  ALHR made a detailed submission to the Inquiry supporting the implementation of a … Read More >>

Submission as to Ways of protecting and strengthening Australia’s multiculturalism and social inclusion

posted on May 23, 2017

On 12th May ALHR made submission to the Select Committee on Strengthening Multiculturalism. The committee is to inquire into and report on ways of protecting and strengthening Australia’s multiculturalism and social inclusion. The protection, promotion and strengthening of Australia’s multiculturalism and policies of social inclusion are integral to Australia’s progress and its stable democratic nature. All marginalised … Read More >>

VISA APPLICATION DEADLINE AN UNPRECEDENTED ATTACK ON ASYLUM SEEKERS

posted on May 22, 2017

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) is deeply concerned at the Turnbull Government’s October 1 deadline for 7,500 asylum seekers to lodge applications for protection or face possible deportation and cuts to their welfare. These measures affect the Legacy Caseload: asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat between August 2012 and December 2013, who … Read More >>

An Evening in Conversation with Dr Sima Samar, Chair of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission

posted on May 15, 2017

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR), The University of Sydney and the University of Technology, Sydney invite you to join us for an evening in conversation with Dr Sima Samar, Chair of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), discussing the AIHRC’s work addressing women and girls’ rights in Afghanistan. The situation for women and … Read More >>

Budget misses the mark when it comes to enhancing refugee protection

posted on May 15, 2017

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has lamented the 2017 Federal Budget as a missed opportunity for Australia to show leadership in enhancing refugee protection in the Asia Pacific region. Khahn Hoang, Co-Chair of ALHR’s Refugee Rights Subcommittee said, “ALHR welcomes the announcement of an increase in Australia’s refugee and humanitarian intake from 13,750 to … Read More >>

Lawyers applaud the Queensland Government on bill to expunge historic homosexual convictions

posted on May 11, 2017

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) congratulates the Queensland Attorney General for her proposal to introduce a bill to expunge historical homosexual convictions in Queensland Parliament today. “This Bill appropriately enshrines human rights in Queensland,” says ALHR’s LGBTI Committee Co-Chair, Kathryn Cramp. “There is no place for historical criminal records that propagate the myth that … Read More >>

IT’S TIME TO DECRIMINALISE ABORTION IN NSW AND PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS

posted on May 9, 2017 Abortion law reform

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has expressed its strong support for decriminalisation of abortion in NSW. Co-Chair of ALHR’s Women and Girls’ Rights Subcommittee, Rita Shackel, said the failure to provide safe, legal and accessible abortion services is a violation of fundamental human rights and that exclusion zones surrounding abortion clinics need to be … Read More >>

Positions Vacant: Co-Chairs ALHR National Business and Human Rights Subcommittee

posted on May 9, 2017

About the Role Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) is seeking expressions of interest from experienced lawyers to Co-Chair our National Business and Human Rights Subcommittee (BHR Subcommittee). The two Co-Chairs will be responsible for leading ALHR’s work in the business and human rights space at a national and international level. The successful applicants will … Read More >>

Lawyers reject Tasmania’s mandatory minimum sentencing laws

posted on May 9, 2017

 Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has spoken out against the Tasmanian Government’s proposal to introduce mandatory minimum sentences for certain sexual offences against minors.   ALHR Vice President Kerry Weste said, “ALHR is strongly opposed to mandatory minimum prison terms on the basis that they impose unacceptable restrictions on judicial discretion and independence, and … Read More >>

Review of Australia Fifth Periodic Report under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – Australian NGO Coalition Submission

posted on May 3, 2017

ALHR is proud to have contributed to and endorsed the attached Australian NGO report for the 2017 review under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The submission has been prepared by the National Association of Community Legal Centres and Kingsford Legal Centre, with contributions from a number of NGOs across Australia and … Read More >>

ALHR welcomes the return of funding to Australian community legal centres but more is needed to protect access to justice

posted on May 1, 2017

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) welcomes the Commonwealth Government’s announcement that it will reinstate funding previously cut from the Australian Community Legal Centre sector (the CLC sector) in the 2017–18 Budget. ALHR has written to the Commonwealth Attorney General thanking him for making this important decision. However, while his office’s press release suggests there … Read More >>

Celebrating Our Righteous ANZAC Legacy

posted on April 25, 2017

Photo Credit: poppies&sun: http://www.surreyphoto.co.uk/pages/surrey-art-for-sale.php?gall_id=49&page_no=1 OP-ED by Benedict Coyne, President, Australian lawyers for Human Rights The spirit of ANZAC and human rights go hand-in-hand. On this sacred day in our nation’s annual calendar we remember not only Gallipoli but the invocation of courage, mateship, and sacrifice in protecting our fundamental freedoms and way of life, all … Read More >>

Scathing Senate report on offshore processing and conditions inside detention

posted on April 22, 2017

On Friday the government released a report by the Senate committee on legal and constitutional affairs, which followed a seven-month inquiry into allegations of abuse on Manus and Nauru sparked by the publication of the Nauru files. ALHR’s submission  was quoted extensively throughout the report. The Co-Chairs of ALHR’s Refugee Rights Subcommittee Rebecca Dowd and … Read More >>

HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYERS WELCOME ACT AMENDMENTS TO DISCRIMINATION LAW

posted on April 12, 2017

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) welcomes recent changes to expand discrimination law in the ACT. The Discrimination Amendment Bill 2016 (ACT) expands discrimination law to now include extra grounds on which discrimination is prohibited including where it is based on a person’s accommodation status, employment status, intersex status, status as a victim of family … Read More >>

2017 AGM Documents and Notice

posted on April 4, 2017

The ALHR Annual General Meeting will be held on 18 April 2016 at 7:00pm AEST Level 9, 60 Castlereagh Street, Sydney Please e-mail membershipenquiries@alhr.org.au if you intend to attend in person to allow access to the building or if you intend to attend in person in your local State or Territory please contact your local convenor … Read More >>

Lawyers Condemn Outdated Statements of Malcolm’s Men As Reflecting a 1950’s View of Women and Low-Paid Workers.

posted on April 3, 2017

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has concerns about the federal government’s submission to the Fair Work Commission Annual Wage Review 2017. The government has argued that an increase in the minimum wage is an inefficient way to address relative living standards or the needs of the low-paid. The government’s view is misguided and risks … Read More >>

ALHR writes to new WA Premier and Attorney General offering support for Western Australian Human Rights Act

posted on March 31, 2017

ALHR has written to the new Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan and WA Attorney General John Quigley congratulating them on their very successful election result and offering our support for the introduction of a Western Australian Human Rights Act. Australia remains alone amongst western liberal democracies and common law legal systems as bereft of a constitutional … Read More >>

ALHR supports the introduction of exclusion zones in NSW to stop harassment at abortion clinics and calls for the decriminalisation of abortion in NSW

posted on March 31, 2017 Abortion law reform

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has expressed strong support for the creation of exclusion zones surrounding reproductive health services clinics as a way of protecting and promoting the human rights of women accessing essential health services. Like the Abortion Law Reform (Miscellaneous Acts Amendment) Bill 2016 introduced last year by Dr Mehreen Faruqi, the Summary … Read More >>

Queensland Government fails to deliver adequate protection in domestic violence cases. Federal Government should intervene.

posted on March 28, 2017

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) is concerned the Queensland government and crossbenchers have rejected the proposal to mandate that victims and their families be notified when perpetrators are granted bail or parole. Such measures, rather than more populist moves like the introduction of presumptions against bail, will more effectively ensure the safety of women … Read More >>

Human rights lawyers demand royal commission into abuse and violence against people with disabilities in the disability care sector.

posted on March 28, 2017

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) is calling for an immediate royal commission into the treatment of people living with disability in taxpayer-funded group homes and disability accommodation as highlighted in last night’s episode of Four Corners. ALHR President Benedict Coyne said, “the episode reinforced the findings of a Senate inquiry released in November 2015 … Read More >>

Human rights lawyers warn of crisis conditions in specialist domestic violence services for women and children

posted on March 24, 2017

Human rights lawyers have voiced their grave concerns about the government’s continued relentless push to privatise essential specialist domestic violence services for women by awarding contracts to religious and other for profit agencies. The latest service facing possible closure, is Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia (RDVSA) – a vital service first established by the … Read More >>

Lawyers Slam Turnbull government for promoting hate speech on Harmony Day

posted on March 21, 2017

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has slammed Coalition MPs’ proposal to strip down Australia’s racial discrimination laws on Harmony Day. “The suggested change to replace the words ‘insult, offend or humiliate’ with ‘harass’ demonstrates a profound misunderstanding of the way racist hate speech works its harm by establishing racist discourse as socially acceptable,” ALHR … Read More >>

OPEN LETTER THANKING BUSINESS LEADERS FOR SPEAKING OUT ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY

posted on March 21, 2017

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) would like to warmly thank the business chiefs who have shown leadership by standing up for the human rights of LGBTI Australians and voiced their support for marriage equality. The realisation of human rights requires courageous and strong voices from all sections of the community, including the corporate sector. … Read More >>

Human rights lawyers concerned reintroduction of Fred Nile “Zoe’s Law” will undermine womens and girls’ rights

posted on March 13, 2017

Fred Nile has reintroduced his Crimes Amendment Bill, known as Zoe’s Law, which seeks to criminalise harm to, or destruction of, a “child in utero”. Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) Women and Girls’ Rights Subcommittee Co-Chair Dr. Rita Shackel said, “These provisions effectively accord both foetuses and embryos a separate legal identity to that … Read More >>

Apparent indifference to human rights violations could damage Australia’s bid for UN Human Rights Council seat

posted on March 9, 2017

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Treasurer Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s failure to censure US President Donald Trump’s recent policy decisions on refugees and immigration, supporting torture, violating the rights of women and rescinding protections for transgender students – to name just a few – highlight concerning inconsistencies in Australia’s current candidacy for a … Read More >>

One Woman Project’s International Women’s Day High Tea

posted on March 6, 2017

  On Sunday 5th march ALHR QLD Convenor, Kate Marchesi, spoke on a panel at the annual One Woman Project’s International Women’s Day High Tea in Brisbane. The One Woman Project is a youth-led, registered non-for-profit organisation focused upon education about and advocacy promoting gender equality and the theme of this year’s High Tea was … Read More >>

Human rights lawyers slam decision to bring forward asylum application deadlines

posted on February 28, 2017

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) is profoundly concerned about reports that the Australian Government has brought forward deadlines for asylum seekers who are subject to fast-track refugee status determination. Asylum seekers have been told to lodge their application within 14, 30 or 60 days of receiving a letter or risk losing welfare payments, access … Read More >>

Leading Human Rights Lawyers welcome Senate Select Committee Report on Same-Sex Marriage Bill

posted on February 28, 2017

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) welcomes the recent Senate Select Committee Report on the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill of 15 February 2017 and calls for a free vote on an amended bill. While the bill as originally proposed sought widespread exemptions to antidiscrimination law on the grounds of religion, the Committee report tempers … Read More >>

ALHR Congratulates The Hon Susan Kiefel AC and The Hon James Edelman on their appointments to the High Court and looks forward to a new era of leadership over our great institution.

posted on February 28, 2017

ALHR has written to the the Hon Susan Kiefel AC to express our congratulations on her appointment as Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia and to the Hon James Edelman congratulating him on his appointment to the Court. The appointment of the Hon Susan Kiefel AC as  Chief Justice is historic by virtue … Read More >>

Human Rights Lawyers applaud Brandis Announcement Australia will ratify OPCAT

posted on February 9, 2017

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights welcome today’s announcement by Federal Attorney-General George Brandis and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop that Australia will ratify the UN Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT). OPCAT is an international agreement which aims to prevent torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in detention. The OPCAT was … Read More >>

Open statement calling for immediate action on offshore detention

posted on February 6, 2017

ALHR is proud to support and sign this  open statement  calling on our leaders to take responsibility and act to end the uncertainty for people on Manus Island and Nauru. It is time for for a bipartisan approach to evacuate the camps and bring people here to safety. Open statement calling for immediate action on offshore detention We, … Read More >>

Turnbull Government Must Enhance Advocacy for Death Penalty Abolition – Leading Human Rights Lawyers join Law Council’s call for action.

posted on February 3, 2017

On the 50th anniversary of the hanging of Ronald Ryan, the last man executed in Australia, leading human rights lawyers say the Turnbull Government must act to protect Australians from a fate such as that suffered by Andrew Chan, Myuran Sukumaran and their loved ones. Australian Lawyers for Human Rights President Benedict Coyne is today … Read More >>

President Trump’s anti-Muslim immigration ban executive order has had global impact and has shaken awake the democratic world

posted on January 30, 2017

President Trump’s anti-Muslim immigration ban executive order has had global impact and has shaken awake the democratic world. The executive order may impact Australians’ friends and families. It is the most extreme form of discrimination, injustice, and unfairness and unsurprisingly it is unconstitutional. Many Iraqi and Syrian refugees who have been detained at US immigration … Read More >>

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights submission on reform of abortion laws in the NT

posted on January 30, 2017

ALHR has written a submission to the NT Attorney-General and Minister for Health, Natasha Fyles MLA, on proposed changes to legislation governing termination of pregnancy in the Territory. Access to abortion in the NT is extremely limited and inconsistent with other jurisdictions. The NT government proposes to repeal section 11 of the Medical Services Act, introduce a … Read More >>

Lawyers Slam President Trump’s ‘Absolute’ Support of Torture & Call on Foreign Minister Bishop to Follow Suit

posted on January 29, 2017

Picture Credit: American Civil Liberties Union  Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has slammed President Trump’s erroneous and eerie assertion that torture “absolutely…works”. In his first television interview since inauguration, President Trump suggested that Americans should engage in medieval torture because Isis was doing it and “we have to fight fire with fire”. ALHR takes … Read More >>

ALHR opposes access to Retained Metadata for Civil Litigation

posted on January 27, 2017

ALHR strongly opposes the use of data retained under the mandatory retention scheme for non-criminal and non-security matters involving civil litigation.  The mandatory data retention scheme was claimed by the Commonwealth Government to be purely a targeted and proportional response to perceived security threats. The Inquiry is considering the possibility of opening up access to all of the … Read More >>

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights supports the Day of the Endangered Lawyer

posted on January 24, 2017

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) calls on all countries to ensure that lawyers are able to perform their professional obligations without fear of retribution. ALHR has always been saddened by news of lawyers facing consequences such as being silenced, harassed, kidnapped, imprisoned, injured and killed for fulfilling their roles as advocates. 24 January 2017, … Read More >>

“2017 is the Year for Promoting & Protecting Human Rights in Australia” National conference examining Australia’s human rights performance looms

posted on January 23, 2017

At a time when Australians’ human rights have never been more under threat, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) will hold a two-day national conference focused on improving human rights protections in Australia from February 17. The conference will bring together leaders in law, academia, business and community sectors and aims to improve strategic planning … Read More >>

Renew your membership or join us as a new member in 2017

posted on January 14, 2017

Membership of ALHR provides unique opportunities to advocate for the protection of human rights and enhances your professional development. Paid membership enables ALHR to continually grow its capacity to assist the victims of human rights violations in Australia and support lawyers in the practice of human rights law. If you are new to ALHR simply click here to … Read More >>

ALHR National Human Rights Conference 2017 Registrations

posted on January 8, 2017

The inaugural ALHR National Human Rights Conference will be held on the 17th and 18th February 2017 at the La Trobe University City Campus in Melbourne. We are very excited to announce that registrations are now open! If you are an undergraduate or postgraduate law student scroll down for details of our student op-ed completion which offers the chance to win flights, accomodation and free conference … Read More >>

ALHR slams unethical behaviour of Centrelink as abuse of legal process

posted on January 6, 2017

MEDIA RELEASE For immediate release – 4 January 2017  The current attacks upon past and present pension payment recipients by Centrelink and the Minister for Social Services are “wrong at so many legal levels that it’s hard to know where to begin,”, ALHR President Benedict Coyne said. “At the most basic level, no entity should … Read More >>

Woefully inadequate in protecting basic universal standards of human rights’: National report card released on Australia’s human rights performance for 2016

posted on December 30, 2016

ALHR has issued National Report Cards on Australia’s human rights performance for 2016 for all State and Territory Governments as well as for the Federal Government. Over the next two weeks ALHR will issue further subject specific federal report cards on each of ALHR’s areas of strategic focus for 2016. Read on below for a summary … Read More >>

UN Forum in Focus

posted on December 21, 2016

Chair of ALHR’s Business and Human Rights Subcommittee, Amy Sinclair, reflects on the Annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, 2016 Last month, I braved the long-haul and flew from Australia to Geneva to experience the Annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights. And it is, very much, an experience. Now in its 5th … Read More >>

Coroners findings into death of Ms Dhu deeply disturbing

posted on December 16, 2016

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) is deeply concerned by the shocking Coroner’s findings, released today, regarding the death in custody of a 22 year old Yamatji woman in August 2014. Ms Dhu had been detained in the South Hedland lockup for unpaid fines. ALHR strongly supports WA State Coroner Ros Fogliani’s key recommendations and … Read More >>

ALHR National Human Rights Conference 2017 Registrations Now Open

posted on December 10, 2016

The inaugural ALHR National Human Rights Conference will be held on the 17th and 18th February 2017 at the La Trobe University City Campus in Melbourne. We are very excited to announce that registrations are now open! Please see below for further details about the conference and how to register.  We look forward to seeing you all there, and having your important contributions to Australia’s practice … Read More >>

ALHR Meets with UN Special Rapporteur on Racism and Xenophobia

posted on December 10, 2016

ALHR’s Dr Tamsin Clarke, Chair of our Freedoms and Human Rights Act Subcommittees, attended a meeting with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on racism and xenophobia, Mr. Mutuma Ruteere, at the Australian Human Rights Commission in Sydney last week. At the meeting ALHR made detailed oral submissions in relation to multiple concerns regarding racism and … Read More >>

Modern Slavery Event

posted on December 9, 2016

The Australian Government recently announced that it is considering a model for large businesses to publicly report on their actions to address supply chain exploitation. This model could potentially follow that of the UK Modern Slavery Act, introduced in 2015 to address the issue of slavery in supply chains via enhanced corporate transparency. The UK … Read More >>

Human rights lawyers applaud South Australian Parliament’s steps to protect LGBTI rights

posted on December 7, 2016

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) congratulates the South Australian Parliament for enacting four important pieces of legislation that will protect the rights of LGBTI South Australians. Today, in the last sitting week of parliament, the Legislative Council passed the following bills into law: – The Statutes Amendment (Surrogacy Eligibility) Bill 2016 – The Adoption … Read More >>

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights welcome expungement of Queensland homosexual convictions

posted on December 4, 2016

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) is pleased to see Queensland follow New South Wales and Victoria to expunge convictions for homosexuality. In an important step to rectify a history of discrimination, Queensland’s Attorney-General Yvette D’Arth has introduced the draft bill to Parliament. This will affect hundreds of men convicted under Queensland law for consensual … Read More >>

Time to Tackle Slavery

posted on December 3, 2016

Modern Slavery pollutes global and domestic supply chains and permeates economic activity. It desperately needs addressing to end the exploitation of vulnerable workers, both at home and overseas. Amy Sinclair, Chair of our Business and Human Rights Subcommittee, has been working to address this and ALHR is proud to support business, anti-slavery and religious groups … Read More >>

ALHR meets with UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of migrants

posted on November 30, 2016

On 14 November Kahn Hoang and Rebecca Dowd, Co-Chairs of ALHR’s Refugee Rights Subcommittee met with the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of migrants in Sydney along with other NGO organisations. The meeting went for about 75 mins and the Rapporteur  took views from all interested parties in in a round-table discussion. ALHR made … Read More >>

Andrews Government subjecting children to appalling conditions in maximum security adult prisons

posted on November 29, 2016

Gravillea section of Barwon prison. Photo: Angela Wylie Andrews Government subjecting children to appalling conditions in maximum security adult prisons Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) is deeply concerned for the wellbeing of the children recently transferred to Barwon maximum security adult prison following allegations they have already been subjected to inappropriate treatment and conditions. ALHR … Read More >>

Federal Government Must Protect Australians from Racial Vilification

posted on November 23, 2016

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) believes that all human rights should be protected in Australia at the federal level through the adoption of an Australian Bill of Rights. But until that until that day comes, it is essential for us to support and strengthen the reasonable protections from racial vilification contained in sections 18C … Read More >>

EXTENSION for ‘s 18C’ submissions – don’t let the Racial Discrimination Act be weakened

posted on November 22, 2016

Stand up for protections against race hate speech: still time to make your submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Freedom of Speech Use the Templates under the heading “Attachments” at the bottom of this page by clicking on the relevant Attachment template to download the Word document. Submission closing date has been extended to 23 December 2016 … Read More >>

Human Rights Lawyers write to Victorian Premier and condemn transfer of children to adult jails: Victoria now lone wolf in archaic abuse of children in adult prisons

posted on November 16, 2016

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has condemned Premier Daniel Andrews’ decision to send 40 children to adult jails in Victoria, stating there are no circumstances that justify the placement of children in the adult prison system. We have today written to Premier Andrews urging his government to reconsider this flagrant breach of the Convention … Read More >>

Conduct of Coronial Inquiries into Deaths in Custody Must Change: ALHR, Watch Committee

posted on November 12, 2016

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) strongly supports recommendations submitted by the First Nations Deaths in Custody Watch Committee of Western Australia (Watch Committee) to the 2016 Asia Pacific Coroners’ Society Conference on Friday. David Woodrofe, Co-Chair of ALHR’s Indigenous Rights Subcommittee said, “The Watch Committee has called on State and Territory governments to take … Read More >>

Joint Statement on Marriage Equality From LGBTI Organisations and Leaders

posted on November 10, 2016

ALHR’s LGBTI Subcommittee, together with 90 other LGBTI organisations and leaders, have today signed a joint statement calling on supporters of marriage equality in the parliament to unite and work together to find a pathway to achieve marriage equality in this term of Parliament. “As organisations and leaders of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex … Read More >>

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights calls on State and Territory Governments to Support Safe Schools

posted on November 7, 2016

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) is deeply disappointed to see anti Safe Schools commentary at the Tasmanian Liberal Party annual state conference. While Tasmanian Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff supports Safe Schools, the state Liberal conference passed a motion to abolish the program. Opponents to Safe Schools also resorted to using inflammatory language. Federal funding … Read More >>

ALHR supports an Australia of respect, not of hate speech

posted on November 7, 2016

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) strongly reject the call for a ‘far reaching’ Parliamentary inquiry aimed at ‘scaling back’ s 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. When similar attempts were made to erode protections against hate speech under the Abbott Government, these changes were unequivocally proven to be unpopular with the majority of Australians. … Read More >>

ALHR Congratulates Queensland Parliament on Passing Laws to Stop Sending 17-Year-Olds to Adult Jails but Calls on the Government to Act to Protect Children Already in Custody.

posted on November 4, 2016

Australian lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) congratulates the Queensland Parliament on passing laws late Thursday night that will see and end to 17-year-old children being sent to adult jails. However, ALHR is also calling on the Queensland Government to act immediately to protect children who are currently serving sentences in adult jails and to address … Read More >>

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights welcome the introduction of Same Sex Adoption in Queensland

posted on November 4, 2016

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) is very pleased to hear that Queensland Parliament has passed legislation allowing same sex adoption. Introduced by Communities Minister Shannon Fentiman, The Adoption and Other Legislation Amendment Bill will allow same-sex couples, singles and people undergoing fertility treatment to adopt under the new eligibility criteria. ALHR LGBTI Rights Subcommittee … Read More >>

Turnbull Government should accept New Zealand offer and avoid ‘cruel and punitive’ measures

posted on November 1, 2016

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) is calling on the Turnbull Government to accept an offer from the New Zealand Government to resettle refugees from Nauru and Manus Island and urges Members of Parliament to reject radical proposed legislation that would prevent irregular maritime arrivals – including recognised refugees – taken to a regional processing … Read More >>

ALHR National Human Rights Conference 2017 Registrations Now Open

posted on October 14, 2016

The inaugural ALHR National Human Rights Conference will be held on the 17th and 18th February 2017 at the La Trobe University City Campus in Melbourne. We are very excited to announce that registrations are now open! Please see below for further details about the conference and how to register.  We look forward to seeing you all there, and having your important contributions to Australia’s practice … Read More >>

Leading Australian Rights Lawyers Meet with UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Brisbane

posted on October 13, 2016

President of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR), Benedict Coyne, will meet this week with Mr Michael Forst, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, to discuss possible violations of the rights of local defenders of human rights. Mr Forst is currently on an official visit to … Read More >>

Joint Statement Calls on Australian Parliament to Ensure All Australians Can Marry the Person They Love.

posted on October 11, 2016

The Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) LGBTI Rights Subcommittee has joined over 80 organisations and leaders of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities in signing onto a joint statement calling for a parliamentary vote on marriage equality. The High Court has unanimously stated that marriage equality is permitted under the Australian … Read More >>

Natalie Wade, Chair of ALHR’s Disability Rights Subcommittee Named Law Council’s 2016 Young Lawyer of the Year

posted on October 10, 2016 Natalie Wade

ALHR extends it warmest congratulations to Natalie Wade, Chair of our Disability Rights Subcommittee, on being named the Law Council’s 2016 Young Lawyer of the Year. We are extremely fortunate to have Natalie leading ALHR’s advocacy on disability rights and being an integral part of our National Committee. Congratulations Natalie! Read the Law Council’s press … Read More >>

Alert and Alarmed; Lawyers Back President Triggs on Federal Bill of Rights: Judges and Lawyers Must Lead

posted on October 5, 2016

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) applauds AHRC President Gillian Triggs’ recent call to reignite the dialogue about a federal Bill of Rights for Australia. Australia remains alone among western liberal democracies and common law legal systems as bereft of a national bill of rights. ALHR President Benedict Coyne said, “The Parliament of Australia is … Read More >>

Leading Human Rights Lawyers Call for Immediate Law Reform for the Equality of Deaf Jurors

posted on October 5, 2016

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) are gravely concerned about the operation of Queensland’s Jury Act after the High Court dismissed the appeal in Lyons v Queensland, upholding that the exclusion of deaf person, Gayle Lyons from performing jury duty is not direct or indirect discrimination under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld). Benedict Coyne, President … Read More >>

Human rights lawyers call for independent inquiry into death of 29-year-old

posted on September 28, 2016

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has spoken out in support of statements made by the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement following news of the tragic death on Monday morning. Dr Amy Maguire, Co-Chair of ALHR’s Indigenous Rights subcommittee said, “ALHR is deeply saddened to hear of the death of a 29-year-old Indigenous inmate following an … Read More >>

Legal body slams Tasmanian proposal to permit hate speech

posted on September 23, 2016

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has urged the Tasmanian Parliament to reject changes to the Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 (Tas) (the Act) as set out in the Anti-Discrimination Amendment Bill 2016 (“2016), which was tabled in the lower house of the Tasmanian Parliament on 20 September 2016. The proposed changes would see a new exemption … Read More >>

Human rights lawyers welcome WA sentencing reforms

posted on September 22, 2016

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) welcomes a West Australian bill intended to reduce the number of Indigenous people being imprisoned for failure to pay fines. The Sentencing Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 proposes to give Western Australian criminal courts wider discretion in sentencing low-level offences. In particular it aims to divert first-time offenders away from incarceration … Read More >>

ALHR Congratulates QLD Premier on decision to introduce legislation that will see 17-year-olds removed from the State’s adult prisons within a year

posted on September 22, 2016

ALHR has written to the Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, congratulating her Government on its decision to introduce legislation that will see 17-year-olds removed from the State’s adult prisons within a year. ALHR has long campaigned for the Queensland government to act to address this violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and recently stepped … Read More >>

ALHR Launches National LGBTI Rights Subcommittee

posted on September 21, 2016

ALHR is pleased to announce the launch of our new national LGBTI Rights Subcommittee The LGBTI community in Australia continues to face varied challenges, from verbal harassment to forced medical intervention or the inability to access affordable medical care. Elsewhere, in places like the Middle East, Russia, Africa and Asia the LGBTI community is habitually subject to severe human rights abuses … Read More >>

If Australia will not resettle refugees from Nauru & Manus Island, other countries must: ALHR writes letters to Governments of Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the United States pleading urgent action

posted on September 16, 2016

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) is deeply disappointed that the recent release of the Nauru files – detailing assaults, sexual abuse, child abuse, self-harm attempts and dire living conditions – has not triggered major policy change by the Australian Government. Some 2,000 people remain trapped on Nauru and Manus Island. More than 1,400 of … Read More >>

Abortion Decriminalisation (QLD) and International Human Rights

posted on September 12, 2016

Benedict Coyne, President of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights has published an Op-Ed on the Australian Lawyers Alliance website looking at the human rights issues surrounding abortion decriminalisation in Queensland. READ THE OP-ED HERE 

Chorus of opposition to racial discrimination changes grows

posted on August 31, 2016

Chorus of opposition to racial discrimination changes grows Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) is deeply concerned by the renewed attack on important human rights protections with proposed amendments to Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination introduced into the Senate via a private member’s bill. Dr. Tamsin Clarke, Chair of ALHR’s Freedoms Subcommittee said: “when … Read More >>

ALHR’s Amy Sinclair comments in Lawyers Weekly on the Joint Civil Society Statement on Business and Human Rights

posted on August 30, 2016

Lawyers Weekly reports on ALHR’s participation in a coalition of civil society groups calling on the government to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in Australia.  The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011, require businesses to respect human rights and governments … Read More >>

IT’S TIME TO DECRIMINALISE ABORTION IN NSW AND PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS

posted on August 19, 2016 Abortion law reform

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has expressed its strong support for the decriminalisation of abortion in NSW. Benedict Coyne, ALHR President said, “Failure to provide safe, legal and accessible abortion services is a violation of fundamental human rights. ALHR supports the decriminalisation of abortion and the creation of exclusion zones surrounding abortion clinics as … Read More >>

NSW GOVERNMENT SHOULD ACT FOLLOWING FIRST INDIGENOUS DEATH IN POLICE CELL CUSTODY IN 16 YEARS.

posted on August 19, 2016

Image Credit: nationalunitygovernment.org Protesters in central Geraldton behind a row of crosses representing deaths in custody. NSW has recorded its first Indigenous death in police cell custody for 16 years. On 19 July 2016, Ms. Rebecca Maher, a 36-year-old Wiradjuri woman and mother of four, was detained for apparent intoxication and placed in a holding cell at … Read More >>

ALHR Business and Human Rights Sub-Committee, A Year in Review

posted on August 19, 2016

ALHR’s BHR Sub-Committee has had a busy first year. Amy Sinclair and the BHR team have participated in the OHCHR’s Corporate Accountability and Remedy Project and maintained concerted advocacy efforts calling for a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights. Read our attached report for further details of the BHR Sub-Committee’s activities.

ALHR endorses Joint Civil Society Statement on Business and Human Rights

posted on August 15, 2016

A coalition of leading civil society groups, including Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR), has released a Joint Statement recommending actions for the Australian Government to implement the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The Guiding Principles were unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011 and represent the global … Read More >>

ALHR supports the Australian Premieres of the groundbreaking documentary Hard To Believe

posted on August 6, 2016

ALHR is supporting the Australian premieres of the groundbreaking documentary Hard To Believe Hard to Believe is a documentary that examines the issue of forced live organ harvesting from Chinese prisoners of conscience, and the response—or lack of it—around the world. Produced by Swoop Films, two-time Emmy Award-winning director/producer, Ken Stone, and Irene Silber. The first screenings took place in Sydney … Read More >>

Abortion law reform in NSW – A human rights perspective

posted on August 2, 2016 Abortion law reform

Join Australian Lawyers for Human Rights at NSW Parliament House for a special event on abortion law reform in NSW hosted by Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC. A range of speakers will discuss the different political, policy, legal and medical perspectives on abortion law reform in NSW including Mehreen Faruqi MLC and Penny Sharpe MLC who will … Read More >>

Indonesian Executions – Australia Should Be Doing More

posted on July 29, 2016

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights is calling on the Australian Government to strengthen its regional position on the death penalty. A little over a year after the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, 4 people condemned to death for drug offences have been executed by an Indonesian firing squad overnight. A further 10 prisoners … Read More >>

Leading Human Rights Lawyers Urge PM to Safeguard Aussie Kids

posted on July 28, 2016

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has written to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull urging him to ensure that the terms of reference for any Royal Commission into the abuse of child detainees include a broader inquiry into the youth justice systems in all Australian jurisdictions. ALHR Vice President Kerry Weste said, “Deep systemic failures exist … Read More >>

National Law Group Welcomes Royal Commission into NT Youth Detention

posted on July 26, 2016

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) welcomes Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s announcement this morning calling for a Royal Commission into abuse at the Northern Territory’s Don Dale Youth Detention Centre. ALHR President, Benedict Coyne, said, “The Four Corners report last night made public incredibly disturbing human rights abuses occurring in our midst against the most … Read More >>

Position Vacant: Chair of the ALHR Indigenous Rights Subcommittee

posted on July 19, 2016

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) is currently searching for a new Chair for our National Indigenous Rights Subcommittee. Given the ongoing historic and egregious nature of human rights violations of indigenous people in Australia, from indefinite detention or over-representation to Closing the Gap, this area is a very important strategic focus of ALHR’s work. When critical issues of … Read More >>

10 most needed changes to Australian Government’s policies towards asylum seekers and refugees

posted on July 19, 2016

10 Changes that ALHR would like to see with respect to the Australian Government’s policies towards asylum seekers and refugees  End offshore processing and stop boat turnbacks. End the detention of children and families. Ensure timely access to durable solutions for recognised refugees. This includes resettlement — preferably in Australia or in a country which … Read More >>

ALHR’s New Women and Girls’ Rights Subcommittee

posted on July 14, 2016

ALHR is pleased to announce the launch of our new national Women and Girls’ Rights Subcommittee Women comprise half the world’s population, but are the large majority of the world’s poor, illiterate, and displaced. Globally, women make up only 22% of national parliaments. Women do approximately 66% of the world’s work in return for less than 10% … Read More >>

QLD: Special Fundraising Screening of “Chasing Asylum”

posted on July 8, 2016

You are invited to attend a special fundraising screening of the film Chasing Asylum by Academy award winning director Eva Orner. Chasing Asylum exposes the real impact of Australia’s offshore detention policies and explores how ‘The Lucky Country’ became a country where leaders choose detention over compassion and governments deprive the desperate of their basic … Read More >>

Transfer to ALHR’s Paid Membership Scheme

posted on July 7, 2016

ALHR has transitioned to a new paid membership scheme.  To fully realise our goals and provide a high quality service to members we need to increase our resources.   Paid membership enables ALHR to continually grow its capacity to assist the victims of human rights violations in Australia and support lawyers in the practice of human rights law. … Read More >>

ALHR NSW is pleased to support the Australian premieres of HARD TO BELIEVE

posted on July 5, 2016

ALHR is proud to support the Australian Premieres of the groundbreaking documentary Hard To Believe in Sydney on the evenings of the 3rd and 4th of August 2016. Hard to Believe is a documentary that examines the issue of forced live organ harvesting from Chinese prisoners of conscience, and the response—or lack of it—around the world. Produced by Swoop Films, two-time … Read More >>

Equality in the Jury Room: A case study

posted on July 4, 2016 Natalie Wade

Natalie Wade, the Chair of ALHR’s National Disability Rights Subcommittee has written  an article for the Australian lawyers Alliance on the rights of deaf jurors. The denial of a deaf person’s right to exercise their citizenship by participating in juries in Australian courts is longstanding. The stereotyped perceptions against deaf jurors being able to perform … Read More >>

Leading Lawyers Commend Committee’s Call for Queensland Human Rights Act

posted on July 4, 2016

Leading Lawyers Commend Committee’s Call for Queensland Human Rights Act Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) applauds the recommendation by the Parliament’s Human Rights Inquiry that a Human Rights Act be legislated by the Queensland government but is concerned that the model recommended would not create any legally enforceable rights. ALHR President, Benedict Coyne said, … Read More >>

ALHR has written to members of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly warning of serious concerns with proposed presumptions against bail

posted on June 8, 2016

ALHR has written to the Northern Territory’s Chief Minister, Attorney-General, members of the shadow ministry and the Northern Territory Children’s Commissioner outlining concerns proposed presumptions against bail to be introduced with the Northern Territory Bail Amendment Bill 2016. ALHR Vice President Kerry Weste said, “The proposed Bill will establish a regime that is not only costly and … Read More >>

La Trobe Student Edmund Simpson Speaks about His Volunteer Placement with ALHR

posted on June 6, 2016

Edmund Simpson, currently in his penultimate year of a Bachelor of Laws (graduate entry) at La Trobe Law School has written about his experience volunteering for ALHR. Edmund was amongst thirteen La Trobe students who, under the guidance of ALHR’s Secretariat, Ms Randa Rafiq and Nicole Shackleton (La Trobe Volunteer Coordinator) undertook a voluntary placement with ALHR in … Read More >>

Concerns raised about alleged external pressure to remove Darwin mural depicting West Papuan ‘Morning Star’ flag

posted on June 5, 2016

One of Australia’s leading human rights organisations has spoken out in support of the retention of a mural in Darwin’s CBD that depicts the West Papuan “Morning Star” flag. The “Morning Star” flag is a defining symbol of the West Papuan independence movement, which calls for West Papuan independence from Indonesia. Benedict Coyne President of … Read More >>

Fears Fundamental Children’s Rights Ousted in Proposed NT Bail Reforms

posted on May 19, 2016

ALHR fears proposed legislation removing the presumption of bail for some juvenile offenders in the Northern Territory threatens to breach Australia’s international human rights obligations. The NT Chief Minister has stated that his government intends to introduce legislation that would see a presumption against bail for juveniles accused of repeat property offences. Australian lawyers for … Read More >>

Leading Human Rights Lawyers Warn of National Crisis in Access to Justice and Back Critical Legal Aid Funding Campaign

posted on May 17, 2016

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) today put its support behind an unprecedented national ‘Legal Aid Matters’ campaign aimed at ensuring the next Federal Government responds decisively to Australia’s legal aid funding crisis. Vice President Kerry Weste said that “with rallies and events occurring in major cities in this National Law Week, the Legal Aid Matters … Read More >>

ALHR Supports Bill to Decriminalise Abortion in Qld

posted on May 10, 2016

“Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) supports the decriminalisation of abortion. Access to safe, legal and affordable abortion services is a personal health matter as well as a matter of women’s sexual and reproductive health rights,” said Queensland Co-Convenor, Kate Marchesi. “Women who seek abortions should not be treated as criminals and the majority of … Read More >>

Leading human rights lawyers welcome recommendations of death penalty inquiry

posted on May 10, 2016

On Thursday, 5 May 2016, the Joint Standing Committee of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade tabled its report for the inquiry into Australia’s Advocacy for the Abolition of the Death Penalty. The report examined Australia’s current engagement to end the death penalty, and how it could advocate further. “Australian Lawyers for Human Rights welcomes the Joint Standing … Read More >>

ALHR is seeking a new Chair/Coordinator for our vibrant, effective and dedicated National Refugee Rights Subcommittee

posted on April 27, 2016

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) is currently searching for a new Chair/ Coordinator for our vibrant, effective and dedicated National Refugee Rights Subcommittee. Given the egregious nature of human rights violations in relation to people seeking asylum in Australia, this area is a critical focus of ALHR’s work. Over the past two years the … Read More >>

The case for a royal commission into conditions in immigration detention

posted on March 13, 2016

THIS EVENT HAS NOW SOLD OUT ALHR  invites you to join us for an expert panel discussion seeking to examine the case for a royal commission to investigate the practices of successive Australian Governments in relation to the mandatory and prolonged detention of asylum seekers.   We are delighted to host our highly esteemed panelists: Professor Gillian Triggs, President of the Australian … Read More >>

The time for the appointment of a disability discrimination commissioner is now

posted on February 16, 2016

ALHR joins calls for the Australian Human Rights Commission to appoint a full time disability discrimination commissioner after the resignation of Human Rights Commissioner, Tim Wilson. It is also timely that Commissioner Susan Ryan AO finishes her term in July this year. The disability discrimination portfolio was added to her existing workload in the Ageing … Read More >>

Government should still behave compassionately despite High Court Decision says ALHR, and calls for Charter of Rights

posted on February 3, 2016

ALHR media release following today’s High Court decision. “The fact that a majority of the High Court has found that Australia’s Constitution authorises the federal government to act in a manner which completely disregards the human rights of refugees arriving by sea again highlights the urgent need for an Australian Charter or Bill of Rights” … Read More >>

New Membership Scheme Sign Up

posted on May 8, 2015

You can transfer your existing ALHR membership across to paid membership in just a few minutes by following these simple steps:  1.  Log onto the ALHR website with your email address and password here 2. Select the “subscriptions – Renew/Upgrade Membership” tab at the top of the ALHR website pages and chose your class of membership. 3. Proceed to payment. Once … Read More >>