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

posted on September 28, 2016 aboriginal-map-flag1

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 canstockphoto17876949

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 1381796454ha80u

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 canstockphoto16754163

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 canstockphoto32132200

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 canstockphoto31529928

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-photo

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 canstockphoto15077153

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 dic2

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 Corporate-buildings-S

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 UNGPs

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 HTB_Banner_BlackwithphotosV3

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 canstockphoto1757952-2

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 canstockphoto35781274

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 canstockphoto0337660

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 aboriginal-map-flag1

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 canstockphoto32148294

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 c1a3d34711ab5d85335331ca0e57f067

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 smallposterweb

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 canstockphoto16658979

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 HTB_Banner_BlackwithphotosV3

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 canstockphoto30290147

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 canstockphoto5824534-3

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 canstockphoto26572912-3

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 canstockphoto36429589

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 canstockphoto16754163

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 FINAL Legal Aid Logo

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 canstockphoto16571090

“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 canstockphoto10564494

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 canstockphoto31529928

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 canstockphoto26998849

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 canstockphoto16658979

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 >>

Gender-based violence on Nauru

posted on September 29, 2016 untitled

Idil Mohamud and Sophie Hantz are students of the La Trobe Law School, undertaking an internship with Australian Lawyers for Human Rights  and are currently compiling a brief of evidence for ALHR’s Women and Girls’ Rights Subcommittee for a possible CEDAW complaint on behalf of the asylum seeker and refugee women in Nauru. Idil and Sophie have written a blog … Read More >>