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

Scathing Senate report on offshore processing and conditions inside detention

posted on April 22, 2017 canstockphoto31529928

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 pa-discrim

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 AGM

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Lawyers Condemn Outdated Statements of Malcolm’s Men As Reflecting a 1950’s View of Women and Low-Paid Workers.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

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 HRAbig-2-3

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 5641856-3x2-940x627

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 abuse

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 DSC2330-975x500

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 canstockphoto15077153

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 tmp898922044056403970

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 1888681_10153853481705177_2015919627_n

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 United Nations in Geneva.  31 october 2015. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré

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 16939354_1331727076866466_7958046233178097778_n

  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 canstockphoto26998849

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 Rainbow-Flag_article_story_large

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 c30

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 IMG_8795

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 57aa65f6c46188c0758b458f

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 20-of-the-most-gruesome-methods-of-execution-from-history-6-800x445

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 People gather in Boston's Copley Square to protest the immigration ban enacted by President Trump.

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 c1a3d34711ab5d85335331ca0e57f067

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 1*9X5I1NniLyRjI4NtEQ4xMg

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 Banner

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 header

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 canstockphoto17876949

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 canstockphoto16658979

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 alhr-webbanner-200916

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 blog-201609-centrelink-03-1

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 report_card_for_mom-e1307729536282

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 fullsizerender

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 dic2

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 alhr-webbanner-200916

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 images-8

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 slavery

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 rainbow-flag

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 felon-criminal-record-expungement-png

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 metal-chains-250x250

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 dsc_1858-2-2

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 1479884881482

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 canstockphoto15077153

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 rda1-480x229

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 cuffs

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 750px-australian_aboriginal_flag-svg-2

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 logos-statementthree-09112016

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 884677d6baabc1e824a4dbd749d5c638

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 canstockphoto15077153

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 cuffs

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 family-lgbt-21224762-500-325-960x480

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 canstockphoto32148294

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 alhr-webbanner-200916

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 canstockphoto16571090

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 canstockphoto32132200

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 canstockphoto30290147

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 canstockphoto16654729

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 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 >>

ALHR Submission to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry into self-harm and neglect of asylum seekers in relation to the Nauru Regional Processing Centre, and any like allegations in relation to the Manus Regional Processing Centre.

posted on April 22, 2017 canstockphoto31529928

On 7th November 2016 ALHR lodged its submission to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry into self-harm and neglect of asylum seekers in relation to the Nauru Regional Processing Centre (attached below). The Co-Chairs of ALHR’s Refugee Rights Subcommittee, Khanh Hoang and Rebecca Dowd also appeared before the Committee to give oral evidence.