Community legal centres provide free legal help to about 50,000 vulnerable Queenslanders each year, and they have a unique insight into the experiences of Queenslanders who interact with government institutions, legal processes, and the law.
That's why we support a Human Rights Act for Queensland.
Community Legal Centres Queensland believes introducing legislation is essential to safeguarding human rights in this State, and a Human Rights Act is necessary to protect vulnerable Queenslanders. Community legal centres have a keen insight into the benefits that the Bill (if made into law) will have for thousands of vulnerable Queenslanders. We support strengthening laws and practices to protect and promote human rights in Queensland. The Bill will increase fairness and justice for vulnerable and disadvantaged Queenslanders – many of whom are our clients.
In our submission to the parliamentary inquiry into the Bill, we offer strong support for this important and sensible reform.
We also suggest ways that the Bill could be improved, including:
- incorporating more human rights from the UN DRIP to further protect and promote the rights of Indigenous Queenslanders;
- giving the Commissioner powers to direct public entities to address human rights complaints that are found to be substantiated;
- providing an independent cause of action for breaches of human rights;
- omitting consequential amendments to the Corrective Services Act 2006, or improving this clause if it is to be retained;
- recognising detention is a last resort for children; and
- including additional rights, including the right to housing; rights to protect survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and other crime; and, the right to a healthy environment.
We commend the Queensland Government for introducing this vital piece of legislation to Parliament.