Back to top

What difference would a Human Rights Act make?

Posted February 28, 2019

Community Legal Centres Queensland is thrilled to announce Human Rights will again be in the spotlight on Day 2 of our Conference with Australia's Human Rights Commissioner Ed Santow being one of the Plenary speakers.

Being held at Hotel Grand Chancellor on Thursday and Friday, 21 and 22 March 2019, the conference's theme is "Making Rights Real", in keeping with the introduction of Queensland's Human Rights Act.

Ed's speech "What difference will a Human Rights Act make?" will kick off the second of two jam-packed days, where delegates can participate in a variety of panel discussions, workshops and networking events. 

Following Ed's speech will be a panel of Queensland CLC experts talking about what the Human Rights Act will mean for our sector's clients.

Ed said he was looking forward to the introduction of the new Human Rights Act and the positive impact it will have on Queensland community. 

"When an individual’s basic dignity is under threat, there’s a big difference between asking the government for help and insisting their rights be protected," he said.

"A Human Rights Act can be a practical tool that improves government decision making. How do we take this opportunity?"

Ed has been Human Rights Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission since August 2016.

He leads the Commission’s work on detention and implementing the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT); refugees and migration; human rights issues affecting LGBTI people; counter-terrorism and national security; technology and human rights; freedom of expression; and freedom of religion.

Ed’s areas of expertise include human rights, public law and discrimination law. He is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), and serves on a number of boards and committees.

In 2009, Ed was presented with an Australian Leadership Award, and in 2017, he was recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

From 2010-2016, Ed was chief executive of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, a leading non-profit organisation that promotes human rights through strategic litigation, policy development and education.

Ed was previously a Senior Lecturer at UNSW Law School, a research director at the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law and a solicitor in private practice.