Human Rights and Equal Opportunity

2015/16 Annual Report

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Committee monitored the work of the Law Council of Australia in developing policy positions on National Redress Principles for Survivors of Sexual Abuse, the Extradition Treaty between Australia and China, establishment of a National Integrity Commission.

The Committee supported the Fair Work Amendment (Gender Pay Gap) Bill 2016 and noted the Fair Work (Protecting Australian Workers) Bill 2016. 

The Convenor and Emma Cavanagh represent the Law Society on the Law Council’s National Human Rights Committee. The Committee, through the Convenor and Emma Cavanagh, contributed to the Law Council’s submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission Inquiry into Traditional Rights and Freedoms, the Law Council’s development of a Human Rights Policy and made a contribution to the United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review of the performance of Australia, development of a seminar proposal on the abolition of the death penalty and positions of asylum seekers and counter terrorism.

The Committee considered proposed amendments to and supported at the Law Society’s Council a submission prepared by the Young Lawyers Committee Human Rights Working Group on Expunging Historical Homosexual Convictions.

The Convenor and Emma Cavanagh represented the Committee on the Aboriginal Incarceration and Justice Reinvestment Working Group which is developing policy papers for the Law Society on legal issues contributing to the incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Western Australia.

The Committee reviewed the Law Society’s policy position papers on the death penalty, mandatory sentencing and the presumption of bail and the adoption of the Law Society’s Reconciliation Action Plan.

Committee member Elizabeth Heenan is the Law Society representative on the following Law Council’s committees and working group:

• Convenor of the National Elder and Succession Committee;
• Member of the Equal Opportunity Committee; and
• Member of the Elder Abuse Inquiry Working Group.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford,