Human Rights and Equal Opportunity

2018/19 Annual Report

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Committee met jointly with the Administrative, Constitutional and Migration Law Committee during the past year.

In 2018/19, the Committee monitored the work of the Law Council of Australia in developing policy positions on:

  • Changes to the Australian Citizenship legislation;
  • the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety;
  • the National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces;
  • Children’s Rights in Relation to the Digital Environment;
  • Review of the Mandatory Data Retention Regime;
  • the Issues Paper Free and Equal: An Australian conversation on human rights; and
  • the Select Committee into Elder Abuse.

The President is the Law Society representative on the Law Council of Australia’s National Human Rights Committee. Committee member Jenni Hill was the Law Society representative on the Law Council of Australia’s Equal Opportunity Committee until her appointment to the Supreme Court bench in June 2019. She was replaced by Charmaine Tsang.

The Law Society also supported the Law Council of Australia’s submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee (Committee) regarding legislative exemptions that allow faith-based educational institutions to discriminate against students, teachers and staff.

The Convenor and another member of the Committee attended a roundtable discussion on 12 November 2018 hosted by the Australian Human Rights Commission on the implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, Cruel, Inhuman and Other Degrading Treatment.

The Law Society made a submission to the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia on its review and report on issues and inconsistencies in Western Australia’s current legal framework relating to sex characteristics/biological diversity and gender diversity.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au