13 March

Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 (Cth)

The Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 (Cth) commenced on 4 January 2012.  The Act requires all new bills and disallowable legislative instruments to be accompanied by a ‘Statement of compatibility with human rights’. Statements must assess compatibility against the seven main United Nations human rights treaties to which Australia is a party.

Read official media release here

The Act also establishes a Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights which was established by a resolution of appointment on 13 March 2012.   It is the first Commonwealth Parliamentary Committee dedicated solely to human rights scrutiny. The Committee has the following functions:

  1. To examine Bills of Acts, and legislative instruments, that come before either House of the Parliament for compatibility with human rights;

  2. To examine Acts for compatibility with human rights; and

  3. To inquire into any matter relating to human rights which is referred to it by the Attorney-General.

View the official website here