A Human Rights Jurisdiction

10 September 2020

ACTCOSS 2020 ACT Election issue brief: Fulfilling the Promise of the ACT as a Human Rights Jurisdiction

For a just and fair Canberra, the next ACT Government must:

  • Incorporate all Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the ACT Human Rights Act (2004) including: the right to housing; the right to an adequate standard of living; the right to physical and mental health; and the right to a healthy environment
  • Through improved access to legal support and better funding for the ACT’s community legal services, ensure equality before the law for all ACT residents, including women and children, Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander people and other Canberrans facing legal disadvantage
  • Improve access to the ACT Human Rights Act (2004) by adding a direct complaints mechanism through the ACT Human Rights Commission followed by referral to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) if the complaint cannot be resolved
  • Embed human rights principles and obligations in all procurement processes and service contracts
  • Include a human rights reporting component in Director-General annual reports
  • Establish an annual evaluation and report to the ACT Legislative Assembly on human rights in the ACT
  • Implement and resource clear strategies to address racism, discrimination against LGBTIQ+ Canberrans, gendered discrimination and violence, and ableism
  • Foster an independent advocacy voice for culturally and linguistically diverse Canberrans in the ACT
  • Publicly commit to a Federal Human Rights Act
  • Commit to review police complaints handling mechanisms to ensure greater practical independence, accountability and transparency of investigations
  • Commit to not introducing anti-consorting laws.

Read the full issue brief below for more details, or read other issue briefs on our ACT Election page.


2020 election brief human rights jurisdiction (docx)
2020 election brief human rights jurisdiction (pdf)
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