After decades of campaigning, the Queensland Parliament passed the historic Human Rights Act on 27 February 2019, with Robertson O’Gorman Director Dan Rogers in attendance as pictured. The historic day called for celebration for many who, for years, had tirelessly lobbied Members of Parliament, writing submissions and holding advocacy events to raise the profile of the need for human right’s to be legislated in Queensland. The Human Rights Bill was introduced into Parliament on the 31st October 2018 by the Palaszczuk Government. The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice the Honourable Yvette D’Ath introduced the Bill, stating its purpose as recognising the equal and inalienable human rights of all persons, and changing the culture of the public sector to put Queenslander’s first. Despite all Members agreeing they support human rights as a concept, the Act was fiercely debated in Parliament, with opposition Members claiming it was unnecessary and undemocratic, undermining the Westminster System. A parliamentary committee, committed to reviewing the Bill, accepted 149 written submissions. 135 of those were in support of the Bill. Among the stakeholders, there was general consensus that the Act should be based on the Victorian Human Rights Act, as well as having additional social and economic rights. In line with these submissions, The Queensland Act is the broadest piece of human right’s legislation in Australia. At the conclusion of the assembly’s debate, The Honourable D’Ath acknowledged hundreds of submissions from individuals and organisations, including both Caxton Legal Centre for which Dan Rogers is the President of the Management Committee, and the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties for which Terry O’Gorman is the Vice President. These submissions informed the debate regarding the introduction and form of the Act, with its introduction marking a historic day in Queensland’s history.


This blog is part of a fortnightly series on the Queensland Human Rights Act which will break down key rights and remedies, and examine the role of the Human Rights Commission and the relationship between Human Rights and Criminal Law. Keep posted every Monday!