ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

A Human Rights Jurisdiction

Publication date: 
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.