Research + Projects

Student research project: A Federal Charter of Human Rights

RMIT JD students authored a report for the Australian Human Rights Commission exploring and evaluating the effect that a federal Charter of Human Rights would have had on the outcomes of significant Australian cases and laws.

CIJ Director Rob Hulls and Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs

RMIT JD students completed a Human Rights Impact Assessment by creating their own model Charter and applying it to selected key federal legislation and case law from the past twelve years in areas as diverse as asylum seekers, anti-association laws, national security, social security and paperless arrest laws.

The report found that a federal Charter of Human Rights would serve to strengthen the protection of human rights in Australia and deepen the consideration and understanding of human rights by parliament, courts, public authorities and the broader community.

Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs said that the students’ work provided an opportunity to raise awareness of the lack of federal legislative protection of human rights. “Although considerable commentary of these individual matters exist, there has been little analysis of the effect that stronger protections would have on each of these cases. The impact assessment can provide an evidence base for stronger human rights protections within federal laws,” Professor Triggs said.

Helen Metzger, a student involved in the project said she was thrilled to be part of the research team. “This project has caused me to realise how exposed Australians are without some stronger human rights protections in place. We think that a federal human rights instrument would elevate considerations of human rights and ensure their appropriate protection,” she said.

Legal Research Project students with Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs

Legal Research Project Students with human rights mentors David Manne and Emily Howie

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A Human Rights Charter for Queensland

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Key People

Rob Hulls

Rob Hulls

Director

Rob first attended RMIT as a law student, where he graduated in 1982. 30 years later, in October 2012, Rob returned to the University to set up the Centre for Innovative Justice as a place to develop, drive, and expand the capacity of the justice system to meet and adapt to the needs of its diverse users.

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Anna Howard

Anna Howard

Senior Adviser, Research and Advocacy

Anna is an experienced lawyer who has practised as a social justice lawyer in community legal centres and native title representation bodies for more than a decade.

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Student research project: A Federal Charter of Human Rights

Bridgette Rose

RMIT JD student

Student research project: A Federal Charter of Human Rights

Frank Aloe

RMIT JD Student

Student research project: A Federal Charter of Human Rights

Helen Metzger

RMIT JD Student

Student research project: A Federal Charter of Human Rights

Luke Fowler

RMIT JD Student

Student research project: A Federal Charter of Human Rights

Veronica Snip

RMIT JD Student