Queensland Human Rights Act

On 27 February 2019 the Queensland Parliament passed the Human Rights Bill.

Access the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld).

The Human Rights Act 2019 will protect 23 rights by law, require parliament to consider those rights when debating and passing laws, and ensure public services comply with human rights.

It will also change our name to the Queensland Human Rights Commission from 1 July 2019.

What will change at the Commission from 1 July?

Our name will change to the Queensland Human Rights Commission on 1 July. We’ll also have a new website, logo and resources. Our website address and email addresses will change but redirects will be in place on the old ones so you will still be able to find us. Our phone numbers and offices addresses will stay the same.

We will continue our work under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991, including training and complaint handling. The change will not affect any complaints under the Anti-Discrimination Act either before or after 1 July 2019.

From 1 July 2019, we will be offering training and information on human rights law in Queensland, as well as anti-discrimination law.

From 1 January 2020, as well as taking complaints under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991, we’ll be able to take complaints under the Human Rights Act 2019 too.

Human rights complaints can only be made from 1 January 2020, and only about matters which occur on or after this date.

You can sign up for email updates if you’d like news on human rights and our transition to the Queensland Human Rights Act delivered straight to your inbox.

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Which rights will be protected?

The Human Rights Act will protect:

  • recognition and equality before the law
  • right to life
  • protection from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
  • freedom from forced work
  • freedom of movement
  • freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief
  • freedom of expression
  • peaceful assembly and freedom of association
  • taking part in public life
  • property rights
  • privacy and reputation
  • protection of families and children
  • cultural rights – generally
  • cultural rights – Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • right to liberty and security of person
  • humane treatment when deprived of liberty
  • fair hearing
  • rights in criminal proceedings
  • children in the criminal process
  • right not to be tried or punished more than once
  • retrospective criminal laws
  • right to education
  • right to health services.

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The Act will require public entities — government departments, local councils, or other organisations providing functions of a public nature — to make decisions and act compatibly with human rights, and parliament to consider human rights when passing new legislation or amending current laws.

The Queensland Human Rights Commission will provide a dispute resolution process for handling human rights complaints.

The obligations and dispute resolution functions are expected to start from 1 January 2020.

You can read the Human Rights Bill on the Queensland Parliament website Link to external website, along with the:

  • Explanatory Notes which explain the objectives of the Bill in more detail; and
  • Introductory speech given by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice.

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