Tuesday, 12 February 2019
Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights; Report
On behalf of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, I present the reports Human rights scrutiny report: report 1 of 2019, and Annual report 2018.
Report made a parliamentary paper in accordance with standing order 39(e).
by leave—I rise to speak on the tabling of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights report Human rights scrutiny report: report 1 of 2019 and the committee's Annual report 2018. The scrutiny report contains credible technical examination of legislation with Australia's obligations under international human rights law. A number of bills scheduled for debate this week have been considered by this committee in the current report, including in relation to Australian citizenship, electoral legislation and visa cancellation. Of the new bills examined in this report, 16 have been assessed as not raising human rights concerns as they promote, permissibly limit or do not engage human rights.
The committee is also seeking further information in relation to human rights compatibility of a number of bills and instruments. Of these, a number engage the right for privacy, as they allow for collection of personal information. The report also contains the committee's concluded examination of four bills and instruments.
I also speak to the tabling of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights' Annual report 2018. This report covers the period from 1 January to 31 December 2018 and provides information about the work of the committee, including the major themes and scrutiny issues arising from the legislation examined by the committee. Major themes during the period range from human rights and technology, to human rights of vulnerable groups.
The annual report details the significant volume of work the committee has undertaken during the reporting period. In this respect, the committee tabled 13 scrutiny reports examining a total of 238 bills and acts, and 1,850 legislative instruments. Of the bills considered in this period, the majority, 181, were initially assessed as promoting, permissibly limiting or not engaging human rights. The committee requested additional information in relation to 38 bills and 38 legislative instruments in the reporting period. The committee also provided 2019 advice-only comments to legislation proponents.
I encourage my fellow members and others to examine the committee's annual report to inform their considerations of the committee's work during the relevant period. With these comments, I commend the committee's reports Human rights scrutiny report: report 1 of 2019 and Annual report 2018 to the House.