Australian Human Rights Act Position Paper Launch

Australian Human Rights Act Position Paper Launch

The Australian Human Rights Commission is set to release its Position Paper on a Human Rights Act for Australia on Tuesday 7 March, at a launch event in Sydney. The Free and Equal Position Paper details our proposed model for a Human Rights Act, building on and complementing the advocacy of many across the nation. This will be a hybrid event with attendance and live-streaming on Tuesday 7th March 2023, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm.

For the last four years, the Australian Human Rights Commission has been working on a project called Free + Equal: An Australian conversation on human rights.

Through the project, the Commission has sought to identify what makes an effective system of human rights protection for 21st century Australia, and what steps Australia needs to take to get there. At the end of 2021 we released our first Free + Equal Position Paper, setting out a law reform agenda for the federal Discrimination Acts.

Following an extensive consultation process, the Commission is now releasing our second Free + Equal Position Paper outlining a proposal for an Australian Human Rights Act.

Join some of Australia’s leading legal, constitutional and human rights experts to mark this important next step in the Free + Equal project. The event will include a panel discussion about our proposed model for an Australian Human Rights Act and the difference it could/would make.


Due to venue capacity, there are limited places available for members of the public to attend the live event. To ensure these limited places are used effectively, please only register to be in the audience if you are committed to attending. For security purposes, guests attending the live event are requested to arrive between 6pm and 6:15pm Get Tickets here

The event will also be live streamed. To receive a link and reminders to view the event online, please register here:

The venue has accessible entry and accessible restrooms. The live stream will have live captioning and Auslan interpretation.


Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM
Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM | President, Australian Human Rights Commission

Prof. Croucher has an extensive career in leading government agencies and law schools. A Foundation Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, she commenced her seven-year term as Commission President on 30 July 2017. Prior to joining the Commission, Prof. Croucher was President of the Australian Law Reform Commission (2009–2017) and Commissioner (2006–2009), where she led a number of landmark law reform inquiries, including on Disability Laws, Encroachment on Freedoms in Commonwealth Laws, and Elder Abuse. She has published extensively, principally in the fields of property, equity, legal history and public policy. She has led the Free & Equal project throughout and was the principal writer of the Position Paper on discrimination law reform. Find out more


Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM | President, Australian Human Rights Commission (see above)

Peter Russo MP
Peter Russo MP | Member for Toohey, Queensland Legislative Assembly

Mr Russo has been the member for Toohey (formerly Sunnybank) since 2015. Mr Russo currently chairs the Qld Government’s Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee. Mr Russo championed the introduction of Qld’s Human Rights Act which was introduced in 2020. Prior to being elected, Mr Russo practiced law for over 30 years. He was the Principal of Russo Lawyers and is admitted as a solicitor of the High Court of Australia and the Supreme Courts of Qld, NSW and WA. He has been involved in many high-profile cases, including representing Dr Mohamed Haneef in 2007 and 2008. Find out more…

Caitlin Reiger
Caitlin Reiger | CEO, Human Rights Law Centre

Ms Reiger has worked across the legal and human rights sectors here in Australia and internationally for over 25 years. Prior to joining the HRLC as CEO in 2022, Ms Reiger served as Director of Strategic Policy and Research at the Yoorrook Justice Commission, after supporting the First Peoples Assembly of Victoria in the design of the Commission and its mandate. Ms Reiger is a transitional justice and human rights specialist who has worked closely with civil society and victims’ groups, governments, UN agencies, judiciaries and the legal profession. Find out more…

Emeritus Professor Terry Carney AO
Emeritus Professor Terry Carney AO | Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Sydney Law School

Prof. Carney has an extensive career specialising in law and social welfare. A Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, he has been a long-serving Director of Research and past Head of Department at Sydney University’s Law School, is a past President of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health, and chaired Commonwealth bodies such as the National Advisory Council on Social Welfare and of the Board of the Institute of Family Studies, along with various state enquiries on child welfare, adult guardianship and health law. He has written extensively on social security and served for nearly 40 years as a member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and its predecessor the Social Security Appeals Tribunal. Find out more…




The event will be hosted in the Sydney offices of international law firm Gilbert + Tobin. The Gilbert + Tobin Centre for Public Law at the University of NSW has been a key partner in the Free + Equal project.

This will be a hybrid event with attendance and live-streaming on Tuesday 7th March 2023, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm.
Get Tickets here


Presented by:

This event is presented by the Australian Human Rights Commission. The Commission acknowledges the generous support of Gilbert + Tobin in relation to this event.


Australian Human Rights Commission Logo


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