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Human rights proposals for special meeting



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The Hon. I.G. Medcalf, Q.C., M.L.C., Western Australia . . ,

The Hon. Nahau Rooney, M.P., Papua New Guinea

Hobart 19 January 1979 6/79

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HUMAN RIGHTS PROPOSALS FOR SPECIAL MEETING

Detailed proposals for a Ministerial Council on Human Rights and for a secretariat to staff the Council are to be put to a special meeting of Federal and State

Ministers in Adelaide next month.

The Attorney-General , Senator. Peter Durack, Q.C., said the detailed proposals were the result of wide ranging discussions at the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General in Hobart last week on the Commonwealth's plan to establish Human Rights machinery involving all Governments, Federal

and State.

Senator Durack said consideration of the proposals next month was a positive development. It was now time to move from broad discussions to the development of specific plans for the promotion of human rights in Australia.

He had informed the Hobart Conference that, in parallel with the establishment of the Ministerial Council and supporting secretariat, the Commonwealth intended to proceed this year with legislation to establish its own

machinery in the human rights area.

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The Commonwealth's proposals would enable it; to enter into an agreement with a State to establish joint machinery in that State for the protection of human rights. It would also authorise the Commonwealth to vest in existing or future State machinery the exercise of Commonwealth

functions. .

The possibility of action along these lines would be explored with the States after the meeting in Adelaide.

The decisions in Hobart represented a further advance in the Commonwealth Government's policy of ensuring that adequate machinery existed in Australia under which the rights set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights could be enjoyed by all Australians, Senator Durack said. ■

Canberra 21 January, 1979 7/79

SANKEY PROCEEDINGS

The Attorney-General, Senator Peter Durack, Q.C., said today he had decided not to seek to take over the

committal proceedings instituted by Mr, Danny Sankey in the Que.anbeyan Court of Petty Sessions.