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Tasmania Needs a Charter of Human Rights

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 1 February 2018

Tags: Human Rights, Anti-Discrimination Act, Democracy, Legislation

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens’ Leader

The Greens will bring Tasmanian law into the 21st century and protect Tasmanian individuals and communities with a Charter of Human Rights.

Many Tasmanians falsely believe their rights are inviolably protected by our laws when sadly this is not the case. All too often these rights are trampled by corporations and governments alike.

Last year, the Hodgman Liberal Government went all the way to the High Court in a bid to deny citizens the right to protest. They also tried to water down anti-discrimination laws.

Both of these dangerous attempts to deny Tasmanians their basic rights could have been shut down far more simply if those rights were expressly protected in a legal framework.

Many other modern political issues would benefit from the legal and ethical guidance of a Charter, including digital privacy, housing, employment and freedom of expression.

Without a Charter, we do not have the same protections as other modern nations such as New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. In Australia, both Victoria and the ACT both have a legally enforceable Charter of Human Rights. It’s time Tasmania followed their lead and enshrined our common rights as law.

With Tasmanian Labor now also on board with a Charter of Human Rights, the only thing standing in the way of the protection of the rights of Tasmanians is a Liberal majority government.