Welcome to the online survey for Rights & Responsibilities 2014.

Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner, Tim Wilson, is conducting a national consultation about how effectively we protect people’s human rights and freedoms in Australia. The consultation will focus on building understanding and improved protection of our fundamental human rights, freedoms and responsibilities.

Past consultations, such as the National Human Rights Consultation under the previous federal Government, have tended to focus mainly on what government should do to protect human rights. This consultation aims to go beyond this objective and identify where there are restrictions on rights and freedoms that are disproportionate to the harm to be prevented. Importantly, the consultation seeks to identify where people are advancing their rights and freedoms through community-based and voluntary programs.

Discussions will focus on some of the key rights and freedoms that have traditionally underpinned our liberal democracy in Australia. These include:

  • the right to freedom of opinion and expression
  • the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion
  • the right to freedom of association
  • property rights.

This survey includes questions about each of these rights, but there is no need to answer all of them. You can choose to skip particular sections and comment only on particular rights that you feel are relevant.

For further information about these rights and/or the national consultation, please see the Discussion Paper.

The survey should take between 15-30 minutes to complete. Please ensure you complete it by Friday 14 November 2014.

Please note that when making a submission, you are indicating that you have read and understood the Commission’s Submission Policy which can be found at https://www.humanrights.gov.au/submission-policy.

Once again, thank you for your time and feedback.

Section 1: General
Section 2: Right to freedom of expression

The questions in this section are about the right to freedom of expression.

The right to freedom of expression (commonly referred to as freedom of speech) provides the foundation for individual autonomy, the capacity for individuals to think for themselves and impart knowledge, and a strong democracy where opinions and ideas can be debated freely. The right enables discussions and debates about political and social views, and in so doing, creates the basis for the effective exercise of many other human rights and freedoms.

The right to freedom of expression is an extension of the absolute right of freedom to hold opinions without interference.

The right to freedom of expression applies to any medium, including written and oral communications, the media, public protest, broadcasting, artistic works and commercial advertising.

Extremely well protectedWell protectedModerately protectedSlightly protectedNot at all protectedNot sure
Freedom of opinion
Freedom of expression
Section 3: Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religon

The questions in this section are about the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion encompasses the beliefs of all religions, non-theistic and atheistic beliefs, as well as the right not to profess any religion or belief. Key elements of the right include the freedom to:

  • choose and change religion or belief
  • exercise religion or belief publicly or privately, alone or with others
  • exercise religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
Extremely well protectedWell protectedModerately protectedSlightly protectedNot at all protectedNot sure
Freedom of religon
Section 4: Right to freedom of association

The questions in this section are about the right to freedom of association.

All people have the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join associations to pursue common goals and protect interests. Associations comprise a diverse range of interests such as political parties, professional and sporting clubs, non-governmental organisations and trade unions.

Extremely well protectedWell protectedModerately protectedSlightly protectedNot at all protectedNot sure
Freedom of association
Section 5: Right to property

The questions in this section are about the right to property.

The right to property includes ownership and use of physical property, individual’s ownership of their own bodies, and intellectual property. In modern legal systems, ‘property’ embraces every possible interest recognised by law which a person can have in anything and includes all valuable rights.

The right to own property includes the right:

  • to own property alone as well as in association with others
  • to acquire or dispose of property
  • not to be arbitrarily deprived of property.
Extremely well protectedWell protectedModerately protectedSlightly protectedNot at all protectedNot sure
Right to property
Section 6: Other rights and freedoms
Section 7: Local & Community Initiatives

The questions in this section are about local and community initiatives that you or others have undertaken that advance rights and freedoms. This might be through developing voluntary codes of conduct and practice, service provision, sporting events or other community-based education activities.

Have you, your local community, organisation or business undertaken any initiative/s that advance the right/s to freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of religion and/or property rights?

Please briefly describe the initiative/s

In your response, you could include:

  • Type of initiative (e.g. voluntary code of conduct or practice, non-legal agreement, service provision, sporting event or award)
  • When it was first developed and implemented
  • Objective and the key human rights issue/s it addresses
  • If relevant, how the initiative was innovative or unique
  • Whether you formally evaluated the initiative
  • Positive and/or negative outcomes
  • Whether the initiative was successful overall and why/why not
  • Whether the initiative is continuing
Please provide your preferred method of contact

Click submit to complete the survey