Rights & Responsibilities 2014

Friday 15 August 2014

The Human Rights Commissioner is conducting a national consultation about how well we currently protect people’s rights and freedoms in Australia. The consultation will focus on what each of us can contribute to achieve better protection of rights and freedoms, and to build an understanding of the responsibilities that come with this.

A particular focus of the consultation will be on building a culture of respect for rights and responsibilities among the Australian community. The consultation is interested in learning about initiatives at the local and community level that advance rights and freedoms, and the responsible exercise of these. This might be through developing voluntary codes of conduct and practice, service provision, sporting events or other community-based education activities.

The consultation will focus discussions 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 religious worship
  • the right to freedom of association
  • property rights.

Rights & Responsibilities 2014 Discussion Paper



Information from the consultation will inform a public report that will identify the key issues raised during the consultation process, identify best practice initiatives to promote human rights and freedoms, and set out recommendations for further advancing the protection and promotion of human rights and freedoms in Australia.


How to participate in Rights & Responsibilities 2014?

Consultations will be held across Australia between August and December 2014.


  • Hosted by the Law Council of Australia, the first public event was held in Adelaide at 4:30pm on Tuesday 2 September 2014 at the Radford Auditorium at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Alice Springs

  • The public event in Alice Springs will be hosted by the Centre for Appropriate Technology at 11am – 12:30pm on Tuesday 23 September 2014. Venue is the Centre for Appropriate Technology Conference Room, Heath Road, Alice Springs. Please register for this free event here.


  • The public event in Canberra will be hosted by the ACT Human Rights Commission at 5pm  - 6.30pm on Wednesday 1 October 2014. Venue is Community Legal Centre Hub, 21 Barry Drive, Turner , ACT 2612. Please register for this free event here.


  • The public event in Darwin will be hosted by the Law Society Northern Territory at 11am – 1pm on Thursday 25 September 2014. The venue for this event is the Signatures Room, Hilton Hotel Darwin, 32 Mitchell Street, Darwin. Please register for this free event here.

Survey and Submissions

Individuals and organisations are also invited to participate in an on-line survey.

The Rights & Responsibilities 2014 on-line survey is available here.

Alternatively, individuals and organisations are welcome to email a submission to rights2014@humanrights.gov.au.

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

The closing date for written submissions and completion of the online survey for Rights & Responsibilities 2014 is Friday 31 October 2014.

Contacts for Rights & Responsibilities 2014

If you have any questions about Rights & Responsibilities 2014, please email rights2014@humanrights.gov.au.


If you have any media inquiries for Commissioner Wilson, please contact Angela Dorizas on Angela.Dorizas@humanrights.gov.au or mobile 0419 256 597.


Clarification: Australian Law Reform Commission

Please note that this consultation is separate from the inquiry by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) about ‘traditional rights freedoms and privileges’ in Commonwealth laws. For information about the ALRC’s inquiry, go to http://www.alrc.gov.au.