PHIL LYNCH is Executive Director of the Human Rights Law Resource Centre.
UN Committee Against Torture gives Australia a ‘Please Explain’
The issues on which the Committee specifically seeks information and responses from Australia include:
- information regarding the legal entrenchment of human rights in Australia, including through a Human Rights Act and constitutional recognition of Indigenous people;
- the human rights compatibility and impacts of counter-terrorism legislation, including in relation to the powers of ASIO and the Australian Federal Police;
- mechanisms for monitoring and oversight of places of detention, including prisons;
- the right to health and access to adequate health care for detainees, including prisoners and persons detained in immigration facilities;
- trafficking of women and children;
- violence against women;
- the operation and impact of laws that criminalise homelessness and poverty;
- complementary protection and the prohibition against refoulement (sending asylum seekers back to the country from which they seek refuge);
- the operation and impact of Australia's refugee and asylum seeker policies, including in relation to mandatory detention, offshore processing, and the detention of families and children;
- the over-representation of Indigenous people and people with mental illness in the criminal justice and prison systems;
- Australia's extradition law, policy and practice; and
- police use of force, the investigation of police-related deaths and police monitoring and accountability mechanisms.
The Human Rights Law Resource Centre ('HRLRC') submission to the Committee, which significantly informed the Committee's List of Issues, is at http://www.hrlrc.org.au/content/topics/counter-terrorism/torture-and-ill-treatment-submission-to-un-committee-against-torture-on-australia-24-august-2010/.
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- Category: DUAO - 2011 - Vol 36(1)