Human Rights Report Card 2013
This report card is a joint publication by CLCA and the King & Wood Mallesons HRLG, which aims to build upon the 2011 and 2012 Report Cards by analysing the developments in law and policy that affect the exercise and enjoyment of human rights in Western Australia (WA) as at December 2013.
Developments in law and policy are assessed to determine whether, as a starting point, they comply with Australia’s obligations under international human rights conventions, other applicable United Nations or international human rights standards, and domestic laws which protect human rights.
Each development is graded (categorised) under these headings:
Positive developments (ie those developments that are assessed as having a positive impact on the exercise and enjoyment of human rights in WA);
Requires attention (ie those developments that require further legislative attention, judicial scrutiny or government action to ensure that they do not negatively impact on the exercise and enjoyment of human rights); and
Negative developments (ie those developments that are assessed as having a negative impact on the exercise and enjoyment of human rights in WA).
Where possible, the report card includes case studies and reports from Community Legal Centres and other human rights advocacy non-government organisations, which highlight the practical effects of legislation, government policy and practice, and the actions of other bodies.
The legislation, policies and other matters which underpin this document may be discussed in a number of sections. The nature of their effects, and any subsequent recommendations made, may vary depending on the subject matter.
The report card primarily focuses on developments in WA but looks broader where federal issues necessarily impact on the exercise and enjoyment of human rights in WA.
The core purpose of the report card is to document information from those experiencing disadvantage and to provide material to encourage governments to uphold human rights and take measures to address gaps in the protection of human rights. The report card is intended to be used as a tool for raising awareness in the community and for lobbying and advocacy by Community Legal Centres and non-government organisations.
The report card is not an exhaustive list of the developments in law and policy affecting human rights. It is intended to provide a plain English overview of some of the key human rights issues in Western Australia. Each section provides a list of contacts for more detailed information for the reader. Further topics which could be covered in future report cards include Mental Health (as a separate topic), the Environment and the Impact of Technology on Human Rights.
CLCA and King & Wood Mallesons HRLG acknowledge that parts of this report card may be contentious. Indeed, we hope they are, in order to stimulate discussion and debate about both the nature and state of human rights in WA.