QAI put together some answers to frequently asked questions about the Disability Royal Commission as it relates to education and learning for children with disability.
This factsheet is about what happens if a patient runs away from a Queensland mental health service and stays within Queensland. People who run away interstate will be subject to the corresponding laws of that state, which may or may not allow for their apprehension and return to Queensland.
This factsheet is to provide guidance for people who will be advocating for themselves at their Mental Health Review Tribunal hearing. It also outlines tips for treatment review meetings and other meetings with your treating team, and where to get more information, advice and/or representation.
QAI has prepared the following 2 resources to help explain NDIS processes
NDIS access flowchart (PDF) – understand how to apply for NDIS and options for challenging decisions you are not happy with.
NDIS external appeals flowchart (PDF) – follow the process of applying to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a review of an internal review decision of the NDIA
The following factsheets and resources were prepared for the Human Rights Act for Queensland campaign. They may still be useful in helping to explain how the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) might help specific groups of people or circumstances.
Background paper – A Human Rights Act for Queensland (pdf) This paper explains the features of a Human Rights Act (Part 1) and the key benefits of having human rights protections (Part 2).
Lobby your MP (pdf) A factsheet providing an overview of the proposed Human Rights Act.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (pdf) This factsheet provides examples of how human rights protection in other places has improved the lives of indigenous peoples.
Access to justice (pdf) This factsheet explains how human rights legislation can improve the ability of people to access justice.
Children and young people (pdf) This factsheet provides examples of how human rights legislation in other places has improved the lives of
children and young people.
Culturally and linguistically diverse communities (pdf) This factsheet provides examples of how human rights legislation in other places has improved the lives of people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Homelessness (pdf) This factsheet provides examples of how human rights legislation in other places has assisted people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Older people (pdf) This factsheet provides examples of how human rights legislation in other places has improved the lives of older people.
People with disability (pdf) This factsheet provides examples of how human rights legislation in other places has improved the
lives of people with disability.
People who are LGBTI (pdf) This factsheet provides examples of how human rights legislation in other places has improved the lives of people who are LGBTI.
Regional areas (pdf) This fact sheet explains how a Human Rights Act could improve things for Queenslanders in rural, regional and remote areas.
Women experiencing domestic violence (pdf) This factsheet provides examples of how human rights legislation in other places has improved the
lives of women experiencing domestic violence.
The Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) (the Act) was passed by the Queensland Parliament on 27 February 2019. At this time, Queensland joined the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria in being the only Australian jurisdictions with statutory protection for human rights. There is no federal Human Rights Act or Charter.
The Queensland Act has been described as the most ‘broad reaching and accessible’ Human Rights Act in Australia as it extends beyond similar legislation in the ACT and Victoria and also:
- protects the economic, social and cultural rights to education and healthcare;
- establishes for human rights complaints to be made to the Queensland Human Rights Commission (an accessible, inexpensive way for human rights issues to be heard and resolved).
When does the Act commence?
The Act will take effect in two stages:
1. The first stage will rename the Anti-Discrimination Commission of Queensland the Queensland Human Rights Commission and the educative functions of the Commission will start (expected to be from 1 July 2019).
2. The second stage will be the commencement of the complaints processes (expected to be from 1 January 2020).
The Act will be reviewed within four years of commencing, and then after a further four years.
Why is it important to have a Human Rights Act?
The Act is an important development in recognising the essential role human rights play in a democratic and inclusive society.
- A Human Rights Act is important because it will:
- Protect the rights of vulnerable Queenslanders by addressing disadvantage;
- Result in development of a human rights culture across communities in Queensland;
- Lead to improved law making and government policy;
- Result in improved public service delivery;
- Assist Australia to fulfil its international human rights obligations.
What human rights are protected?
The Act protects 23 fundamental human rights and freedoms, including:
Civil and Political Rights:
- Recognition and equality before the law
- Protection from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
- Freedom of movement
- Freedom of expression
- Taking part in public life
- Privacy and reputation
- Cultural rights – generally
- Right to liberty and security of person
- Fair hearing Children in the criminal process
- Retrospective criminal laws
- Right to life
- Freedom from forced work
- Freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief
- Peaceful assembly and freedom of association
- Property rights
- Protection of families and children
- Cultural rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- Humane treatment when deprived of liberty
- Rights in criminal proceedings
- Right not to be tried or punished more than once
Economic, social and cultural rights
- Right to education
- Right to health services
What can you do if your human rights are breached?
Under the Act, if you feel that your human rights have been breached by a public entity, you can:
- In the first instance, raise the issue directly with the relevant public entity;
- Lodge a complaint with the Queensland Human Rights Commission;
- Include the human rights complaint as part of court action to protect another legal right.
By taking these actions, you might be able to get the public entity to change their decision or actions taking into account your human rights. The Human Rights Commission can hold a conciliation between the parties, and help you to achieve an agreed outcome that recognises your human rights. The Courts can make declarations about whether your human rights have been breached.
Are there limits to human rights under the Human Rights Act?
The Human Rights Act allows for reasonable limits to be placed on human rights, which may be justified ‘in a free and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom’. When determining whether a limit is reasonable and justifiable, the ‘proportionality test’ applies and the nature of the human right, the nature of the purpose of the limitation, the relationship between the limitation and its purpose, whether there are less restrictive and reasonably available options to achieve that purpose, the importance of the purpose of the limitation and the importance of safeguarding the human right is considered.
What is QAI doing in this space?
QAI has been a long-time campaigner for greater human rights protection in Queensland and Australia. QAI participated as an NGO in the drafting of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability, has been involved in shadow reporting since its finalisation and has been represented in NGO delegations to United Nations conferences and sessional reviews of human rights treaties. QAI publishes resources aimed at helping people with disability and their families, advocates and practitioners understand the human rights conventions and how to comply with them. QAI was extensively involved in the campaign from a Human Rights Act in Queensland since its inception and auspiced the campaign to give it formal structure.
QAI is currently undertaking work aimed at preparing ourselves, our allies and individuals seeking assistance from the community legal sector to understand the new rights, responsibilities and options created by the legislation. QAI will also provide support to the Queensland Human Rights Commission under the new regime.
Where can you go for advice or assistance?
Queensland Advocacy Incorporated www.qai.org.au; p: (07) 3844 4200
Legal Aid Queensland www.legalaid.qld.gov.au, p: 1300 65 11 88
Community Legal Centres Queensland: www.communitylegalqld.org.au; p: (07) 3392 0092 (referrals to relevant CLCs)
Queensland Human Rights Commission: www.adcq.qld.gov.au; p: 1300 130 670 (referrals to relevant advocacy services)
This factsheet has been prepared by Queensland Advocacy Incorporated (QAI), an independent, community-based systems and legal advocacy organisation for people with disability in Queensland (qai.org.au).
This publication is for general information only. It must not be relied on as legal advice. You must seek legal advice about your own particular circumstances.
Last updated: 6/06/19
The introduction of the new right to education in the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) has generated significant interest. For the first time, the human right of every Queensland child to access education is recognised by law. Many parents, children and educators are wanting to know what impact this new law will have for students with disability in Queensland state schools. QAI has provided input into a project led by the UQ Pro Bono Centre to develop a community education publication, available here.
QAI has launched two booklets written in plain language to inform and raise awareness about violence against people with disability. We also produced 5 short videos using actors to demonstrate the different types of abuses perpetrated against people with disability including sanctioned legal violence.
The resources can be accessed online here.