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IPA: Australian Human Rights Commission should be abolished

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| Simon Breheny

IPA: Australian Human Rights Commission should be abolished

"The Australian Human Rights Commission does not protect human rights and should be abolished," Simon Breheny, Director of the Legal Rights Project at free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs will tell the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee today.

Mr Breheny is appearing at the first day of committee hearings into the Gillard government's exposure draft Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012 in Melbourne today.

He will tell the inquiry that despite the fact that the draft Bill is an attack on fundamental human rights, it is supported by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

"The Australian Human Rights Commission does not defend fundamental rights such as the right to free speech and property. Instead, it selectively defends a human rights agenda determined entirely by the left," said Mr Breheny.

"The Australian Human Rights Commission's formal submission to the inquiry recommends that the draft Bill restrict free speech even further than it already does. The Commission has been campaigning for an expansion of anti-discrimination laws despite the impact it would have on freedom of speech. This puts the lie to recent comments of Commission president Gillian Triggs, who - only after widespread public criticism - has finally admitted that the draft Bill might go too far," said Mr Breheny.

"By supporting the draft Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012, the Australian Human Rights Commission has demonstrated hostility to freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of religion," said Mr Breheny.

"The Commission is 100% taxpayer-funded yet it actively lobbies government for laws which undermine human rights, rather than defending and protecting them. It should be abolished," said Mr Breheny.

Mr Breheny will be appearing at the inquiry with Chris Berg, Director of Policy and Tim Wilson, Director of Climate Change Policy and the Intellectual Property and Free Trade Unit.

For media and comment:
Simon Breheny, Director, Legal Rights Project, sbreheny@ipa.org.au, 0400 967 382

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