- Crimes Legislation Amendment (Psychoactive Substances and Other Measures) Bill 2014
- Inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Protection and Other Measures) Bill 2014
- Review of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009
- Parliamentary Inquiry into domestic violence in Australia
- Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment Bill 2014
- Inquiry into the need for a national approach to retail leasing arrangements
Crimes Legislation Amendment (Psychoactive Substances and Other Measures) Bill 2014
The Human Rights Committee provided a submission to the Senate Inquiry into this Bill. The committee had serious concerns from a human rights and rule of law perspective in relation to the aspects of the Bill that provide for the reversal of the onus of proof, and for mandatory minimum sentences.
Inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Protection and Other Measures) Bill 2014
The Human Rights Committee provided a submission to the Senate Inquiry into this Bill. The Bill introduces a section which requires the Refugee Review Tribunal to draw an inference unfavourable to the credibility of a claim or evidence if the RRT is satisfied that an applicant does not have a reasonable explanation why the claim was not raised, or the evidence was not presented, before the primary decision was made. The committee opposes this section as it does not permit the RRT, which is inquisitorial rather than adversarial in nature, to consider the merit of a claim or the credibility of evidence in determining what weight, if any, it should be given. The committee noted that the RRT should have unfettered power to consider new claims and information to determine its relevance and reliability and opposed this section on the basis that it may lead to breaches of Australia’s non-refoulement obligations.
The Bill also seeks to change the existing test for complementary protection claims to a “more likely than not” test, following a decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court, which found that the appropriate test was that there was a “real chance” of significant harm. This test is consistent with the test applied to assessments under the Refugee Convention. The committee opposes this section as it considers the test applied by the Full Court of the Federal Court to be consistent with Australia’s non-refoulement obligations under international law.