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Catholic lobbyists urge scrutiny on Australia's rights obligations compliance

Monitoring of Australia's compliance of its international human rights obligations is fundamentally flawed, according to the Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin).

The group is today calling on Federal Parliament to legistlate for an independent compliance commission to monitor Australia's response to its international human rights obligations.

"The Australian Government is the signatory to hundreds and hundreds of Multilateral Treaties that give effect to Conventions created by the United Nations," said PolMin spokesperson James McGillicuddy.

He pointed out the question of whether Australia complies with its obligations should be a matter for an independent commission, not the Federal Parliament.

"In Australia Executive Government (Cabinet) determines what Treaties are to be adopted and the extent of their adoption," he said. "There is no role for Parliament or the Judiciary as independent arbitrators to monitor Government compliance to either the letter or spirit of the Treaty once it is adopted."

PolMin has written to each member of the House of Representatives and the Senate requesting their support for a Bill establishing such a commission.

"Only with such an independent commission will we be sure that Australian Government departments and agencies comply with the UN Conventions that the Government is a signatory to," said Mr McGillicuddy.


28 Oct 2002