Queensland Law Society

Queensland lawyers divided on Human Rights laws

Date 08 Jun 2016
Contact Tony Keim
Phone 07 3842 5835
Mobile 0488 433 884
Email media@qls.com.au

Queensland Law Society will tomorrow (THURSDAY JUNE 9) have its opportunity to give its members’ conflicting views at the Parliamentary Committee hearing on proposed Human Rights laws.

QLS president Bill Potts said the Society was grateful to have been given the privilege to speak at the hearing and admitted the introduction of these laws was a complex issue – with vastly varying views existing among the state’s legal practitioners.

“Whether or not Queensland should adopt a Human Rights Act is something, as the judges like to say, on which reasonable minds might disagree,” Mr Potts said.

“And the government’s consultative approach on this important issue is much appreciated.”

Mr Potts said that an indication of just how vexing the issue could be was the fact that the Society’s representatives at the hearing would present both the “for and against” arguments – as it represented the differing views of the legal profession in Queensland.

“Queensland Law Society represents the overwhelming majority of legal practitioners in Queensland, and our consultation with our members has led to something of a ‘hung parliament’, if you will – a conundrum perhaps not unfamiliar to the government,” he said.

Mr Potts said he did not envy the government in its task of making a decision given the strong views on both sides of the argument.

“It is up to the government to make these big decisions, but the Society is happy to have the opportunity to put the views of the state’s lawyers forward for consideration," he said.

“I would also urge all Queenslanders to let their thoughts be known on this historic issue.”

The Society’s argument in support of the laws to the committee will be put QLS Human Rights Committee chair Dan Rogers, while the argument against will be made by eminent retired Queensland Supreme and Court of Appeal Judge Richard Chesterman.

Mr Potts will also appear at the hearing to make an opening statement.

ENDS

For further information, please contact Tony Keim on 07 3842 5835, mobile 0488 433 884 or via email, media@qls.com.au.