The Commonwealth Senate passed the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Bill 2010 on Friday 25 November.

The Bill introduces a requirement for Statements of Compatibility (SOCs) to accompany all new Commonwealth Bills and disallowable legislative instruments and establishes a new Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights.

The Commonwealth SOCs will differ from those in Victoria. Notably, Commonwealth SOCs must contain an assessment of whether the Bill or legislative instrument is compatible with the rights and freedoms recognised in the seven core international human rights treaties which Australia has ratified. These treaties are:

The obligation to table SOCs will commence 28 days after the Bill receives Royal Assent.

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights will have functions to:

Th Committee is to report on each of these matters to both Houses of Parliament.

Friday, November 25, 2011