Enforcing Human Rights

The ACT Human Rights Commission can only investigate individual complaints about unlawful discriminationhealth servicesservices for older peopledisability services and services for children and young people. The Human Rights Commissioner does not investigate individual complaints about breaches of the Human Rights Act, although we can provide general information about human rights.

Detailed information on each right protected under the ACT Human Rights Act is available via our online factsheets here.

If a person is a victim of a breach of their human rights by a public authority (generally an ACT government agency or an agency performing ACT government functions) they may be able to commence proceedings in the ACT Supreme Court to enforce their rights. The Commission recommends that individuals seek legal advice before considering legal proceedings. Free legal advice may be available from the Canberra Community LawWomen’s Legal Centre Legal Aid ACT or through the Pro Bono Clearinghouse. The ACT Law Society also provides information on private law firms operating in the ACT.

Further information about the obligations of public authorities is available in our Public Authority Factsheet

Another aspect of the Human Rights Commissioner’s role is to review the effect of Territory laws on human rights and to report in writing to the Attorney-General. The Commissioner has conducted Human Rights Audits of Government facilities using this power. The Commissioner also advises the Attorney-General on anything relevant to the operation of the Human Rights Act