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A Human Rights Commissioner should care about human rights

Media Release
Lidia Thorpe 8 Sep 2021

Lorraine Finlay had been appointed as the nation's new Human Rights Commissioner. Formerly an upper house candidate for the West Australian Liberals and president of the state’s Liberal women’s council, Finlay was appointed to the role without it being advertised. 

This could affect the Australian Human Rights Council’s “A status” with the United Nations.

Comment from Senator Lidia Thorpe, The Greens Justice and First Nations Spokesperson

Lorraine Finlay’s appointment flies in the face of the United Nations Paris Principles, which require ‘a clear, transparent and participatory selection and appointment process of commissioners.’ 

The Morrison government should be looking for the candidate with the most in-depth experience and expertise, instead of parachuting their mates who are clearly inappropriate for the role. If Finlay has any integrity, she should decline and step down.

"This is someone who wrote a book calling for Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act to be abolished, opposes gender-based quotas and called affirmative consent laws ‘dangerous’ in an interview with men’s rights activist Bettina Arndt.

"The Morrison government announced this on the same day that the Women’s Safety Summit began. So often, violence against women is the result of an abuse of power. This appointment is an abuse of power.

"People in this country deserve an independent, objective Human Rights Commissioner who won’t play party politics with people's rights!"

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