Brandis No Longer Fit To Oversee Human Rights Commission

George Brandis finds the idea that Professor Gillian Triggs would be included in a selection panel for the new Sex Discrimination Commissioner “personally offensive” according to reports today – well, Senator Brandis, the nation finds your running grudge against the Human Rights Commission President personally offensive.

THE HON. MARK DREYFUS QC, MP
SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL
MEMBER FOR ISAACS

BRANDIS NO LONGER FIT TO OVERSEE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

 

George Brandis finds the idea that Professor Gillian Triggs would be included in a selection panel for the new Sex Discrimination Commissioner “personally offensive” according to reports today – well, Senator Brandis, the nation finds your running grudge against the Human Rights Commission President personally offensive.

 

Malcolm Turnbull told Professor Triggs she would be included in the panel before Christmas, but was forced to back down after a clash with Senator Brandis, the Courier Mail reports today. The government has said it will appoint a new Sex Discrimination Commissioner this week, still without consultation with Professor Triggs.

 

At a Senate Estimates hearing this week, Senator Brandis tied himself in knots trying to explain that Professor Triggs had not been “excluded” from the panel, but was simply “not included”. There is clearly no difference. Senator Brandis acknowledged it was normal practice for the President to be included and could not explain why she was not – now we know.

 

In February last year Senator Brandis tried to induce Professor Triggs to resign but did not even have the guts to approach her himself, instead delegating the Secretary of his department to do so. Senator Brandis’s treatment of Professor Triggs has not improved since.

 

Malcolm Turnbull’s inability to stand up to Senator Brandis and defend Professor Triggs’s right to be on the panel in charge of choosing a new Commissioner is shameful. This is just another example of ongoing disunity and chaos within the government preventing good decision making, or any decision making at all.

 

“Professor Triggs has done an outstanding job as President of the Human Rights Commission under immense and unfair pressure from this government. Senator Brandis’s comment that he would find her presence on this selection panel ‘personally offensive’ is ludicrous and is a display of his vendetta against Professor Triggs,” Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said.

 

“Malcolm Turnbull had to strip George Brandis of responsibility for the Arts following his shocking mishandling of the portfolio.  Senator Brandis has clearly shown he is unfit to be in charge of the Human Rights Commission and Malcolm Turnbull should immediately remove him from this responsibility as well.”

 

THURSDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 2016