22nd Feb 2024
Indefinite detention. Disproportionate punishment. Rule of law.
13th Feb 2024
Native title. Cultural identity and the law. Unique insights.
13th Mar 2024
13 March 2024
Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney
19th Apr 2024
Friday 19 April 2024
|2024 Policy Foci
|Human Rights Act
|Drug law reform
The ALA advocates on a range of issues that affect the rights of individuals in Australia. We promote access to justice and equality before the law for all individuals regardless of their wealth, position, gender, sexuality, age, race or religious belief.
We do this by contributing to parliamentary inquiries, consulting with governments, implementing media campaigns, and collaborating with law societies, bar associations and other relevant non-government organisations across the country at a federal and state/territory level.
The ALA's key policy areas for 2024 are:
Here is a list of submissions that we have made in 2024.
In addition, our members are passionate advocates in the media for justice, featuring in print and online media, on radio and in television. View our recent media releases here.
Despite the prevalence of e-scooters throughout Australia, legislative frameworks and insurance policies are yet to keep up with the protections that are needed to ensure that anyone injured by an e-scooter or while riding an e-scooter can receive fair compensation.
The ALA is calling for a detailed review of the insurance and regulation options for e-scooters and the development of a system that ensures all riders – e-scooter owners and those who hire e-scooters alike – have appropriate insurance cover.
Read more and view a comparative table on our e-scooter page.
Australia is the only Western democracy without a federal Human Rights Act, Bill of Rights or Charter, despite popular support for one. In 2023, the ALA launched a policy position paper entitled ‘A federal Human Rights Act: The case for a legislative human rights instrument in Australia’.
The ALA strongly supports the introduction of a federal legislative Human Rights Act, and this policy position paper makes the case for:
- why this reform is necessary;
- what human rights should be protected within a federal Human Rights Act;
- the elements which should underpin Australia’s federal Human Rights Act, with close reference to and analysis of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s 2022 proposed model; and
- how human rights acts and charters have been effective in state and territory jurisdictions in Australia, as well as in countries abroad, with a variety of case studies provided.
Read the full paper here.
Australia’s ‘war on drugs’ is a fundamental failure. Drug misuse should be seen as a health issue, not a criminal justice issue. Decriminalising possession and use of most drugs will reduce the harm that they cause and take pressure off the criminal justice system.
In 2021, the ALA released a policy reform report, ‘Doing More Harm Than Good: The need for a health-focused approach to drug use’, that advocates for policy shift away from an emphasis on law enforcement, to a focus on the broader health and social issues associated with the harmful use of drugs. The report collates a wide range of evidence – from local and international experiences – to explain why drug law reform is needed, as supported by analyses of current policies and recent developments across Australia.
Find out more here.
Ahead of Federal elections and certain State elections, the ALA poses questions to the major and key minor parties on areas of particular interest to the ALA's membership. Click here to read our election surveys and parties' responses.
Freedom of information applications
The ALA has applied under freedom of information laws for the release of information affecting individuals' rights. View our applications and released information here.