Protecting public health and protecting human rights are not mutually exclusive choices – but how do we keep the balance between the two? What safeguards do we need to protect rights and freedoms in Australia and prevent the ‘creeping authoritarianism’ we have witnessed elsewhere in the world?
These were just some of the big questions of our time discussed by the panellists during the ‘Balancing Human Rights During COVID19’ RightsTalk, which the Australian Human Rights Commission presented in partnership with Lexis Nexis.
As Commission President Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM noted in her opening address for the event, “Human rights has entered conversation this year on a level that is perhaps unprecedented since the Second World War.”
Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow moderated the discussion, which included panellists Professor Robynne Quiggin (Associate Dean (Indigenous Leadership and Engagement at UTS), Professor Sarah Joseph (Professor of Human Rights Law at Griffith Uni), Hugh de Kretser (Executive Director of the Human Rights Law Centre) and Professor Michael Kidd (Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer).