Rosalind Croucher named as new head of the Human Rights Commission

Attorney General George Brandis has announced that Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher will be the new head of the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Croucher will replace Professor Gillian Triggs who is retiring at the end of her five year term.

Professor Croucher is currently the President of the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC). She was first appointed a full-time Commissioner of the ALRC by the Howard Government in 2007 and was made President in 2009.

Announcing the seven year long appointment, the Attorney General said Professor Croucher had an outstanding reputation for her pragmatic, constructive and analytical approach to law reform.

During her time at the ALRC, Professor Croucher has led nine law reform inquiries, including inquiries on Client Legal Privilege, Secrecy Laws, Family Violence, Discovery, Age Barriers, Disability Laws and Freedoms. She recently completed the Elder Abuse Inquiry.

Prior to her appointment to the ALRC, Professor Croucher had a distinguished academic career. She was Dean of Law at Macquarie University and held positions in law with the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney.

Senator Brandis said Professor Croucher had the leadership and experience to implement and oversee significant reforms to the AHRC arising from the passage of the Human Rights Legislation Amendment Act 2017.

In taking on the role Professor Croucher has signed up for one of the most controversial and criticised positions in the Australian political landscape.

Announcing the new appointment Senator Brandis offered no thanks to the outgoing President of the Commission, punctuating the strained relationship between Professor Triggs and the government.

Professor Croucher’s appointment has been immediately criticised by right-wing think tank The Institute of Public Affairs. Morgan Begg, Research fellow at the IPA labeled the appointment as ‘Triggs-lite’.

“The federal government’s decision to appoint Rosalind Croucher as the next President of the Australian Human Rights Commission represents a failure to defend fundamental human rights in Australia.” Begg said.

“Rosalind Croucher will be a Triggs-lite appointment. Appointing a person with no apparent commitment to freedom of speech erases the government’s good work in attempting to expand our liberal democratic rights by reforming section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act earlier this year.”

“Under Croucher, the erosion of our freedoms by the Australian Human Rights Commission will likely continue.”

Labor’s Shadow Attorney General Mark Dreyfus welcomed the appointment and said he hoped Professor Croucher would bot face the same “idealogical warfare” that Professor Triggs has encountered.

“It is time for this to stop, and allow Professor Croucher to do her job,” Dreyfus said.

OIP Staff

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