This IPA Parliamentary Research Brief explains why at the expiry of the current term of the Race Discrimination Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission the federal government should leave the position vacant.
The term of the current Race Discrimination Commissioner becomes vacant in August, 2018. Applications for the position closed on 11 May, 2018.
The policy of the Institute of Public Affairs is that the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) should be abolished. In principle, the AHRC, as a statutory authority established with the purpose of engaging in political advocacy, is incompatible with liberal democracy. In practice, the AHRC has over its history proven to be partisan and more likely to abuse the human rights of Australians than to uphold them.
If the AHRC is not to be abolished, then at a minimum, the worst features of the AHRC should be constrained. The position of Race Discrimination Commissioner is based on the concept that Australians should be divided and separated according to their ‘race’ – a concept which should find no place in modern-day Australia.
Specifically, the position of Race Discrimination Commissioner should be held vacant, because the position:
1. is merely one of political advocacy
2. fulfils no substantive function
3. promotes division in the community.