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The Australian National University

ACT Economic, Social and Cultural Rights research project

The ACT Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ACT ESCR) research project, subtitled ‘Protecting Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the ACT: models, methods and impact’, assessed whether the ACT Human Rights Act 2004 should be amended to include economic, social and cultural rights.

Final report

The project commenced in May 2009 and concluded in September 2010 with a final report – ACT Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Research Project – Australian Research Council Linkage Project LP0989167 – Report (PDF 5.36MB) submitted to the ACT Government.

The final report was tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly by the Attorney General, Mr Simon Corbell, along with a letter of advice (PDF 9.43MB) from the ACT Government Solicitor.

Project background and framework

The ACT ESCR research project was undertaken at the request of the ACT Government and followed from the government's 12-month review of the Human Rights Act (PDF 2.73MB), which recommended that the issue of economic, social and cultural rights be revisited as part of the five-year review of the legislation. At the time, the project represented the first comprehensive Australian study of the potential impact of the protection of economic, social and cultural rights in a legislative bill of rights.

The framework objectives of the project included:

  • assessing the adequacy of the protection of economic, social and cultural rights in the ACT
  • examining the possible mechanisms for the protection of economic, social and cultural rights, and the appropriateness of those mechanisms in the ACT
  • analysing the potential impact of the enforcement of economic, social and cultural rights and the effect on policy-making, service delivery and decision-making processes in the ACT.

Community consultation, July – August, 2011

On 9 December 2010 the Attorney-General, Mr Simon Corbell, introduced the ACT ESCR Project's final report (PDF 5.36MB) into the Legislative Assembly, noting that

“the question of whether to incorporate economic, social and cultural rights into ACT law is a complex one that raises many issues for all parts of our community, not just government. These questions will need to be considered in detail by the government, in consultation with the community.”

A background paper (PDF 2.68MB) for consultation was provided.

Updated:  19 June 2014/Responsible Officer:  Project Coordinator /Page Contact:  Website Manager