There is less than a week to go for people to put in personal submissions for the national human rights consultations, with the general cut off date this coming Monday, 15 June. If you were planning on having your say on how best to protect and promote human rights and responsibilities, now is the time to do it.
The efforts at consultation, carried out by an independent committee headed by Father Frank Brennan, have been much more thorough than most political and policy inquiries, including the holding of public sessions in quite a number of regional and remote areas.
The consultations have also included an attempt at an online open forum. All comments left on the Open Forum site are included as submissions from the public. This mechanism for comment is open for an extra two weeks, until Friday 26 June.
As well as enabling public comment and discussion on the key questions being considered by the inquiry, two Australian Professors of Law, George Williams and Tom Campbell, are also participating to provide some input on some the legal questions and concepts.
Regardless of your views on human rights issues, trials like this which seek to improve public understanding and input into policy debates are welcome. I hope there will some post-inquiry assessment of the effectiveness of the processes used.