Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Commissioner appointed for ALRC inquiry into legal barriers for people with disabilities

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP
    Minister for Emergency Management
    Special Minister of State
    Minister for the Public Service and Integrity

A new inquiry will consider whether Commonwealth laws and legal frameworks create barriers to people with disability exercising their rights and legal capacity.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC today formally referred the inquiry into Legal Barriers for People with Disabilities to the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC), and appointed the Disability Discrimination Commissioner Mr Graeme Innes AM to the ALRC to support the inquiry.

“People with disability deserve the opportunity to make decisions affecting their lives,” Mr Dreyfus said.

In welcoming Mr Innes’ appointment, Minister for Disability Reform Jenny Macklin said that as Australia’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner Mr Innes has been a powerful advocate for people with disability.

“Mr Innes’ work in ensuring that people with disability have access to the same rights and opportunities as Australians without disability ideally positions him to lead this important Inquiry,” Ms Macklin said.

“The inquiry follows the historic launch of DisabilityCare Australia on 1 July this year- a momentous achievement that will finally give people with disability the certainty they deserve.”

Inquiries undertaken by the Australian Law Reform Commission provide a unique opportunity for in depth consideration of issues of law.

The reference follows a three-week public consultation on draft terms of reference.

“Overall the feedback on the draft terms of reference was very positive,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“We have made changes to the terms of reference based on the consultation and I’m looking forward to the ALRC’s final report on this topic, which is due in August 2014.”

A brief biography of Mr Innes is attached.

Terms of reference for the Commission’s native title inquiry are being finalised following three weeks of public consultation.