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Human rights and anti-discrimination

The Attorney-General’s Department has portfolio responsibility for driving the implementation of the government’s human rights policy agenda. This includes supporting the Attorney-General as First Law Officer by providing policy advice on human rights matters to the government and administering Australia’s federal anti-discrimination legislation and the Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender. 

The Attorney-General’s Department also has portfolio responsibility for international human rights law and provides legal advice to the Australian Government on international human rights matters, including human rights treaties to which Australia is a party. It also administers human rights scrutiny processes, including Statements of Compatibility.

The Attorney-General’s Department also represents the Australian Government internationally in the human rights arena – including engagement with the United Nations human rights treaty body system, through both the treaty body reporting and communications processes. The department also leads Australia’s engagement with the Universal Periodic Review process as a part of this role.

Please note: The Attorney-General and the Attorney-General’s Department cannot provide legal advice to the public and cannot investigate any complaints of unlawful discrimination or alleged breaches of human rights. Complaints of unlawful discrimination can be lodged with the Australian Human Rights Commission and relevant state and territory agencies.

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