State, officials facing most human rights challenges


MOST of the human rights cases filed in the National Court nationwide are against the State and its officers, says Justice David Cannings.
Justice Cannings, the human rights judge administrator, said “when it comes to human rights cases filed before the court, the state and its officers are more often the respondents in the matter”.
“We have a lot of cases against the state that arise from allegations of police misconduct and police brutality,” he said.
He said police brutality cases, cases of prisoners complaining against their sentences and treatments, and cases involving an individual against another often came before the court.
He said everyone including prisoners were born with constitutional rights and they were also inclined to the enforcement of their rights to the full protection of the law.
“More prisoners in particular are made aware that they do have rights and they have obligations. So a lot of our cases are filed by prisoners being concerned about their treatments,” he said.
Justice Cannings said the courts had been successful in disposing of human rights cases since their establishment in 2011. “The human rights rules that we have now were introduced in 2011. And we are now in 2017. So in that period we have had more than 2000 cases of human rights filed before the courts.
“The record of disposing of those human rights cases is also good.”
Justice Cannings said the number of domestic violence cases involving women against their de facto partners had increased.