Creating a human rights culture within the ACT government
The ACT Human Rights Act Research Project is an ARC linkage project between the ANU and its Industry Partner, the ACT Department of Justice and Community Safety (JACS), which aims to monitor and evaluate the impact of the Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT) (HRA) over the first five years of its operation. One aspect of this research involved a series of interviews conducted with officers of the ACT government after the introduction of the HRA to test the predictions about the effect of the HRA on work practices and culture within the government. This report has been prepared to summarise the key findings of this interview research. Overall, the interviews indicate that while the Act has had a beneficial impact on the culture of the ACT government in some areas, the effect is not consistent, nor widespread across government. Important progress has been made in these early years, as most participants were aware of the HRA and had a positive perception of it, suggesting that any initial bureaucratic resistance to the Act has been largely overcome. However, there is not a consistent engagement with the Act at a practical level.
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