The Directorate is responsible for reviewing and developing policy and legislation across the justice and community safety portfolio.
Our law enforcement regime maintains the public safety and social order of the community.
A variety of organisations and programs come together to identify and respond to crime, safety and justice priorities.
Information about the ways we promote, support and protect rights.
All about the Human Rights Act, how it works and the review process.
FOI gives members of the community a legally enforceable right to access documents held by government.
Access to a range of emergency response information.
Our emergency response framework.
Members of our community who respond in emergencies.
Safety considerations and information for personal and family wellbeing.
How we keep our community safe.
Information about the Infrastructure Safety and Security Grants Program.
Business obligations for safe workplaces.
Keeping ACT Government assets and information secure.
A national approach to security preparedness and planning.
How we keep safe on ACT roads.
The Directorate is responsible for legislation dealing with commercial regulation in the ACT.
The Directorate is responsible to the Attorney-General, the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, the Minister for Justice and the Minister for Corrective Services.
The Directorate plays a vital role in providing information and advice to the Minister and supporting ACT representation in national fora.
The Directorate's responsibility for government activities of justice administration, rights protection, business regulation and emergency services.
ACT Corrective Services delivers adult correctional and detention services.
ACT Courts and Tribunal deliver justice through sentencing in criminal cases and rulings in civil cases.
The ACT Emergency Services Agency is responsible for emergency management planning and response.
The ACT Government Solicitor provides legal advice and services to the ACT Government and its agencies.
The Legislation and Policy Branch provides policy advice and research services to develop ACT policies and legislation.
The Parliamentary Counsel’s Office provides legislative drafting and publishing services for ACT legislation.
Policing services in the ACT are purchased from the Australian Federal Police.
The Security and Emergency Management Branch is responsible for protection and emergency planning for all hazards, including counter-terrorism.
A number of independent statutory agencies are administered under the portfolio umbrella of justice and community safety.
Victim Support ACT provides specialised assistance to help victims of crime participate in the justice process.
The Director of Public Prosecutions provides independent and effective criminal prosecution services.
The victims of Crime Commissioner advocates for victims of crime and is responsible for delivering services to victims of crime
The ACT Human Rights Commission promotes the human rights and welfare of people living in the ACT.
The Public Advocate protects the interests, rights and dignity of vulnerable people and those with a disability.
The Public Trustee provides independent, professional trustee and asset management services.
The Work Safety Commissioner promotes and educates stakeholders on matters relating to workplace safety in the ACT.
Media information relating to the justice and community safety portfolio.
This section details the ways to contact the Department as well as agency locations.
This section provides access to our searchable database of publications.
Review reportThe ACT has a proud history in the protection and promotion of human rights.
The ACT Human Rights Act 2004 was the first bill of rights in Australia. It incorporates internationally recognised civil and political rights in an Act of the Legislative Assembly and is often described as providing a 'dialogue model' of human rights law. Features of this dialogue include:
For a variety of information about human rights law in the ACT and around the world visit the Australian National University's website.
A new section 27A of the Human Rights Act 2004 – section 27A Right to education - commenced on 1 January 2013. Inclusion of the right to education was a commitment made in the Government’s response to the Report of the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Research Project Team.
The right to education is an economic, social and cultural right that ensures each child living in the ACT has access to free school education appropriate to his or her needs. In this context, ‘school’ education includes preschool, primary and secondary school.
The right also provides that every person living in the ACT has the right to access further education and vocational and continuing training.
As with all the rights in the Human Right Act, the right to education can be limited if justified in a free and democratic society. An example of an existing limitation is requiring some international students to pay primary school fees. This is reasonable as it is consistent with Australian Government policy and the practice across all Australian jurisdictions.
Further information on the right to education in the ACT can be found on the ACT Human Rights Commission’s Australian Human Rights Law Wiki.
For further assistance in relation to this right, please contact the Human Rights Team on 62070595 or at JACSScrutinyteam@act.gov.au.
As part of the legislation process, Ministers and their directorates must ensure that any legislation for which they are responsible complies with the Human Rights Act 2004. An explanatory statement is one of the supporting documents that the relevant policy area must develop to accompany any bill to be presented to the Legislative Assembly.
As set out in the Legislation Handbook, the explanatory statement must address any human rights issues raised by the bill, including whether the bill limits any rights. To assist agencies to understand and meet this requirement, the Human Rights Unit has developed a fact sheet on Addressing human rights in explanatory statements of bills.
Addressing human rights in explanatory statements of bills: Fact Sheet
Summary of rights included in the Human Rights Act 2004
Contact the Human Rights Unit on 6207 0595 for further information or assistance.
The Human Rights Act 2004 required that the Government review the operations of the Act one and five years after it came into effect. In 2006 the Department joined with the Australian National University under an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage agreement to review the operation of the Human Rights Act in the ACT. The ANU's resulting report Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT): The First Five Years of Operation was tabled in the Legislative Assembly in 2009.
The Report on the first five years of operation of the Human Rights Act 2004 identified that the Human Rights Act has resulted in an improved quality of law-making in the Territory to ensure that human rights concerns are given due consideration.
It also found that, as a result of the Human Rights Act, advances have been made towards ensuring the full enjoyment of human rights in the ACT’.
On 29 March 2012, the Attorney-General tabled the Government’s response to the 5 year Review in the Legislative Assembly. Implementation of agreed recommendations will increase awareness of, and compliance with, human rights within the ACT public service and fortify the existing human rights culture across the ACT.
Pursuant to section 43 of the Human Rights Act 2004 (the HRA), the Justice and Community Safety Directorate has undertaken a review of the operation of the right to education in part 3A of the Human Rights Act 2004. The review also examined a range of issues regarding the inclusion of other economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) in the Human Rights Act.
The terms of reference required that the review include consideration of whether—(a) other economic, social or cultural rights should be included in this Act; and(b) part 5A should apply to the economic, social and cultural rights in part 3A; and(c) the economic, social and cultural rights in part 3A should be subject to progressive realisation.The review also considered other matters that are relevant to the operation of the Act as raised by the Human Rights Commission.
The Review report was tabled by the Attorney-General on 27 November 2014.
Economic, social and cultural rights in the Human Rights Act 2004 Section 43 review report [PDF 1.2 MB]
In 2009 the National Human Rights Committee reported on its nationwide consultation into human rights protections in Australia. The Committee received in excess of 35,000 submissions. Further information about the consultation is available from the National Human Rights Consultation website.