A-G George Brandis asked Human Rights Commission President to resign

A-G George Brandis asked Human Rights Commission President to resign

Image: AAP

Federal Attorney General George has admitted he has called for the resignation of Human Right Commission President Gillian Triggs, saying he has lost confidence in her.

Senator Brandis and Professor Triggs have both fronted a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra today, in the wake of a report released by the Commission, in to children in immigration detention.

The report found extremely high rates of self harm and mental illness among children in detention centres.

But Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been critical of the report, labeling it a political attack on his government, questioning why the inquiry was not launched under the Labor government.

Professor Triggs has told the Senate committee she was approached by Senator Brandis’ secretary on February 3, with a request from the Attorney General for her to resign.

She says she was also offered an alternative job is she agreed to leave her position, which she felt was “entirely inappropriate.”

“I don’t recall the precise words but I know that he said that I would be offered other work with the Government,” Professor Triggs said.

Senator Brandis has told the hearing he lost confidence in Professor Triggs in November, saying she gave inconsistent evidence about the nature of the inquiry.

“In particular when Professor Triggs conceded that she had made a decision to hold the inquiry after the 2013 election and had spoken during the caretaker period, quite inappropriately, with two Labor ministers, a fact concealed from the then-opposition — I felt that the political impartiality of the commission had been fatally compromised,” he said.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has defended Senator Brandis’ action in parliament question time today, agreeing the government has lost confidence in Professor Triggs.

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Libby Dreyer
Libby Dreyer 1729 posts

Libby has worked as a Senior Journalist at National Radio News since February 2011. She graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Canberra in December 2010.

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