Rosalind Croucher tapped to lead Human Rights Commission

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Rosalind Croucher AM has been appointed as the new president of the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).

Croucher, who is currently the president of the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC), will replace fellow academic Gillian Triggs. She will begin her seven-year term on 30 July.

Croucher was first appointed a full-time ALRC commissioner in 2007 by the Howard Government, made president in 2009, and subsequently reappointed president in 2014 and 2015.

“Professor Croucher has had an illustrious career as a lawyer and member of the academy. She has an outstanding reputation for her pragmatic, constructive and analytical approach to law reform. Her strong leadership of the ALRC, and expertise in complex areas of the law, has enhanced its respected public image,” Attorney-General George Brandis said.

As ALRC president, Croucher has led nine significant law reform inquiries, including the Freedoms Inquiry, the comprehensive investigation into the consistency of Commonwealth legislation with traditional rights, freedoms and privileges.

Croucher is a former Macquarie University dean of law. She held posts in law at the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney. She was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2015 for significant service to the law as an academic, to legal reform and education, to professional development, and to the arts.

The nation’s top lawyer organisation has welcomed Croucher’s appointment.

“She enjoys an outstanding reputation among her peers for her clear-sighted, pragmatic, and strategic approach to law reform. Her contribution this year to the Law Council's Justice Project, our national review into the impediments to justice in Australia, has been invaluable,” said Fiona McLeod SC, president of the Law Council of Australia.

“I have no doubt her seven-year term as President of the AHRC with be marked by the same insight and clarity that has defined her illustrious career to date,” she added.

McLeod also applauded Triggs for her leadership. She is ending her five-year term, which was marked by constant attacks from some camps in the government and the media.

“Professor Triggs served the AHRC with indefatigable passion and purpose. We are grateful for the way she has represented the legal profession and the promotion of human rights within and outside Australia. We trust that she will continue to make a positive contribution to the law and our national debate,” McLeod said.

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