Last updated 20 January 2022

Human rights may also be relevant to the coronial jurisdiction, and failure to act in accordance with human rights could be relevant in a potential appeal or review of a coroner’s decision (see also the Queensland Law Handbook chapter Human Rights Law in Queensland).

The Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) (Human Rights Act) makes it unlawful for public entities to act or make decisions in a way that is not compatible with human rights or to fail to give proper consideration to human rights when making a decision (s 58). Section 9(4)(b) of the Human Rights Act provides that a public entity does not include a court or tribunal, except when acting in an administrative capacity. As such, a coroner acting in an administrative capacity must not act in a way that is incompatible with human rights. Additionally, a coroner acting in a judicial capacity is bound to interpret legislation in a manner that is compatible with human rights (s 48 Human Rights Act).

If you think that a coroner has failed to act in accordance with the Human Rights Act, you can complain directly to the Queensland Human Rights Commission. However, it is important to note that breach of the Human Rights Act is not by itself a ground for appeal or review of a decision. There is no standalone legal remedy for a breach of the Human Rights Act. If you have another ground on which to bring an action in a court or tribunal, then you can add or ‘piggy-back’ the human rights complaint onto the other ground (s 59 Human Rights Act).