New database brings human rights case law to the forefront

10 August 2020

A University of Queensland Law School academic has partnered with a local community legal centre to develop Queensland’s first human rights case law database.

The UQ/Caxton Human Rights Case Law Project is an initiative of UQ’s Professor Tamara Walsh and the Caxton Legal Centre Inc.’s Bridget Burton.

Professor Walsh said the project collates and summarises all reported legal cases that refer to the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld).

“Our aim was to create a single case law database that is accessible to a broad audience of legal practitioners, researchers, students and members of the public,” Professor Walsh said.

According to the research team, the project has several main goals:

  • To record and evaluate the impact, interpretation and use of the Act; specifically, to determine how human rights arguments are being litigated in Queensland, and the impact this is having on the creation of a human rights “culture”.
  • To record and assess the impact of the Act on public entities in Queensland.
  • To assist researchers in comparing and contrasting human rights decisions in Queensland with decisions made in other jurisdictions, especially jurisdictions with specific human rights legislation.

Professor Walsh said the project was a direct result of the dedication and diligence of students, staff and the Caxton Legal Centre.  

“I would like to thank Bridget Burton from the Caxton Legal Centre for lending her time and expertise to the project as its co-director,” Professor Walsh said.

“I’m also grateful for the efforts of team members and UQ law students Elizabeth Aisi, Tulli Seton and Linden Peacock, who are responsible for drafting case notes for each reported case and making them available online.  

“Finally, I want to thank Suzy Byrnes, our web designer from UQ’s Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, for masterfully designing the project database to meet our needs.”

 Elizabeth Aisi, Tulli Seton and Linden Peacock
L-R: Professor Tamara Walsh, Elizabeth Aisi, Tulli Seton and Linden Peacock

The project bears similarities to the Deaths in Custody database, another initiative led by Professor Walsh.  Like the Human Rights Case Law Project, the Deaths in Custody database aims to provide the community with publicly accessible data from a single source of truth. 

For more information on the UQ/Caxton Human Rights Case Law Project, visit the web page.

Contact: Professor Tamara Walsh,