Let’s talk: Why is the government set against Gillian Triggs? 273



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The “deeply fractured” relationship between the Government and the Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs continues to fall apart with the Attorney General the latest to raise doubts about her position.

Speaking to the ABC this morning George Brandis said: “The Government has lost confidence in Professor Triggs and I say that with some regret because I personally like Professor Triggs. But the Human Right Commission in my view is an important national institution and it has to be like Caesar’s wife, that is, it has to be above, and be seen to be above, partisan politics”.

The Government has accused Professor Triggs of being a political partisan advocate over issues including children in detention and death penalty in Indonesia.

With two years remaining on her tenure, Professor Triggs says she has no intention of resigning and that during her time as president she has received “many warm and congratulatory words” from the government. “But if I were to receive these regularly, I think the taxpayer would be justified in saying I am not doing my job properly”.

“On some issues we do make comments that the Government doesn’t want to hear,” she told ABC’s Fran Kelly.

Speaking on Radio National she said, “I believe that were I to succumb … to this highly personalised response to the work of the commission, that would undermine the independence of the commission”.

The Prime Minister described the HRC’s report on children in detention as a “partisan stitch-up”. She further angered the Government by giving a speech in which she linked the policy of boat turn-backs to Indonesia’s lack of engagement on the death penalty issue. Senator Brandis said making this link was “plainly wrong”. Peter Dutton described Professor Triggs as a “political advocate” and Scott Morisson said the Commission has not been well served by its president.

In response, Professor Triggs says, “This isn’t about me, or it shouldn’t be about me. What these comments are doing, I’m afraid, is attempting to divert attention from the good work we are doing. I would be much happier if our reports were to be read, if we were to be challenged on the substantive legal content of our work, and my work, and I’d be very happy to deal with those question. But when the attacks are at such a personal level, I think they are really diverting attention unjustifiably”.

Tonight Professor Triggs will give a speech critiquing the Government’s plan to strip terror suspects of their nationality.

Let’s talk: Why do you think the government is so against Gillian Triggs? Is it to divert attention from the issues the commission raises, as she suggests, or is she playing political games, as the Government alleges?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Because she is a complete idiot who should either resign or be sacked for her stupid statements

    18 REPLY
  2. Well the attorney general wouldn’t want someone complying with the law, would he? We might expect him to…..

  3. No Government (of any leaning) likes to be criticised …. and more so this Govt. when its a woman giving the critique. A Government should be able to accept, absorb and digest any genuine qualified comments from anyone – they are our representatives in a democracy, its not a personal attack

    2 REPLY
  4. Gillian Triggs is doing she is paid to do, because she is being honest and revealing the truth..this Abbott Government that has lied from before it got into office does not like it !!

  5. def political advocate, withheld report on ALP advice, didn’t defend re drownings at sea..and wants to give a person who beat his wife to death “compensation”???human rights?….

  6. In my opinion the government are so against Gillian Trigg personally because she has the guts to release the report by the Human Right Commission stating that what is happening to children in custody is so wrong – a report that the government had but did not release. By playing the person they are taking public notice away from the contents of the report in the hope that their disgraceful treatment of children and refugees in general will go unnoticed. It is a definite trait of the LNP to denigrate anyone who disagrees with them while ignoring problems.

    1 REPLY
    • Agreed. Plus she’s a woman. For old white men in blue ties, her words were doubly cutting. How dare she?!

  7. Stand your ground Gillian Triggs, do not let old men bully you because you won’t lie for them

    6 REPLY
    • B/s you sound just like Juliar who gave old Triggs her 400+ayear job that she can’t be kicked out of for 5 years wether she does the job well Or as the case is not, and you all play the gender card poor old girl if she can’t stand the heat GET IN THE kitchen.

      1 REPLY
      • Eileen, open your eyes and see what this government is doing to women. Perhaps you need to get OUT of the kitchen.

    • Eileen, it should be “if you can’t stand the get, then get OUT of the kitchen. After this, I just cannot take you seriously!!!

  8. George Brandis was so interested in the senate hearings the other day, he read a book of Australian Poetry instead of doing his job and yes it was caught on film, Gillian Triggs is doing a good job..leave her alone

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