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Final decision from UN imminent

Final decisions adopted by the Human Rights Committee to be made public; Norfolk Island continues to wait for Australia’s response.

Albert Buffet, Ken Christian and Geoffrey Roberts QC at the United Nations in New York

Norfolk Island has two applications before the United Nations.

Firstly, the petition to the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization lodged in the UN New York on our behalf by Geoffrey Robertson in April 2016, and secondly, the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights lodged with the UN OHCHR on the 8th March 2018 in Geneva. This was acknowledged and registered as No. 3274/2018.

In a letter dated 10 December 2018, Geoffrey Robertson QC was advised of registration of the case, with a copy of this communication being sent to Australia, requesting any reply to be made to the Human Rights Committee within six months. Australia has been roundly criticized before for its “chronic non-compliance”. With the six-month deadline being in mid-June of this year, Australia’s response to the Human Rights Committee is long overdue.


Despite Norfolk Island continuing to operate under a mishmash of local and NSW law, locals can only vote in the electorate of Bean, an electorate in the ACT. With locals on island having no role, or vote, in the management of health, education, criminal matters, immigration, biosecurity or social security policy, Norfolk Islanders are left without any constitutional or public law countermeasures in reply to the actions of the Australian government or its appointed administrator.


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