Myth 12: A Human Rights Act will be too costly

The myth:  The costs of introducing a Human Rights Act would be exorbitant. Funds would have to be allocated to auditing pre-existing legislation, training government departments and others to ensure an understanding of their human rights obligations, and to reviewing practices and procedures to ensure they are human rights compliant. There would also be significant ongoing compliance for government departments and the Parliament.

The reality:  There would be "start-up" costs associated with a Human Rights Act, but the experience of the UK, Victoria and the ACT demonstrates that the start-up and ongoing costs are not exorbitant. Moreover, money spent on training and action plans for Government departments and agencies would help to ensure that potential human rights breaches are prevented before they occur, thus reducing the possibility of litigation and keeping down costs.  Finally, the costs that will be incurred are justified when balanced against the costs to affected individuals and families of human rights abuses.