HRISSHawke Research Institute for Sustainable Societies (University of South Australia)
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Which agency should have the responsibility for reviewing the adequacy of HRISs? In many instances, both an RIS and an HRIS will be required.
Nonetheless, just as non-government members can access the services of parliamentary counsel when drafting private members' Bills, they could be given access to technical human rights expertise to prepare HRISs.
Bodies making HRISs could draw on a variety of established approaches to rights analysis.
I noted above that the key difference between RISs and HRISs arises in pt 4 of the document, which contains the analysis of the impact of the policy proposal.
Legislative impact statements, and in particular HRISs, must be prepared as an integral part of the policy process and not as an after-the-fact formality.
(150) This is not to say that there is no role for independent officers, such as the Attorney-General, in relation to HRISs, but it should be a scrutiny or review role and a political accountability role rather than one of taking primary responsibility for assessing the compatibility of the proposal with the relevant rights instrument.
(It is even less plausible to contrast the analysis required by FISs with that required by HRISs.) Cost-benefit analysis involves controversial assumptions about the discount rate to apply in measuring future costs and benefits; (153) it often requires practitioners to attach economic values to intangibles (for example, the environment) and things many would regard as invaluable (for example, a human life) or incommensurable (for example, fights and economic prosperity); and where practitioners are reluctant to bear the political costs of doing so they may exercise a discretion to use less rigidly quantitative analytical frameworks (in particular, the practical costs of attaching values to human life).