Lawyer and human rights practitioner picked for AHRC role

By Melissa Coade

Monday September 6, 2021

Lorraine Finlay
Australian human right commissioner Lorraine Finlay. (Murdoch University)

A former WA Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) lawyer has been named as the next Australian Human Rights Commissioner.

Lorraine Finlay will be based in Canberra and commence her term at the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) at the end of November.

“I am honoured to be appointed as the Human Rights Commissioner and am looking forward to building on the substantial contributions made by my predecessors in the role,” Finlay said.

Finlay currently lectures law at Murdoch University, including teaching the law school’s international human rights law program in Geneva. Prior to that she worked for the Australian Mission to ASEAN as a senior human trafficking specialist. She has also previously served as a state prosecutor for the WA Office of the DPP.

Finlay has worked at the High Court of Australia as a legal research officer and then as a judge’s associate. She has a dual LLM in law and the global economy from New York University and in international and comparative law from the National University of Singapore.

Announcing Finlay’s appointment, AHRC president emeritus professor Rosalind Croucher said she looked forward to welcoming her to join the commission later in the year. 

“My Australian Human Rights Commission colleagues and I look forward to working with Lorraine Finlay upon her commencement as Human Rights Commissioner in November,” she said.

The Mandarin previously interviewed the outgoing Human Rights Commissioner, Ed Santow, at the end of his tenure last month.

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