The Australian Human Rights Commission

Expert Reference Group members are generously providing their expertise pro bono. 

We also make legal submissions to courts, make submissions to parliaments and governments, and conduct research into human rights and discrimination issues. 

The Human Rights and Technology Project is a major Commission initiative led by Edward Santow, the Australian Human Rights Commissioner. 

In addition to inviting input from the public and key stakeholders, the Commission has engaged an Expert Reference Group and four major project partners.

Expert Reference Group

We have appointed an Expert Reference Group to guide our work.  The members of that group are generously providing their expertise pro bono. 

While the support of the ERG is invaluable, the Commission is solely responsible for all material produced in this Project. As Australia’s national human rights institution, the Commission is independent and impartial. 

Amanda Alford - Director, Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

Amanda Alford

Director, Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

The Honourable Justice Margaret Beazley AO

Her Excellency The Honourable Margaret Beazley AO AC

Governor of New South Wales

Professor Genevieve Bell

Prof. Genevieve Bell

3A Institute ANU

Kwok Tang

Kwok Tang

Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills

Dr Tobias Feakin

Dr Tobias Feakin

Australian Ambassador for Cyber Affairs

Dr Alan Finkel AO, Chief Scientist of Australia

Dr Alan Finkel AO

Chief Scientist of Australia

Verity Firth, Executive Director

Verity Firth

ED, Social Justice, UTS

Peter Leonard, Principal

Peter Leonard

Data Synergies, Gilbert + Tobin

Brooke Massender, Head of Pro Bono

Brooke Massender

Head of Pro Bono, Herbert Smith Freehills

Sean Murphy, Accessibility Software Engineer, Cisco

Sean Murphy

Accessibility Engineer, Cisco

Myfanwy Wallwork, Executive Director, Emerging Markets & Corporate, LexisNexis Pacific

Myfanwy Wallwork

ED, Emerging Markets, LexisNexis

Professor Toby Walsh, Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence

Dr Toby Walsh

Professor of AI, UNSW and Data61

Major Project Partners 


The Australian Human Rights Commission has four major project partner organisations. Project Partners contribute expertise and some financial, and in-kind, resources. 

While cooperation with partners is invaluable, the Commission is solely responsible for all material produced in this Project. As Australia’s national human rights institution, the Commission is independent and impartial. 

Partners are:


Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The Australian Government believes that the universal protection and promotion of human rights and democratic principles online is vital to achieve lasting peace, security, freedom and dignity for all. 
As a member of the UN Human Rights Council from 2018-2020, Australia is committed to promoting and protecting the human rights of all people, including the right to freedom of expression both online and offline. Australia strongly believes that freedom of expression is a fundamental part of a vibrant democracy and a culture of accountability. 

DFAT’s purpose is to help make Australia stronger, safer and more prosperous by promoting and protecting our interests internationally and contributing to global stability and economic growth. The department provides foreign, trade and development policy advice to the government. Cyber affairs is an emerging issue for DFAT and plays a significant role in Australia’s international relations with other countries. While once a technical, niche issue, Cyber affairs now encompasses a broad range of strategic and international policy issues. 

Cyberspace has provided an unparalleled opportunity for democratic participation around the world, as well as the global promotion, protection and fulfilment of human rights. Australia is committed to supporting an open, free and secure cyberspace, to ensure that individuals around the world can continue to strive for the fulfillment of their human rights.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Operating from 27 offices across Asia Pacific, EMEA and North America, HSF is at the heart of the new global business landscape providing premium quality, full-service legal advice. The firm provides access to market-leading dispute resolution, projects and transactional legal advice, combined with expertise in a number of global industry sectors, including Banks, Consumer products, Energy, Financial buyers, Infrastructure & Transport, Mining, Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare, Real estate, TMT and Manufacturing & Industrials.

HSF is a respected firm with an impressive offering in the business and human rights field. Highlighted for its international expertise and in-depth knowledge of emerging markets, HSF has exceptional knowledge of the UNGP and its application for a range of clients. With the increasing visibility and urgency of human rights issues around the world, we are extremely proud to be one of the first global law firms to establish a dedicated practice devoted to business and human rights.

HSF also offers a full range of commercial legal services tailored to the needs of the technology and online services sector and is the firm of choice for companies seeking advice on strategic technology transactions. HSF is ranked Band 1, TMT, IT and Telecommunications, Australia – Chambers Asia Pacific.


LexisNexis® Legal & Professional is a leading global provider of legal, regulatory and business information and analytics that help professional customers make more informed decisions, increase productivity and serve their clients better.

We help lawyers win cases for their clients, manage their work more efficiently and productively, and grow their practices. We assist corporations to better understand their markets and prevent bribery and corruption within their supply chains. We aid universities in their efforts to help students become successful legal professionals, and we support governments and courts by making laws accessible and strengthening legal infrastructures.

We help collect evidence against war criminals and provide tools to combat human trafficking. We endeavour to advance the rule of law across the world.

LexisNexis serves customers in more than 175 countries with 10,000 employees worldwide, is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.


The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is a dynamic and innovative university in central Sydney with a strong focus on Social Justice. While still relatively young, UTS has already made a significant mark on the world, ranked as Australia’s number one university under 50 years old, and number eight in the world in the 2018 QS Top 50 Under 50 Ranking. 

UTS is breaking new ground in teaching excellence and high-quality, impact-driven research that shapes the world, underpinned by technology and creativity. 

UTS wants to work with industry to tackle wicked problems. An integral building block of UTS’s success, since its inception, has been to be outward looking and partnering with industry. Applying the advancement of knowledge to solving industry challenges is in the UTS DNA, part of its social charter and our commitment to industry and community.

UTS has a bold vision to be a world-leading university of technology. With state-of-the-art campuses and facilities, UTS is preparing students to become global thinkers, leaders and innovators. With a total enrolment of over 40,000 students, UTS is one of the largest universities in Australia.

Project Collaborator  

World Economic Forum  


The World Economic Forum is working on approaches for a governance regime that fosters the benefits of AI while considering the relevant risks. The Commission produced a White Paper in 2019 with the World Economic Forum on Artificial Intelligence Governance and Leadership.