Reform Needed to Protect Public Housing Tenants
18 September 2012 at 11:04 am
The lack of protection of people living in public housing from forced eviction under Australian law, will be the focus of an upcoming lecture by Justice Kevin Bell of the Victorian Supreme Court.
Presenting the 2012 Costello Lecture in Melbourne tonight, Monash alumnus, Justice Kevin Bell will discuss the Australian public housing system in the context of human rights.
Justice Bell believes that current state and territory laws do not adequately protect the security of tenure for public housing tenants, who can be evicted without reason or cause.
Justice Bell said for many years public housing in Australia had been targeted at the disadvantaged community including people with disabilities, single parents, the elderly and welfare dependant people.
"The concept of ‘home’ is of growing importance in the law. Home is a lot more than shelter. Home is a place of security, belonging and comfort,” Justice Bell said.
“Forced eviction of vulnerable people raises profoundly important social, ethical and legal issues which I will identify and discuss in this lecture through the lens of human rights. Such people are very vulnerable and their human rights are imperilled by their circumstances.
“To ensure protection from forced eviction, I believe a reform of the Australian law is necessary in accordance with the human right to adequate housing and home, as administered in the Australian Capital Territory and in other countries.”
The lecture will cover aspects including demographics, the social and cultural role of the home in promoting individual, family and community wellbeing, the human, civil and political rights of public housing tenants in both a domestic and international context.
The Honourable Justice Kevin Bell was appointed to the Supreme Court of Victoria in February 2005. He sits in all divisions of the court, including the Court of Appeal, and has conducted major civil and criminal jury trials. He is a former president of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Justice Bell will present the 2012 Costello Lecture ‘Protecting public housing tenants in Australia from forced eviction: the fundamental importance of the human right to housing and home’ from 6-7.15pm on Tuesday 18 September at the Monash University Law Chambers, 555 Lonsdale St, Melbourne.
The lecture is a free public event. RSVP essential by calling +61 3 9905 2630 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.