Catherine Branson QC, president of the Human Rights Commission, has been appointed Human Rights Commissioner. She will replace outgoing commissioner Graeme Innes.

Innes has overseen some of the biggest gay and lesbian rights reforms during his time as Commissioner, including the critical Same Sex: Same Entitlements report which led to sweeping changes for same-sex couples. He received the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby’s Supporter of the Year award last year for his longstanding work on GLBTI rights.

More recently, Innes has turned the Commission’s attention to sex and gender diverse communities with the Sex Files report.

Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland announced the Human Rights Commission personnel changes and paid tribute to Innes’ work as Commissioner, particularly his work with same-sex couple reform.

-œI would like to recognise that Graeme Innes has been an outstanding Human Rights Commissioner, in particular playing a central role in the Commission’s national inquiry into discrimination against same-sex couples, McClelland said.

-œIt is appropriate that the President of our national human rights institution undertakes this important represent-ational role. Ms Branson is a highly respected jurist and will bring significant experience in international human rights law to the position.

Innes has been re-appointed Disability Discrimination Commissioner. He will also become Race Discrimination Commissioner, replacing Tom Calma.

Branson’s and Innes’ appointments take effect on July 12 for three years.

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