Human Rights for All (HR4A) - Human Rights
Alison Battisson is the founder and Director Principal of Human Rights for All (HR4A). HR4A is an Australian charitable human rights law firm which provides pro bono representation to refugees, stateless people and Indigenous people in Australia’s immigration detention prisons.
Alison also played a crucial role in assisting female athletes, their families and others escape Kabul, Afghanistan in August 2021. Over 110 people were air lifted to safety as a result. Alison continues to work to bring Afghan women at risk to safety.
Alison’s firm, HR4A, focuses on long term detained and complex-case refugees and
stateless people to test the principles of liberty in Australia. HR4A has a unique aim – not to exist. Alison believes that it is possible to change Australian law so that it no longer provides for the open ended mandatory detention of these people. In 2020, HR4A achieved this momentarily in the landmark case of AJL20 v Commonwealth of Australia, when a man was released on a writ of the court (akin to a habeas corpus writ). This decision set a precedent which resulted in the release of a significant number of refugees until the majority of the High Court subsequently overturned the decision. HR4A continues to fight to find other legal avenues to secure liberty on a broad scale.
HR4A brings a collaborative and flexible approach, working in tandem with other law firms and human rights organisations. HR4A represent clients at all levels of the legal system, including the High Court, Federal Court and various Tribunals. HR4A regularly makes submissions to the UN Human Rights Council, Committee Against Torture, various special rapporteurs and the Australian Human Rights Commission.
HR4A is the only charitable law firm in Australia not supported by an associated commercial law firm or government funds.
Alison wishes to make special mention of lawyers Zaki Omar and Eric Zhang.
Before establishing HR4A, Alison worked as a corporate lawyer for top tier firms in Australia, the UK, Singapore and Indonesia. She has also worked with volunteer organisations in Zimbabwe, Australia and the UK. Alison is an in-demand speaker, lecturer and panelist, who speaks authoritatively to media and various audiences on a range of issues related to human rights and liberty.
Alison was also a high level boxer, and now tries to balance family time, sport and travel with her work with refugees and stateless people.