Office of Human Rights Proceedings

About the Office of Human Rights Proceedings

Who we are

The Office of Human Rights Proceedings (the Office) is an independent part of the Human Rights Commission and is headed by the Director of Human Rights Proceedings (the Director).

The Director decides whether to provide legal representation to applicants who wish to take unlawful discrimination proceedings in the Human Rights Review Tribunal (the Tribunal) under the Human Rights Act 1993. The Director also brings interference with privacy proceedings to the Tribunal under the Privacy Act 1993. The Director's staff includes two senior solicitors, a legal advisor and a legal executive/executive assistant. 

The Director of Human Rights Proceedings - Michael Timmins

The current Director of Human Rights Proceedings, Michael Timmins, was appointed in March 2019. He was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 2000. He has practised extensively in the areas of civil and commercial litigation. Since 2006 he has worked in a variety of countries in the area of international human rights law with the United Nations and non-government organisations, as well as teaching at universities in Australia and Canada.

The Director is required to perform his or her statutory functions under the Human Rights Act independently of anyone, including the Commission and Ministers of the Crown.

What we do

The Office can provide free legal representation to applicants who:

(a) believe they have been unlawfully discriminated against;

(b) have complained to the Human Rights Commission; and

(c) wish to take their case to the Tribunal

The Office can only provide legal representation to people who have already made a complaint to the Human Rights Commission. You can make a complaint to the Commission by visiting their website

The Director also bring interference with privacy proceedings in the Tribunal when such proceedings are referred to him by the Privacy Commissioner