Ruddock to leave Parliament, will focus on human rights
FEDERAL parliament's long-serving Liberal MP, Philip Ruddock, will retire from the Canberra hot house to become Australia's Special Envoy on Human Rights.
Mr Ruddock, who is known as the Father of the House as the long-serving MP in the lower house, has served in parliament since 1973.
He served as Immigration Minister and Attorney-General under Prime Minister John Howard and has since been chairman of numerous parliamentary committees.
As the Liberal Party looks to a new generation of up and comers, Mr Ruddock had been urged to resign ahead of the 2016 election to bring in new blood.
Mr Ruddock has been a long-term advocate of human rights and campaigner against the death penalty.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said his long history being involved in such campaigns meant he was well-qualified for the job.
He would be Australia's first Special Envoy for Human Rights, engaging with groups like the international Human Rights Council and the United Nations.