Victorian human rights legislation
Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities
Although the Attorney-General Robert Clark, while in opposition, threatened to repeal Victoria's Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 it now seems likely that he will carefully review it with a view to substantial amendments.
Action already taken
In 2010, our Management Committee gave unanimous support to us endorsing the letter of the Human Rights Law Resource Centre to the new Victorian Attorney-General (printed in CONNECT for December 2010) which highlighted the benefits of the Charter and urged the Baillieu Government to commit to the required review. Some 73 organisations endorsed the letter that was sent on Human Rights Day, 10 December.
Further action: our own letter to the Attorney-General
Helen Howells, chair of our Human Rights Group, has since been advised that our Group should write to the Attorney-General describing our involvement over five years with the preparation, passage and operation of the Charter. We should affirm our conviction that such legislation is desirable as a potent symbol for our citizenry of the inalienable rights of all people, as a guide and discipline for legislators as they prepare and enact laws, and as a spur for the development of a human rights culture among those who administer our laws and provide public services under the law. We should urge Mr Clark to seek a fair and objective review of the Act based on the evidence of its operation.
Prepare for the review
If and when the Attorney-General initiates a review of the Act, we should, and our Management Committee has committed us to do so, prepare a careful submission to the review board.