Victorians can help shape the future of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities with submissions now open for the Charter’s review.
Attorney-General, Martin Pakula encouraged the community to have their say and make submissions to the review, which will help ensure the Charter is robust and effective.
The Andrews Labor Government announced the review in March – the first step in fulfilling the Government’s election promise to refresh the Charter and resume public education to embed the values of freedom, respect, equality and dignity in society.
Mr Pakula appointed Michael Brett Young – former CEO of the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) and previously managing partner at Maurice Blackburn – to lead the review.
Introduced by the former Labor Government in 2006, the Charter contains 20 fundamental human rights based on those set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. These include freedom of expression, privacy, liberty, equality before the law, the right to vote and rights in criminal proceedings.
The Charter requires the Victorian Government, public servants, local councils, Victoria Police and other public authorities to act compatibly with these human rights and to consider them when developing policies, drafting legislation and delivering services.
The final report will be handed to the Government by 1 September 2015, before being tabled in Parliament by 1 October 2015.
While submissions do not have to follow a particular format, they are required to address some areas of the Terms of Reference. Participants can decide whether a submission is to be referred to publicly, anonymously or confidentially.
Submissions close on 4 June 2015. To view the terms of reference, for more information, or to make a submission, visit www.charterreview.vic.gov.au.
Submissions can also be made via mail, email or telephone. People who require assistance making a submission can contact the review secretariat.
Quotes attributable to Attorney-General, Martin Pakula
“This is about restoring human rights to their proper place in the Victorian public service.”
“We’re inviting all Victorians to play a role in shaping how their fundamental rights are upheld by Government into the future.”