Although some human rights were protected in various other laws, some basic and important rights such as freedom of speech, freedom from forced work and freedom from degrading treatment, had no clear legal protection.

The Charter Act introduces practices to ensure that human rights are a priority for the government when making laws and decisions and when providing services. The Charter Act assists public authorities to strike a balance between protecting the rights of Victorians and other competing public interests.

The Charter Act increases transparency in decision making affecting people’s rights, and assures the public that their rights are being taken into account by the courts, the parliament and public authorities in the provision of services.