• Section 18 protects various rights of political participation.
  • Conditions relating to the exercise of these rights should be based on reasonable, objective and non-discriminatory criteria.
  • The right to participate in public affairs applies to all people in Victoria. The right to vote and to occupy public office applies only to ‘eligible’ persons.
  • Eligibility is to be determined by Victorian legislation.
  • These rights may be subject to reasonable limitations. You should refer to the discussion on s. 7 of these Charter Guidelines.
  • The right to participate in public affairs may extend to participation in non-government organisations and public debate, but does not provide a right to a specific outcome from such participation.
  • The right of eligible persons to vote requires measures to be put into place to enable eligible persons to exercise their right to vote. It does not confer a right not to vote.
  • The right of eligible persons to be elected may be limited, provided that restrictions can be reasonably and objectively justified.
  • Eligible persons also have a right to access the public service and public office.
  • The concepts of ‘public service’ and ‘public office’ together encompass the public service in the narrow sense of employees of the Crown as well as the executive, judiciary and legislature and other areas of state administration.
  • The criteria and processes for appointment, promotion, suspension and dismissal in the public service and in public office ought to be objective and reasonable.