• On 14 March 2012 the Victorian Government tabled its response to the Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee's Report of its review of the Charter in Parliament.

    Some of the key elements of the response, as set out in the Executive Summary, include:

    The Government is strongly committed to the principles of human rights protection and considers that legislative protection for those rights provides a tangible benefit to the Victorian Community. The Government considers that this review process provides an opportunity to improve protection for human rights and to make the operation of the Charter clearer, simpler and more accessible.

    The Committee made a number of recommendations on improving and clarifying the operation of the Charter. The Government supports the majority of these reommendations on whole or in part. The Government will adopt recommendations to improve parliamentary scrutiny processes under the Charter, improve internal complaints processes, clarify the legal status of certain provisions and repeal the parliamentary override provision.

    In relation to SARC's majority recommendation relating to the role of courts or tribunals and the obligations of public authorities, the Government is seeking further, specific legal advice before responding. The Government believes that there is an ongoing place for the courts in protecting rights in relation to the Charter but acknowledges the concerns raised by the SARC majority as to the role of courts and the obligations of public authorities. The issues raised by SARC on these particular questions have generated controversies that are best considered on the basis of clear evidence. 

    Read the full response here. Read the Government media release here

Wednesday, March 14, 2012