Section 1 Purpose and citation

(1) This Act may be referred to as the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities and is so referred to in this Act.


(2) The main purpose of this Charter is to protect and promote human rights by—

(a) setting out the human rights that Parliament specifically seeks to protect and promote; and
(b) ensuring that all statutory provisions, whenever enacted, are interpreted so far as is possible in a way that is compatible with human rights; and

(c) imposing an obligation on all public authorities to act in a way that is compatible with human rights; and

(d) requiring statements of compatibility with human rights to be prepared in respect of all Bills introduced into Parliament and enabling the Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee to report on such compatibility; and

(e) conferring jurisdiction on the Supreme Court to declare that a statutory provision cannot be interpreted consistently with a human right and requiring the relevant Minister to respond to that declaration.

(3) In addition, this Charter—

(a) enables Parliament, in exceptional circumstances, to override the application of the Charter to a statutory provision; and

(b) renames the Equal Opportunity Commission as the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and confers additional functions on it; and

(c) makes consequential amendments to certain Acts.