History of the Section

Section 18 is modelled on article 25 of the ICCPR but does not reflect all of its terms. Similar rights exist in comparative law. Refer to table below for further information.

Comparative rights table


Section 18 - Taking part in public life

Section 18(1): In summary, this provides that every person has the right to take part in public affairs.

Section 18(2): In summary, this provides that every eligible person has the right to vote and be elected and to have access to the Victorian public service and public office.


Article 25:
Every citizen shall have the right and the opportunity, without any of the distinctions mentioned in Article 2 and without unreasonable restrictions:

(a) To take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives;

(b) To vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors;

(c) To have access, on general terms of equality, to public service in his country.

ACT: Human Rights Act 2004

Section 17.

S Africa: Constitution of the republic of South Africa 1996 Chapter 2

Section 19.

UK: Human Rights Act 1998
No equivalent provision.
Canada: Canadian Charter of Rights and freedoms

Section 3.

New Zealand: New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990

Section 12.