The Charter Act requires that any Member of Parliament who introduces a Bill into Parliament must table a statement of compatibility before giving the second reading speech. The statement must state whether in the member’s opinion the Bill is compatible with human rights, and if so, how it is compatible, and if not, the nature and extent of any incompatibility.

In the case of a Bill at Cabinet, the submission must have a compatibility statement attached.

SOC Resources

The Human Rights Portal keeps a register of Statements of Compatibility.

Alternatively, You can view all Statements of Compatibility which have been tabled by going to the Victorian Government legislation website. To search for SOCs in the Victorian Government legislation website select Parliamentary Documents > Bills.

The Victorian Human Rights Equal and Opportunity Commission maintains a register of statements of compatibility as well.

Override declarations

If new legislation is being introduced and exceptional circumstances exist which require a departure from the Charter Act, the Bill may include an override declaration that overrides the Charter Act. In such cases the member introducing the Bill must make a statement to Parliament explaining the exceptional circumstances.

The effect of an override declaration is that the Charter Act does not apply to the relevant Act or provision for which the declaration was made. Statements of compatibility are still required for those sections of the Bill not subject to the override.