Charter - The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006.

Charter Guidelines - Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities: Guidelines for Legislation and Policy Officers in Victoria. The Charter Guidelines provide information for legislation and policy officers in Victoria on the Charter. They seek to explain the practical application of the Charter and to identify the content of the rights protected by it. The guidelines were prepared by the Human Rights Unit of the Victorian Department of Justice after extensive consultation and review.

CAT - Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984). An international treaty which Australia has ratified. This Convention defines and prohibits torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Declaration of Inconsistent Interpretation - A declaration by the Supreme Court that a statutory provision cannot be interpreted consistently with a human right (see s. 36 of the Charter). Certain procedures must be followed. A declaration does not affect the validity, operation or enforcement of the provision, or create any legal right or cause of action

ECHR -Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950). This Convention is commonly referred to as the European Convention on Human Rights. It is an international human rights treaty ratified by Council of Europe member states. The Convention has been amended by various protocols.

ECtHR - European Court of Human Rights. One of the European institutions set up to monitor and enforce the European Convention of Human Rights. The ECtHR hears complaints lodged by individuals or states about alleged breaches of the ECHR.

General Comment - An authoritative statement made by the UN Human Rights Committee on the interpretation or meaning of a provision or part of a provision in the ICCPR.  

Human Rights - The human rights set out in Part 2 of the Charter. These are primarily civil and political rights derived from the ICCPR. The Charter also includes cultural rights, including the distinct cultural rights of Aboriginal persons. The Charter does not seek to give effect to the ICESCR.


Human Rights Certificate - A certificate that must be prepared for most proposed statutory rules certifying whether the proposed rule limits human rights and, if so, provides information about the limitation. See the consequential amendments to the Subordinate Legislation Act 1994 in the Schedule to the Charter on p.41 of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006.


UN Human Rights Committee - A United Nations treaty monitoring body established under the ICCPR to monitor the implementation of the ICCPR by member states in their territory. The UN Human Rights Committee issues General Comments and also hears individual complaints regarding ICCPR breaches. Complaints may be made by individuals against Australia in certain circumstances.


ICCPR - International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966). A widely ratified international treaty protecting civil and political rights. The Australian Government has ratified the ICCPR and its two Optional Protocols.


ICESCR - International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966). A widely ratified international treaty protecting economic, social and cultural human rights. The Australian Government has ratified the ICESCR.


Override Declaration - An express declaration by the Parliament that an Act or provision of an Act has effect despite being incompatible with a right or anything else in the Charter (see s. 31). Such declarations will only be made in exceptional circumstances and the member introducing the Bill must explain the circumstances that justify overriding the Charter.


Public Authority - Defined in s. 4 of the Charter as a public official under the Public Administration Act 2004, an entity with functions of a public nature and which is established by statute, or an entity with public or some public functions when exercising those functions on behalf of the State of Victoria or a public authority (including under contract).
It also includes Victoria Police, councils, ministers, members of parliamentary committees when acting in an administrative capacity and entities declared by regulations to be a public authority. The Charter lists factors that may assist in determining if a function is of a public nature, and gives examples (see s. 4). The Charter Guidelines contain further information to assist with the definition of public authorities.

SARC - Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee. A Parliamentary Committee established with functions including the scrutiny of bills and regulations introduced into Parliament.


Statement of Compatibility - A statement laid before Parliament by a member introducing a Bill, which states his or her opinion on whether and how the Bill is compatible with human rights, and the nature and extent of any incompatibility (s. 28).


Statutory Provision - An Act (including the Charter) or a subordinate instrument or a provision of an Act or subordinate instrument.


UDHR- Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). A UN document which articulates the basic principles of human rights, developed following the Second World War. This document formed the basis for the ICCPR and the ICESCR.


UN - United Nations.


Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission - Replaces the Victorian Equal Opportunity Commission. The new commission will have an expanded role to include monitoring and review of the Charter, and providing education on the Charter and human rights in Victoria.