An Annotated Guide to the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities
Every Victorian lawyer is affected by the 1 January 2008 commencement of obligations under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Victoria). The Charter immediately affects those making new laws and policies, imposing on them requirements of scrutiny and assessment. It also imposes obligations on a wide range of service providers, including government and the public service, to act consistently with the human rights protected under the Charter. All Victorian legislation must now be interpreted compatibly with human rights and the Victorian Supreme Court can require the government to reconsider legislation that does not meet the Charter's standards. Moreover, while there is no independent right to legal action for breach of the Charter, human rights arguments may be raised in courts and tribunals. And while it is of significant interest from a criminal and administrative law perspective, the Charter's relevance to other practice areas, such as commercial law, should not be overlooked. Recognising the wide-ranging impact of this legislation, 'An Annotated Guide to the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities' offers timely guidance on how the Charter might operate. Commentary on the provisions of the Charter is set out in an annotated format and an introduction to each of the substantive rights is provided. The operative provisions of the Charter, including interpretative and remedial provisions, as well as those relating to the limitation of rights, are examined in detail, drawing on case law on similar legislation in other jurisdictions. Professor George Williams, Chair of the Consultation Committee responsible for its development, has contributed an introductory chapter that details the process of the Charter's formulation and its intent. The helpful analysis provided by Pound and Evans will assist all those negotiating the changes wrought by this new legislation.
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