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Charter Case Audit

Search Charter Case Audit

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The LIV Charter Case Audit database contains Victorian court and tribunal decisions in which issues under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) (the Charter) have been raised.

The LIV Charter Case Audit contains information on decisions that have been reported or are otherwise available to the public from 26 September 2006 – 31 December 2014.

The LIV Charter Case Audit is searchable by:

  • Area of law
  • Charter rights
  • Other Charter sections
  • Date of decision
  • Court or tribunal
  • Ranking – assessing the impact of the Charter on the final decision in the case (0 low – 4 high)

The LIV Charter Case Audit also contains information about the underlying cause of action (the ‘base cause’), arguments raised by parties to the proceedings and the final decision (including whether the Charter argument was upheld). Links are provided to the full case on Austlii and where available, to Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC) Case Notes and Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) Submissions.

The LIV Charter Case Audit was prepared with assistance from Ashurst.

Ranking Key

The LIV has assigned a ranking to the cases, with ‘0’ representing a case in which the Charter had the lowest impact and ‘4’ representing a case in which the Charter had the highest impact. Rankings 2-4 inclusive are cases in which the Charter has had a high impact. The LIV acknowledges that the rankings involve a degree of subjective assessment and that it could be argued that a different ranking should be assigned to any given case. It should be noted that the rankings do not reflect any broader impact of the Charter resulting from the decision, such as legislative reform, guidance on human rights compliance or jurisprudence as to how or when the Charter is applied.

  • 0 Charter mentioned but not relied on or not applicable.
  • 1 Charter argued, considered either not applicable or rights not engaged, or unnecessary to determine Charter issue.
  • 2 Charter raised, considered applicable, but found to reinforce or be consistent with existing law.
  • 3 Charter raised, considered applicable or rights engaged, but no breach/justified limitation on rights found.
  • 4 Charter raised, considered applicable or rights engaged, and decision turned on the Charter.

Overview of Findings - December 2014 Update

Consistent with the findings of the LIV Charter Case Audit published in December 2012, the latest update continues to show that the Charter has had an important but measured effect on litigation and the roles and functioning of courts and tribunals. Significantly, there has been a decline in the average number of Charter cases per year since January 2013.

In particular, the 2014 Charter Case Audit shows:

  • Numbers of Charter cases: have averaged 24 a year over 2013-14 compared to 47 per year from 2006 -2012.
  • Rights in the Charter most relied on: in 2013-14 right to a fair hearing cited most (27%) compared to privacy and reputation in 2006-12 (22%).
  • Areas of law in which the Charter has been raised: 77% of decisions in civil or administrative matters and 23% in criminal matters.
  • Courts in which the Charter has been raised: the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal hears the most Charter-related cases (38%), closely followed by the Supreme Court of Victoria (36%).

Number of times each Charter Right was raised

  • s 8 Recognition and equality before the law
  • s 9 Right to life
  • s 10 Protection from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
  • s 11 Freedom from forced work
  • s 12 Freedom of movement
  • s 13 Privacy and reputation
  • s 14 Freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief
  • s 15 Freedom of expression
  • s 16 Peaceful assembly and freedom of association
  • s 17 Protection of families and children
  • s 18 Taking part in public life
  • s 19 Cultural rights
  • s 20 Property rights
  • s 21 Right to liberty and security of person
  • s 22 Humane treatment when deprived of liberty
  • s 23 Children in the criminal process
  • s 24 Fair hearing
  • s 25 Rights in criminal proceedings
  • s 26 Right not to be tried or punished more than once
  • s 27 Retrospective criminal laws

Area of Law in which the Charter was considered

Hover mouse over graph for segment descriptions.

Area of Law in which the Charter was considered - Criminal v Civil/Administrative

Charter decisions by Court or Tribunal

Impact of the Charter across Victorian decisions

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