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LIV welcomes government’s Charter response – but encourages greater accessibility

LIV welcomes government’s Charter response – but encourages greater accessibility

By LIV Media

Discrimination Human Rights 

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The Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) welcomes the government’s response to independent reviewer Michael Brett Young’s report: From Commitment to Culture: The 2015 Review of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006.

The government’s acceptance of 45 of the 52 recommendations of the report demonstrates its leadership on human rights in Victoria. Many of the recommendations reflect the LIV’s long standing positions on how the Charter can be improved to make it simpler, clearer and more accessible.

Key reforms supported by the government that will help simplify and clarify the role of the Charter include:

  • amendments to provide greater certainty about what agencies and authorities are covered by the Charter
  • in principle support for clarifying the technical aspects of the Charter’s operation, including statutory construction under the Charter and the role of the limitations provision.

 

The LIV particularly welcomes the announcement of $1.25 million for human rights education and training. This training is essential to ensure the continuing development of a human rights culture in Victoria’s public service and broader community.

In addition to the recommendations already accepted, the LIV is pleased that the government is still considering other key reforms including:

  • the introduction of a free standing cause of action for Charter breaches
  • providing the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission with an alternative dispute resolution function for Charter disputes.

If adopted, these key reforms recommended by the independent reviewer would make the Charter more accessible and would assist in the early and efficient resolution of complaints and systemic issues. This would have benefits for all Victorians. The LIV encourages the government to implement these two key reforms.

The LIV welcomes the government’s response to the report as an important first step in strengthening the Charter and looks forward to working with the government as draft legislation is developed and it further develops its position on key reforms.

The LIV provided a detailed submission and a supplementary submission to the eight-year Charter Review and also developed a briefing paper with several organisations identifying seven key priority areas of reform.

The LIV and the Victorian Bar are holding a joint event on the 2015 Review of the Victorian Charter on Monday 1 August 2016. For further details on this free event see the LIV website.

For further information regarding this media release please contact the
LIV Media Department

T: 03 9607 9373
E: media@liv.asn.au


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