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2 January 2008

Human Rights Charter in Victoria

In the state of Victorian citizens will have basic human rights, like freedom of speech and freedom of religion, protected under a new charter from 2008. It's a pity the rest of us don't have the same guarantees. When will the federal government step up and assure our rights?

An excerpt from the media release follows:

FROM THE OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL
DATE: Friday, December 28, 2007
STATE OF HUMAN RIGHTS: CHARTER TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE


"Victoria will make history on 1 January as it becomes the first Australian state to fully implement a Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities, Deputy Premier and Attorney-General Rob Hulls said today.

“Victoria is at an historic stage in the protection of rights in our community,” Mr Hulls said.

“The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities formally protects 20 important rights and, by implementing this charter, we are sending a clear message about the way we in Victoria wish to live and be treated -- with dignity and respect.”

As of 1 January 2008, all public authorities will be required to act in a way that is compatible with the charter and give proper consideration to human rights when making decisions.

Courts will also gain charter responsibilities on 1 January. People who feel a public authority has breached their human rights are not able to seek damages under the charter – however they will be able to raise the claim in court if they have another cause of action.

The Supreme Court will have the power to make a declaration if legislation is found to be inconsistent with human rights set out in the charter and Parliament would be asked to respond. " Full media release here ...



By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

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