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Advocacy and the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities VCOSS CONGRESS 2007 Matthew Carroll – Manager Human Rights Unit, VEOHRC 1 st August 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Advocacy and the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities VCOSS CONGRESS 2007 Matthew Carroll – Manager Human Rights Unit, VEOHRC 1 st August 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Advocacy and the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities VCOSS CONGRESS 2007 Matthew Carroll – Manager Human Rights Unit, VEOHRC 1 st August 2007

2 RHETORIC OR MEANINGFUL? The standard expectation of individuals – and those acting on their behalf – is that recognised rights are supported by a means of pursuing alleged breaches. The Charter does not fully adhere to this principle – is it therefore a hollow promise?

3 A CHANGED LANDSCAPE The Charter contributes to the democratic governance of Victoria and the accountability of Government through: a defined benchmark; a set of standards that are now part of the law of this state; and a common language and enriched dialogue.

4 SYSTEMIC COMPLIANCE 1.Vetting of new laws against human rights. 2.An explicit duty on public authorities to act compatibly with human rights and consider human rights when making decisions. 3.As far as possible interpret and apply laws compatibly with human rights.

5 SYSTEMIC MONITORING 1.The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission: yearly reporting; reviews and advice; and intervention. 2.Other independent statutory authorities that monitor and regulate particular aspects of government activity.

6 INDIVIDUAL REMEDIES 1.Judicial review. 2.Merit review (e.g. Mental Health Review Board, Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal). 3.Ombudsman Victoria. 4.Statutory complaint handling schemes (e.g. Health Services Commissioner, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission).

7 LOOKING AHEAD It’s not simply about learning to use the Charter, consideration also needs to be given to its further development. The 4-year review must consider: additional rights (ICESCR, CEDAW, CROC – possibly also ICRPD); self-determination; mandatory and regular auditing; and expanded individual remedies.

8 MORE INFORMATION


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