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Election Survey - Victoria 2010 - Q5

Q5 - Charter of rights

Would you vote to repeal the inherent requirement provision and support measures to restore freedom of religion in Victoria?


Party Reply  Score
Australian Labor Party 

None of the rights and responsibilities enshrined in Victoria’s Charter are new or unprecedented and, in fact, include such things as the right to freedom of religion, as well as provisions which specifically preserve the ability of religious organisations to act in conformity with their beliefs. 

The Charter also contains rights that have existed in the criminal justice process for centuries, meaning that the Charter has not bestowed any additional power on judges, nor enabled them to give additional freedoms to offenders – but instead encourages dialogue between the courts, the Government and Parliament; ensuring better policy making and delivering more accountable consideration of those entitlements that many Victorians take for granted.

A future Brumby Labor Government would not repeal the Charter. 

Liberal-National Party

The Liberal-Nationals Coalition considers issues regarding compliance or non-compliance with international covenants are matters to be decided through democratic processes, not as matters of judicial policy making.

We strongly support the availability of effective remedies against denials of individuals’ rights and entitlements by government entities.    

However, rather than relying on a “charter” specified in broad and vague terms, such injustices are better tackled through clear statements of the government services and standards to which individuals are entitled, with honest and thorough benchmarking and reporting of service delivery performance, and proper channels of internal redress backed up by an independent and diligent Ombudsman and accessible administrative law remedies.

Democratic Labor Party

Yes, definitely.  Clause 12a, "The DLP shall uphold principles of liberty intended to affirm orthodox values and traditions and the ethic of civic responsibility as the foundation of human freedoms and the common good."

Clause 8: "In social policy the DLP shall recognise the rights and responsibilities that rest with individuals, families and the local community ought not to be relegated to larger social agencies or the state."

Christian Democratic Party

Yes, definitely.

Family First Party

Yes, definitely.

The Greens

The Greens believe that the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities plays an important role in protecting human rights.  However, while it is a step in the right direction, there remain serious shortfalls in Victoria's human rights protection framework.

The Greens have agreed with the Victorian Council of Social Services that the Charter should also provide protection for social, economic and cultural rights.  The Greens support the view that disadvantaged Victorians should be specifically and actively included and represented in the four year review of the Charter.

In Victoria, laws that impinge on human rights, often seriously and unnecessarily, still exist under the Charter.  While the Supreme Court may make a declaration that such legislation is inconsistent with the Charter, as it has done recently, there is no requirement that the government address this inconsistency.

Although all bills introduced into Parliament must be accompanied with a statement of Charter compatibility, these statements are often criticised by the Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee on the grounds that the Charter's relevant tests have not been applied correctly.

The Greens therefore call for due regard to be had to the provisions of the Charter when introducing and reviewing legislation and that greater regard be given to the underlying spirit of the Charter, which is genuinely to protect human rights, not just to do so where it is convenient.

Australian Sex Party

The Australian Sex Party believes that the Victorian Charter of Human Rights has progressed the rights of all people in our state.   We recognise that the Charter is a start, the potential to extend and improve it exists and it is our party’s policy to do so.


Authorised by: David Phillips, FamilyVoice Australia, 4th Floor, 68 Grenfell St, Adelaide SA 5000


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