The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities: local government and the operation of the Charter 2012

6 Aug 2013

The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (the Charter) sets out the basic rights, freedoms and responsibilities of all Victorians.

All public authorities in Victoria are obliged to consider human rights when they provide services, develop policies and make laws.

Under the Charter, local councils have an obligation to ensure that:

  • all actions, policies and services are compatible with human rights
  • all council decisions give proper consideration to human rights
  • local laws are drafted, interpreted and applied consistently with human rights
  • people who work on their behalf do so in a way that respects human rights.

When the Charter was introduced six years ago, the key challenge for councils was to understand what impact it might have on their activities, policies and laws and to find practical ways to integrate these new obligations into their core business.

The purpose of this report is to track the trajectory of human rights implementation in local government planning and decision making. In other words, it seeks to provide a snapshot of how successfully Victoria’s councils consider and apply human rights across the different aspects of their work.

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