Lawyers support calls to give Victorian Charter of Human Rights ‘more bite’

11th Sep 2023

The Yoorrook Justice Commission’s calls for people to be able to seek compensation for human rights abuses by taking their complaints to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) will make the state’s Charter of Human Rights more effective and powerful.

“People who believe their human rights have been breached need a simple and affordable way to make a complaint and access remedies,” said Lachlan Fitch, Victorian State President, Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

“The Charter will have ‘more bite’ and force greater cultural change if people can more easily take action when their rights are breached.

“Providing easily accessible legal remedies is also an important way to hold organisations to account for their decisions and actions.

“If VCAT could resolve a complaint directly with a range of remedies, including providing compensation, along with an apology, enforcing change to an organisation’s policies and procedures or mandating staff training, we would start to see more behavioural change within organisations.

“We call on the Victorian Government to take action to provide this accessible and practical mechanism to address breaches of our Charter of Human Rights.”

Tags: Human rights Compensation Victoria