Victorian Charter of Human Rights & Responsibilities Act 2006

Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006

No. 43 of 2006

Version incorporating amendments as at
1 July 2014


A section of the TABLE OF PROVISIONS follows:

1 Purpose and citation
2 Commencement
3 Definitions
4 What is a public authority? 
5 Human rights in this Charter in addition to other rights and freedoms
6 Application

7 Human rights—what they are and when they may be limited
8 Recognition and equality before the law
9 Right to life
10 Protection from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
11 Freedom from forced work
12 Freedom of movement
13 Privacy and reputation
14 Freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief
15 Freedom of expression
16 Peaceful assembly and freedom of association
17 Protection of families and children
18 Taking part in public life
19 Cultural rights
20 Property rights
21 Right to liberty and security of person
22 Humane treatment when deprived of liberty
23 Children in the criminal process
24 Fair hearing
25 Rights in criminal proceedings
26 Right not to be tried or punished more than once
27 Retrospective criminal laws

Part 1. Item 4, and Part 2. Items 10, 17 and 20 are reproduced here:


4 What is a public authority?

(1) For the purposes of this Charter a public authority is—

a) a public official within the meaning of the Public Administration Act 2004; or


A public official under the Public Administration Act 2004 includes employees of the public service, including the Head of a government department or an Administrative Office (such as the Secretary to the Department of Justice or the Chairman of the Environment Protection Authority) and the Victorian Public Sector Commissioner. It also includes the directors and staff of certain public entities, court staff, parliamentary officers and holders of certain statutory or prerogative offices.

b) an entity established by a statutory provision that has functions of a public nature; or


1 In section 38 of the Interpretation of Legislation Act 1984 entity is defined to include a person (both a human being and a legal person) and an unincorporated body.

2 See subsection (2) in relation to “functions of a public nature”.

c) an entity whose functions are or include functions of a public nature, when it is exercising those functions on behalf of the State or a public authority (whether under contract or otherwise); or

10 Protection from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment

A person must not be—

a) subjected to torture; or
b) treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way; or
c) subjected to medical or scientific experimentation or treatment without his or her full, free and informed consent.

17 Protection of families and children

(1) Families are the fundamental group unit of society and are entitled to be protected by society and the State.

(2) Every child has the right, without discrimination, to such protection as is in his or her best interests and is needed by him or her by reason of being a child.

20 Property rights

A person must not be deprived of his or her property other than in accordance with law.

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View the document on the Human Rights Commission website, at