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Human Rights Charter

In Victoria, all public authorities including local councils, must comply with the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities. The Charter does not over-ride existing Local Laws or Policies. However, Council must still make decisions and undertake actions in compliance with the Charter.

Which Rights are Protected in the Charter?

The Charter sets out 20 basic human rights that are protected under the Act, these relate to Freedom, Respect, Equality and Dignity (FRED).

The Charter also requires that all statutory provision be interpreted so far as is possible in a way that is compatible with human rights.


  • Freedom from forced work
  • Freedom of movement
  • Freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief
  • Freedom of expression
  • Right to peaceful assembly and freedom of association
  • Property rights
  • Right to liberty and security of person
  • Fair hearing
  • Rights in criminal proceedings
  • Right not to be tried and punished more than once
  • Protection from retrospective criminal laws.


  • Right to life
  • Protection of families and children
  • Cultural rights, including recognition that human rights have a special importance for the Aboriginal people of Victoria.


  • Recognition and equality before the law
  • Entitlement to participate in public life (including voting)


  • Prohibition on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
  • Protection of privacy and reputation
  • Humane treatment when deprived of liberty
  • Appropriate treatment of children in the criminal process.

For more information on the Charter visit the Human Rights Commission website by clicking here


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