Victoria’s charter losing its lustre for public servants

For nearly a decade Victoria’s human rights charter has helped make human rights more central to the functions of the state’s public service. However, a recent “deprioritisation” of those obligations needs the intervention of the Secretaries Board, according to the latest review.

Although Victorian government agencies have been largely successful in creating a culture of human rights, the state appears to have dropped the ball more recently, according to a report on the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities tabled in state parliament on Thursday.

Michael Brett Young

Michael Brett Young

In March, shortly after assuming office the Andrews government appointed Michael Brett Young, former CEO of the Law Institute of Victoria, to lead the 2015 review of the charter, nine years after it was introduced by the Bracks government.

Handing down 52 recommendations on a range of issues, Young argued that while the Victorian Public Sector had had successes, there was more work to be done. “Over time, implementation of the charter has helped to build a greater consideration of and adherence to human rights principles by the public sector, parliament and the courts in key areas,” he said. “But this progress has stalled.”

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