LAW5422 - Victorian charter of rights and responsibilities - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Chief examiner(s)

Kate Eastman SC Personal ProfilePersonal Profile (

Quota applies

Postgraduate programs are based on a model of small group teaching and therefore class sizes need to be restricted.

Not offered in 2018


LAW5007 Principles of constitutional law and LAW5014 Principles of administrative law


In 2006, Victoria enacted the landmark Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act (2006) ('Charter'), which incorporates civil and political rights into the domestic law of Victoria. The Charter provides a domestic avenue for the resolution of human rights disputes that were previously addressed in a piecemeal fashion under non-human rights specific laws and, on occasion, referred to unenforceable international fora for dispute resolution. This unit focuses on the history, development and operation of the Charter.

Students undertaking this unit will study the history, development and theoretical framework of the Charter within the Victorian, Australian and comparative settings. Students will consider the different structures and mechanisms employed by comparative human rights instruments, and the impact these differences have on the relevance of those instruments to the Charter.

Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of how the Charter operates in Victoria by thoroughly and critically exploring the scope of the rights, the powers to place restrictions on rights, the impact of the Victorian Charter on the development and interpretation of legislation, the impact of the Victorian Charter on public authorities, and the complex relationships that are established between various entities under the Charter. The analytical approach to the material will enable students to contribute to debate about reform of the Charter.

The unit will also develop various skills of students, including statutory interpretation and jurisprudence analysis.

This unit will appeal to all students, particularly those with an interest in human rights, constitutional law, administrative law, social justice and law reform.


Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Apply knowledge and understanding of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) (Victorian Charter) to hypothetical and real life situations.
  2. Comprehend the similarities and differences to comparative regimes such as those in the UK and the ACT.
  3. Investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in relation to the Victorian Charter.
  4. Contribute to debate about reform of the Victorian Charter
  5. Conduct research on the Victorian Charter based on knowledge of appropriate research principles and methods.
  6. Use cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate at an abstract level complex ideas and concepts relevant to the Victorian Charter.


Option A:

One research assignment (3,750 words): 50%

One take-home examination (3,750 words): 50%

Option B:

One research assignment (5,625 words): 75%

One take-home examination (1,875 words): 25%

Workload requirements

Students enrolled in this unit will be provided with 24 contact hours of seminars per semester whether intensive, semi-intensive, or semester-long offering.