The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission seeks to contribute to the Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee’s consideration of the Children and Justice Legislation Amendment (Youth Justice Reform) Bill 2017.

The Commission has provided a submission on the Exposure Draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill.

The submission focuses on section 47A of the Bill, which allows marriage celebrants to refuse to solemnise same sex marriages on the basis of conscientious or religious belief. 

The Commission takes the view that the provision is potentially incompatible with Australia’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights, specifically the right to equality. Furthermore, the Commission is concerned that the Bill does not define the concept of conscientious belief in s 47A and instead introduces a concept in the legislative drafting that may pave the way for unjustifiable discrimination in the provision of marriage services. Finally, s 47A may raise questions of inconsistency in respect of Victoria's Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.

Download a copy of the Commission's submission below.


A Bill introduced into Victorian Parliament on 5 February 2013 amending the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 will limit the entitlement of children aged under 10 to legal representation in child protection proceedings and prevent all children aged under 10 from giving direct instructions to lawyers in these proceedings.

The final Taxi Inquiry report Customers First: Service, Safety, Choice, was tabled in the Parliament of Victoria on 12 December 2012. This long awaited report of the Taxi Industry Inquiry makes 139 recommendations to reform the taxi industry to improve the way taxis are licensed, operated and regulated.

The Commission's submission to Government on the recommendations in the final report focuses on the need to improve the poor standards of service to people with disability, including unacceptably long wait times or non-attendance, a need for improved driver training, and safety issues.

The submission refers to the Commission's Time to Respond reports, as well as previous submissions (July 2012 and June 2011) made to the Inquiry.

The Australian Council of Human Rights Agencies, of which the Commission is a member, made a submission to Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee about the exposure draft Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012 on 21 December 2012. The submission focuses on the practical issues associated with the Bill and makes a series of recommendations that would strengthen and improve the Bill. The submission also responds to concerns that have been raised since the Bill was released for comment, such as the definition of discrimination, exceptions to discrimination, and compliance powers and mechanisms.

The Commission's submission on the Justice Legislation (Infringement Offences) Amendment Bill 2011, which was tabled in Parliament on 3 May 2011, takes the form of a letter to the Chair of the Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee. The Bill proposes to make permanent the infringement system in relation to offences dealing with offensive or indecent language and a number of alcohol-related offences.

This submission was made in response to the Guardianship Consultation Paper prepared by the Victorian Law Reform Commission to inform its review of Victoria’s guardianship laws. This review is significant because it is the first time Victoria’s guardianship laws have been looked at through a human rights lens to ensure they are consistent with rights protected under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission has made a submission to the Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee (SARC) on the four-year review of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006.



The Commission has made a submission in response to the Department of Justice Discussion Paper, 'Failure to protect' laws, which sets out the Victorian Government’s intention to create two separate offences for adults who fail to take action when they know or believe a child who they have custody or care of, or live in the same household as, is suffering sexual abuse or abuse that may result in serious injury or death, or when a child they were living in the same household as dies due to child abuse and the adult was aware of the abuse and its seriousness.

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission's input into the age assessment in people smuggling cases (Inquiry).

The Commission made a brief submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry into the detention of Indonesian minors in Australia, examining the human rights implications of the pre-charge detention of individuals suspected of people smuggling.

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