Victorian courts and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal have important roles to play when it comes to interpreting the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities (the Charter) and applying it to the facts of particular cases.
The Charter gives the Attorney-General and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission a statutory right to intervene in legal proceedings where a question of law arises about the application of the Charter or the interpretation of another law in light of the Charter.
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What does it mean to intervene in a court case?
When the Attorney-General or the Commission intervene, they become parties to the case, but they do not represent or act as an advocate for either side in a case. They are there to put forward views on the Charter and how it should be interpreted and applied.
The Attorney-General comes to this role as the first law officer in Victoria with general responsibility for Victorian laws, the legal system and the Victorian Government’s role within that system. The Attorney-General is also the Government Minister responsible for the Charter.
The Commission is the regulatory body for human rights and equal opportunity in Victoria. It is an advocate for the law and has statutory functions under the Charter for promoting the Charter and human rights.