Rights, Responsibilities and Respect. The report by the Human Rights Consultation Committee Victoria was presented to the Victorian Government in November 2005. The report recommends that the Victorian Parliament should enact a Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities. It should be an ordinary Act of Parliament like human rights laws operating in the Australian Capital Territory, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. This would ensure the continuing sovereignty of the Victorian Parliament.
Accountability of Governments and Public Servants. The Melbourne Conversations and Future Leaders held a recent Forum on issues of accountability. Dr Helen Szoke, CEO Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, described the impact of new legislation. Mr Lex Lasry Q.C. emphasised the role of the legal profession in developing accountability. Dr Zoe Wainer, President of the AMA, described confusions in accountability and David Marr reviewed systemic failures. It appeared there is support for action now.
A landmark High Court decision has set a significant legal precedent. Victims of rape and other traumatic events who suffer psychological illness may be able to sue for compensation years later.
Book to read. Women and the Law in Australia, edited by Professor Patricia Easteal, AM, PhD and ACT Australian of the Year 2010. This book is an important milestone in the pursuit of justice and equity. It was launched in August 2010 by the Governor-General at the Australian Women Lawyers Conference. Her Excellency also wrote the foreword. The first of its kind, the book not only shows problems that women experience with the legal system, but acts as a hands-on resource for all people, including legal practitioners and policy-makers, providing practical advice and remedies for dealing with legal issues of importance to women. Each author contributes a thorough and rigorous review of gender issues in their own specialist areas of practice such as criminal, family, discrimination, employment, and commercial law. This includes an appreciation of the other legislative, bureaucratic and societal changes that are required to raise awareness and to bring about more change.CLICK for “Provocation no Excuse”.