The Victorian Parliament’s Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee has this week advertised for submissions on two bills, expressing particular interest in whether the bills unduly trespass on rights and freedoms (its non-Charter human rights scrutiny ground) or whether the bills are incompatible with the rights set out in the Charter (its Charter scrutiny function under Charter s. 30.)
The two bills are:
- Police Integrity Bill 2008: This is a new bill re-establishing the Office of Police Integrity and providing it with numerous powers to investigate police misconduct. The call for submissions is the result of the Legislative Council’s reference of the bill to SARC following the controversy of recent weeks. SARC’s initial report on the bill is here and the Ministerial response is here.
- Public Health and Welfare Bill 2008: This is a major rewrite of Victoria’s Health Act 1958, including a variety of health regulations including coercive powers for public emergencies and the management of people with infectious diseases, as well as numerous specific regimes for services ranging from hairdressing to prostitution. SARC has not yet reported on this bill. However, the bill is the product of a lengthy consultation by the Victorian government. The discussion papers and submissions are here. The bill’s enormous statement of compatibility is here.
Submissions and queries should go the SARC’s senior legal adviser, Andrew Homer (by e-mail) or to SARC Chair Carlo Carli (by mail, care of the Victorian Parliament.) The due date in both cases is Wednesday 28th May. (Note that SARC is always happy to receive submissions on every bill before parliament in relation to any of its terms of reference, whether it advertises for them or not.)