A Right to Birth Registration in the Victorian Charter? - Seek and You Shall Not Find
Monash University Law Review, Vol. 36, No. 1, 2011
33 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2012
Date Written: 2011
Many people have placed Victoria on a pedestal because it was the first (and still only) state in Australia to have enacted human rights legislation. The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities 2006 (Vic) replicates many of the rights protected in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, but notably fails to include art 24(2) which recognizes the right to birth registration. This omission is likely to have a disproportionately negative impact on Indigenous Victorians who, it has recently been discovered, are experiencing difficulties in their dealing with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Many Indigenous people are being denied basic rights of citizenship such as obtaining a driver's license or passport because they are unable to provide a copy of their birth certificate; the universally accepted proof of identity document. This article explores the problems faced by Indigenous Victorians in relation to birth registration and birth certificates, and analyses the extent to which the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities 2006 (Vic) can provide redress, notwithstanding the absence of a specific provision regarding the right to birth registration.
Keywords: indigenous Victorians, birth registration, human rights, Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities
JEL Classification: K00, K10, K19, K20, K29, K30, K33, K39, K40, K49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation