Section 32(1) of the Charter: Confining Statutory Discretions Compatibly with Charter Rights?

30 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2017 Last revised: 18 Sep 2017

See all articles by Bruce Chen

Bruce Chen

Monash University, Faculty of Law, Students

Date Written: September 17, 2016

Abstract

Parliament frequently enacts legislation which confers broad discretionary powers on decision-makers. Such statutory discretions are not at large — they are confined by principles of statutory interpretation. In Victoria, the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) (‘Charter’) has a role to play in interpreting statutes. Section 32(1) of the Charter provides that so far as it is possible consistently with their purpose, all statutory provisions must be interpreted in a way that is compatible with human rights. A question therefore arises as to whether discretions conferred by Victorian statutory provisions must be interpreted so that they may only be exercised compatibly with the human rights protected by the Charter. This article explores the issue. The answer is not as straightforward as it might first seem.

Keywords: Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic), section 32(1), domestic bill of rights, statutory discretions, statutory interpretation, principle of legality, eight-year review of the Victorian Charter

Suggested Citation

Chen, Bruce, Section 32(1) of the Charter: Confining Statutory Discretions Compatibly with Charter Rights? (September 17, 2016). Monash University Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper 2017/07. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2948917

Bruce Chen (Contact Author)

Monash University, Faculty of Law, Students ( email )

Melbourne
Australia

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