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Katherine Smith (Media Unit): T: +613 8344 3845 M: 0402 460 147 E:

Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights will come under the spotlight at the annual Chancellor’s Human Rights Lecture at the University of Melbourne tomorrow.

The Honourable Stephen Charles QC, Former Judge on the Victorian Court of Appeal will present the free lecture in Theatre A of the Elisabeth Murdoch Building at 6pm on Tuesday, November 10.

Stephen Charles, QC, will address the potential effects of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights on the State’s criminal law and procedure, from the perspective of the European Convention of Human Rights, which has had a major impact on procedure and criminal law in Europe.

“The European Court of Human Rights has impacted the long established inquisitorial criminal procedure in Italy and France, forcing both countries to move much closer to the common law adversarial criminal procedure,” he says. 

“The move has caused consternation among judges, prosecutors and lawyers in both countries, and a constitutional crisis in Italy.

“The Charter brings about potential limitations on Parliament and the Courts concerning retrospective judgments, legal aid, the conduct of trials including cross-examination, bias in the tribunal and anti-terrorism legislation.

“How far will Victorian Courts be allowed to apply decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in relation to these and other matters?”

The University of Melbourne Chancellor’s Human Rights Lecture has been running since 2002.  Previous speakers include the Honourable Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG (Member of the High Court of Australia) and the Right Honourable Malcolm Fraser AC CH (former Prime Minister of Australia).

Event Details
What: 2009 Chancellor’s Human Rights Lecture
Presented by The Honourable Stephen Charles QC
”Victorian Charter of Human Rights and the Criminal Law – Perspectives from the European Convention on Human Rights”
When: Tuesday 10 November, 6pm
Where: Theatre A, Elisabeth Murdoch Building
University of Melbourne, Parkville
Booking enquiries: , 8344 6004