Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (12:22:502:): I too would like to just make some quick comments about the SARC Alert Digest No.1 of 2021, and I completely concur with Mrs McArthur. The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities is upheld by the role that the Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee plays.
It an absolutely crucial part of the act and of the reason we have the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities. The courts can do very little, as we heard in the briefing that we had yesterday. The courts can do very little to address any breaches of the charter.
SARC is actually one of the only places where concerns about breaches or infringements to that charter can be properly investigated and explored. So for ministers not to respond to what I think are very reasonable requests for further information—and, as we know, it is not like they have to say, ‘Yes, it’s compatible’.
Legislation passes this place all of the time that is not compatible with the charter, but we explain why it is justifiable—and to not explain that, I think, is very disappointing. It has great impact on the charter itself, and we cannot actually have faith in that act because we have lost some faith in the process because our ministers are not responding to the committee.