In 2020, the ACT Legislative Assembly passed a new law which establishes a Charter of Victims Rights. This Charter commenced on 1 January 2021 and can be found in the Victims of Crime Act 1994 (ACT). The Charter of Victims Rights contains a list of specific rights for victims of crime in the ACT that justice agencies must uphold, in addition to their human rights.
There are five categories of rights in the Charter of Victims Rights:
The Charter also gives the ACT Human Rights Commission the power to hear complaints about victims rights. If you are a victim of a crime in the ACT and feel that a justice agency has not respected your rights, you can:
You do not need to make an internal complaint with the justice agency before making a complaint to the ACT Human Rights Commission.
You are a victim of crime if you suffer harm through experiencing or witnessing a crime. If you are a victim of crime in the ACT, you have protected rights under the Charter of Victims Rights.
After a crime occurs, many justice agencies are involved. For example, the Police, the Courts and the DPP. These justice agencies must respect your rights as a victim of crime. For example, they must all treat you respectfully, maintain your privacy, and provide you with accessibility assistance.
You can make a complaint to the ACT Human Rights Commission if you believe that your victims rights may not have been respected by a justice agency.