Housing Rights: HRLRC Seeks Leave to Intervene in Director of Housing v Sudi

On 6 September 2010, the Human Rights Law Resource Centre filed an application for leave to make submissions to the Victorian Court of Appeal in the matter of Director of Housing v Sudi.  The matter is an appeal from the decision of Bell J, sitting as President of VCAT, in Director of Housing v Sudi [2010] VCAT 328, in which his Honour held that the Director of Housing acted unlawfully under the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities in seeking to evict a Somali refugee and his two year old son from public housing without providing any justification. If granted leave, the HRLRC’s submissions are directed to the role that s 7(2) of the Charter plays in relation to:

  • s 38 of the Charter when assessing the lawfulness of actions or decisions of public authorities; and
  • the human rights contained in Pt 2, and particularly the right to privacy and reputation in s 13 and its express protection of a right against unlawful or arbitrary interference.

In essence, the HRLRC’s submissions will seek to address the following questions:

  • Is an action or decision of a public authority only unlawful within the meaning of s 38 of the Charter if that action or decision cannot be justified pursuant to s 7(2) of the Charter?
  • Is the scope of each of the rights enacted in Pt 2 of the Charter qualified by s 7(2) of the Charter?

The matter is listed for hearing by the Court of Appeal on 18 November 2010.