Myth 2: Judges would be able to effectively change the law under a Human Rights Act


The myth
:  The proposed Human Rights Act would allow judges to effectively change laws passed by Parliament by "interpreting" legislation so that it is compatible with human rights.


The reality: 
Under a Human Rights Act, judges would have the power to interpret legislation so that it is compatible with human rights, but only where that interpretation is - in the words of the National Human Rights Consultation Report - "consistent with Parliament's purpose in enacting the legislation".  Parliament can reverse any interpretation by changing the words of the legislation.  Indeed, in Victoria, which already has human rights legislation, the Parliament acted swiftly to reverse a rights-compatible interpretation of legislation relating to supervision orders for serious sex offenders. The amendment made the legislation harsher and less human rights compliant.