The main Victorian Acts relevant to Over the Rainbow are listed below in alphabetical order. The subject matter of the Act is summarised and sections relevant to the topics discussed on the OTR website are highlighted. It may be useful to check these summaries before consulting a particular Act.

To read the full text of the Acts, go to the Victorian State Government's legislation website.

Then, for the most recently consolidated text of a principal Act, click on the sidebar link called 'Victorian Law Today'.

Or, for the original unamended text of any Act, and for the text of amending Acts such as the Statute Law Amendment (Relationships) Act 2001 and the Statute Law Further Amendment (Relationships) Act 2001, click on the sidebar link to the 'Statute Book' 

The consolidated text of State and Commonwealth Acts can also be found on the website of the Australasian Legal Information Institute at http://www.austlii.edu.au . The text of Acts may not be updated there as often as on government websites.

Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic.)

Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic.)

Adoption Act 1984 (Vic.)

Births Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 (Vic.)

Births Deaths and Marriages Regulations 1997 (Vic.)

Children and Young Persons Act 1989 (Vic.)

Coroners Act 1985 (Vic.)

Crimes Act 1958 (Vic.)

Crimes (Family Violence) Act 1987 (Vic.)

Duties Act 2000 (Vic.)

Equal Opportunity Act 1995 (Vic.)

Evidence Act 1958 (Vic.)

Guardianship and Administration Act 1986 (Vic.)

Health Act 1958 (Vic.)

Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 2001 (Vic.)

Health Records Act 2001 (Vic.)

Human Tissue Act 1982 (Vic.)

Infertility Treatment Act 1995 (Vic.)

Information Privacy Act 2000 (Vic.)

Instruments Act 1958 (Vic.)

Medical Treatment Act 1988 (Vic.)

Property Law Act 1958 (Vic.)

Residential Tenancy Act 1997 (Vic.)

Status of Children Act 1974 (Vic.)

Statute Law Amendment (Relationships) Act 2001 (Vic.)

Statute Law Further Amendment (Relationships) Act 2001 (Vic.)

Summary Offences Act 1966 (Vic.)

Transport Accident Act 1986 (Vic.)

Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Vic.)

Wills Act 1997 (Vic.)

Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic.)

This Act provides for a system of rehabilitation and return to work for injured workers, and compensation for work-related death and injury in Victoria. It establishes the Victorian WorkCover Authority and sets out the rules for resolving disputes, managing compensation claims and paying benefits to claimants.

Sections to note:

s.5 defines 'dependant', 'partner' (before and after 8 November 2001) and 'domestic partner'

s.92A allows death compensation for children and dependent partners

Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic.)

This Act sets out the rules for the distribution of the property left by a person who has died (their 'estate'), either with or without a Will ('intestacy').

Sections to note:

s.3 defines 'partner' and 'domestic partner'

s.37A allows a partner to obtain an interest in the shared home on intestacy

s.51 covers distribution of the estate if the intestate leaves a partner (spouse or domestic partner)

s.51A covers distribution of the estate if the intestate leaves both a spouse and a domestic partner

s.52 covers shares of next of kin on intestacy

s.91 lists the factors relevant in a family provision claim

Adoption Act 1984 (Vic.)

This Act governs the adoption of children in Victoria, including who may adopt a child and who may be adopted. Gay and lesbian couples are excluded as couples although individuals may adopt 'in special circumstances' which are not specifed by the Act.

Sections to note:

s.3 defines 'de facto relationship' as being between a man and woman only

ss.10A, 11 limit adoption to couples (i.e. man and woman). Individuals may adopt only in special circumstances.

Births Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 (Vic.)

This Act makes it compulsory for every birth, death and marriage in Victoria to be officially registered and sets up an official registration system. It also allows a person to register a change of name but not currently one of gender.

Sections to note:

ss. 14, 15, 16, 18 set out responsibilities in relation to registering a birth

s.42 gives the Registrar power to require information to be provided, with a penalty for not complying

s.52 gives VCAT power to review decision of Registrar, says who can apply

s.53 makes it an offence to give false information to the Registrar, sets penalty

Births Deaths and Marriages Regulations 1997 (Vic.)

Regulation 7 lists the information to be included in a birth registration statement. This relates to both biological parents.

 No notes.

Children and Young Persons Act 1989 (Vic.)

This Act sets up a system for the protection of children and determines how the legal system is to deal with children charged with or found guilty of offences. It also establishes the Children's Court. Part 3 (ss.57-126A) deals with the Protection of Children. Part 4 (ss.127-260) deals with Children and the Criminal Law. Due to the legal recognition of domestic partners as well as to changes to the definition of parent in this Act, the Act is potentially relevant to anyone whose partner has a child.

Section to note:

s.3(1) contains definitions of 'child', 'parent' and 'domestic partner' (see also s. 3 (1A))

s.18 covers procedure for the Children's Court, including who can participate

ss.66-70 cover rules and procedures in protective intervention

s.73 covers Interim Accommodation Orders and who can apply

s.76 entitles a parent to know/be told a child's whereabouts

Coroners Act 1985 (Vic.)

This Act establishes the office of the State Coroner and it requires certain deaths to be reported to the Coroner. These include unexpected, accidental, violent or unnatural deaths; deaths appearing to result from a crime; deaths in care or in police custody; and deaths where the person's identity is unknown. The Act also sets out the procedures for conduct of investigations (including autopsies) and inquests by coroners.

Sections to note:

s.3 defines 'domestic partner'

s. 29 gives senior next of kin (includes domestic partner) right to object to autopsy being performed. Time limits apply.

Crimes Act 1958 (Vic.)

This Act consolidates the law relating to crimes (serious offences generally carrying prison terms) and criminal offenders.

Part I deals with Offences, and Division 1 of this Part (ss.3-70AA) deals with Offences against the Person. These include assaults, threats, sexual offences, stalking, and sexual offences against children. The 'age of consent' rules are found in this Division. Division 3 of this Part deals with Criminal Damage to Property (ss.196-247).

Part III deals with Procedures and Punishments, and Division 1 of this Part (ss.456AA-470) gives the police powers to stop, question, arrest, detain people in custody, and gives rules relating to searches and seizures, warrants, fingerprinting, body and DNA samples and other physical evidence.

Part VI (ss. 566-584) deals with Appeals.

Sections to note:

Violent crimes:

ss.16,17, 18, 24 deal with actions causing injury

ss.20 & 21 deal with threats to kill or injure

ss. 19A, 22, 23 create offences which can be applied to intentionally or carelessly transmitting HIV

s.21A provides for an application for an Intervention Order under the Crimes (Family Violence) Act in the case of stalking

s.31 deals with assaulting or obstructing police

Sexual offences:

s.35 gives definitions relevant to sexual offences

s.36 defines 'consent'

ss.38, 39 & 40 deal with rape and indecent assault

ss. 45, 47, 47A deal with sex with young people under 16

ss.48 & 49 deal with sex with young people of 16 or 17

Crimes (Family Violence) Act 1987 (Vic.)

This Act allows magistrates to issue Intervention Orders in cases of family violence. Individuals can use Intervention Orders to protect themselves from violent partners or family members without having to have them arrested or charged with a crime. Part 2 (ss. 4-8) covers Intervention Orders and part 3 (ss.9-18AAB) covers the procedure for obtaining an Order.

Sections to note:

s.3 defines 'domestic partner' and 'aggrieved family member'

s. 18A allows for seizure of firearms

s.18AB allows for entry and search of premises

s.22 makes breach of an Intervention Order an offence

Duties Act 2000 (Vic.)

This Act creates a number of State government duties (taxes). These include duties on mortgages and insurance policies, on the sale and transfer of land, and motor vehicle registration. Domestic partners are now exempt from paying certain duties in certain circumstances (e.g. transferring real estate from one partner to the other). Ch. 2 covers Transactions concerning Property, Ch. 3 covers Transactions treated as Transfers, Ch. 7 covers Mortgages and Ch. 9 covers Motor Vehicles.

Sections to note:

s.3 defines 'domestic partner', 'domestic relationship', 'partner' and 'relative'

s.43 covers transfer of property in a marriage or domestic relationship

s.44 covers transfer of property in the breakdown of a marriage or domestic relationship

s. 229 exempts benenficiaries of an estate from duty on the transfer of a motor registration

s.235 covers transfer of a motor registration in the breakdown of a marriage or domestic partnership

Equal Opportunity Act 1995 (Vic.)

This Act aims to promote the right to equality of opportunity, to eliminate discrimination on the basis of various attriibutes and to eliminate sexual harassment. It also provides mechanisms for redressing discrimination and sexual harassment.

Sections to note:

s.4 defines 'domestic partner','gender identity', 'impairment', 'lawful sexual activity', 'marital status', 'parent', 'relative' (now includes domestic partner), 'sexual orientation'

s.6 sets out all the attributes (incl. sexual orientation and gender identity) on the basis on which discrimination is prohibited in specific areas

ss.7, 8 & 9 define discrimination, direct and indirect

Part 3 (ss. 13-68) sets out all the areas (e.g. education, employment, sport) in which discrimination is prohibited and gives specific exceptions

Part 4 (ss. 69-84) lists general exemptions (e.g. religious bodies)

s.85 defines sexual harassment

ss. 86-95 prohibit sexual harassment

Evidence Act 1958 (Vic.)

This Act deals with how evidence may be obtained and used in court proceedings and inquiries. It covers witness testimony and court appearances, documentary and recorded evidence, legal privilege and professional confidentiality, and the taking of oaths and affirmations.

Sections to note:

s.107A sets out who can witness statutory declarations

Guardianship and Administration Act 1986 (Vic.)

This Act enables a person with a disability (includes dementia or a brain injury) to have a guardian or administrator appointed when they need one. Part 4 (ss.19-35E) covers Guardianship Orders; Part 4A covers Medical and Other Treatment; and Part 5 (ss.43-60) covers Adminstration Orders.

Sections to note:

s.3 defines 'disability', 'domestic partner', 'enduring guardian', 'guardian', 'nearest relative' (now includes domestic partner), and 'primary carer'

s.24 lists the powers of a guardian

ss.32, 33 allow for appointment of a temporary guardian

s.35A allows for appointment of an enduring guardian and an alternative enduring guardian in case the enduring guardian is incapable of acting or is absent for a period

s.37 lists the 'persons responsible' for making treatment decisions for an adult who is disabled (this includes a person with a brain injury, dementia or other mental impairment) and who is incapable of making these decisions

Schedule 4, Form 1 is the form used to appoint an enduring guardian and an alternative enduring guardian

Schedule 4, Form 2 is the form used to revoke the appointment of an enduring guardian and an alternative enduring guardian

Health Act 1958 (Vic.)

This Act relates to public health and ranges widely across public sanitation, health nuisance, radiation and fire safety, control of infectious disease, immunisation etc. Part VI (ss.118-138) deals with Management and Control of Infectious Diseases. Within that Part, Division 6 creates special powers relating to HIV (ss.127-130) and Division 7 relates to Blood and Tissue Donation (ss.131-136).

Sections to note:

s.3 defines 'HIV', 'infectious disease', 'specified infectious disease' and 'parent'

s. 119 sets out principles applying to the operation of the infectious disease provisions of the Act

s. 120 makes it an offence to knowingly or recklessly infect someone else with an infectious disease

s.120D prohibits disclosure of the identity of a person being tested for an infectious disease

s.121 gives the Health Dept powers to order testing, counselling, isolation and detention of a person reasonably suspected of carrying an infectious disease

s.128 requires service providers to protect the privacy of a person being tested for HIV

s.144 requires parents to give a school an immunisation certificate before enrolling a child

Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 2001 (Vic.)

Regulations to note:

Parts 3, 4 & 5,

Schedule 2 lists infectious diseases

Schedule 3 lists notifiable diseases (i.e. that must be reported to the Health Dept)

Health Records Act 2001 (Vic.)

This Act protects the privacy of individuals' health records and gives individuals a right of access to their records. It also provides a framework for resolving complaints about the handling of health information. Part 3 (ss.18-21) concerns Privacy of health information, Part 4 contains Guidelines, Part 5 (ss.25-42) covers Access to health information, Part 6 covers Complaints and Part 7 sets out Offences under this Act.

Sections to note:

s.3 defines 'domestic partner', 'health information', 'personal information', 'parent', 'relative' and 'immediate family member' (includes domestic partner and a person's nominee)

s. 19 establishes and Schedule 1 contains the Health Privacy Principles

Schedule 1 contains the Health Privacy Principles

Human Tissue Act 1982 (Vic.)

This Act provides for the removal of human tissue (e.g. for transplants, during autopsies etc.) and prohibits trading in human tissue.

Sections to note:

s.3 defines 'domestic partner', 'next of kin', 'senior available next of kin'

s. 26 gives the senior next of kin power to authorise tissue removal after death

s. 32 covers authorising tissue to be used for anatomical purposes

Infertility Treatment Act 1995 (Vic.)

This Act regulates the use of donor insemination, in vitro and other human fertilisation procedures in Victoria and access to information about these. It regulates research using human embryos in Victoria and promotes research into the incidence and causes of human infertility. It prohibits surrogacy arrangements.

Sections to note:

s.3 defines 'de facto relationship', 'artificial insemination'

s. 5 contains guiding principles for the Act

ss. 6 and 7 limit the lawful carrying out of fertilisation and donor insemination procedures, and create penalties for contravention

s.8(1) provides that procedures are only available to a woman who is married or in de facto relationship

s.8(3) provides that a doctor must be satisfied that the woman is unlikely to become pregnant without having an infertility procedure

s.59 prohibits surrogacy arrangements and sets a penalty

s.62 requires there to be a register of donors

ss.71, 72, 73, 76, 79, 80, 82 set out information to be recorded about the donor, the child and the parents

Sections that are inoperative following the McBain case to the extent that they depend on a marriage or de facto requirement (see Case Law Digest): ss.8(1), (2), and (3); 9(1)(b); 10(1)(a) and (b), 10(2); 11(1) and (2); 18(1)(a) and (c); 20(1), (2) and (3); 21; 62(2)(d); 63(2)(c); 66(c); 67(1) and (4)(a); 71(1), (2), (3), (6), (7), (8) and (9); 72(1), (3), (4), (5), (7) and (8).

Information Privacy Act 2000 (Vic.)

This Act establishes a regime for the collection and handling of personal information in the Victorian public sector based on a set of Information Privacy Principles. Individuals have a right of access to information collected about them and a right to have information corrected. The Act establishes a Privacy Commissioner and provides remedies for when a person's information privacy has been interfered with.

Sections to note:

s. 3 defines 'parent', 'personal information'

s.14 establishes the Information Privacy Principles

Schedule 1 sets out the Information Privacy Principles

ss. 15 & 16 cover application of the principles and require organisations to comply with them

ss. 18 & 19 provide for approved Codes of Practice

Part 5 (ss. 25-43) covers Complaints and Conciliation

Part 6 (ss. 44-49) covers Enforcement

s. 64 defines 'authorised representative' and gives them right to consent to or exercise access to information on behalf of an incompetent person

Instruments Act 1958 (Vic.)

This Act consolidates the law about legal instruments and securities (e.g. insurance policies, some contracts, bonds etc.). Powers of Attorney are covered in Part XI (ss. 104-118).

Sections to note:

ss. 104 defines 'enduring power of attorney'

Schedule 12 contains the form for a General Power of Attorney

Schedule 13 contains the form for an Enduring Power of Attorney

Medical Treatment Act 1988 (Vic.)

This Act protects patients' right to refuse medical treatment and gives them a way to clearly express their wishes in relation to treatment. It also enables an incompetent patient's agent to make a treatment decision on their behalf.

Sections to note:

s. 3 defines 'agent', 'palliative care' 'medical treatment'

s. 5 allows for a refusal of treatment by a patient

ss. 5A, 5AA, 5B cover what agents, guardians and alternate agents can do

Schedule 1 gives the form of the Refusal of Treatment certificate

Schedule 2 gives the form of an Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment)

Schedule 3 gives the form of Refusal of Treatment Certificate to be used by an Agent or Guardian for a legally incompetent person

Property Law Act 1958 (Vic.)

This Act consolidates the law relating to conveyancing and the law of property. Part IX (ss.275-302) covers Property of Domestic Partners. Under this Part, separating same-sex partners now have access to a statutory system of property division that is more clear-cut than having to rely on common law as they did before.

Sections to note:

s. 275(1) defines 'child', 'domestic partner', 'domestic relationship' and 'property'

s.275(2) lists factors to be considered in determing whether there is a domestic relationship

s. 276 contains transitional provisions affecting whether a separating couple are covered by this Part or not

ss. 280 & 281 set other eligibility provisions (e.g. length of relationship, Victorian residence)

s. 285 gives the court power to adjust couple's property interests

s.284 requires the court to finalise the couple's financial relationship in its orders

s.291 sets out the powers of the court

Residential Tenancy Act 1997 (Vic.)

This Act defines the rights and duties of landlords and tenants, rooming house owners and residents, and caravan and caravan park owners and residents. It sets up a dispute resolution system and a system for administering bonds.

Sections to note:

s. 3 defines 'domestic partner'. 'lamdlord', 'tenant', 'resident'

s.67 gives tenants a right to 'quiet enjoyment' (privacy)

s.122 gives rooming house residents a right to privacy

s.177 gives caravan park residents a right to privacy

Status of Children Act 1974 (Vic.)

This Act removes the 'legal disabilities' (i.e. illegitimacy) of children born outside marriage. It also covers children born through donor insemination or other fertility treatment procedures (see Part II (ss.10A-10F)).

Sections to note:

s.3 gives all children equal status

s.7 covers recognition of paternity

s.8 covers evidence of paternity

s.10F removes parental rights and liabilities from a sperm donor

Statute Law Amendment (Relationships) Act 2001 (Vic.)

Statute Law Further Amendment (Relationships) Act 2001 (Vic.)

These Acts amended various other Acts in relation to domestic relationships and to recognise the rights and obligations of partners in domestic relationships.

Summary Offences Act 1966 (Vic.)

This Act sets out certain Police Offences (e.g littering, nuisance, setting fires, rioting, offensive behaviour in public.)

Sections to note:

s.3 defines 'public place'

s.17 (1)(d) covers indecent or offensive behaviour in a public place

Transport Accident Act 1986 (Vic.)

This Act sets up a compensation system for people injured or killed in transport accidents. Part 3 (ss. 34-62) covers compensation.

Sections to note:

s.3 defines 'dependant', 'child', 'dependent (domestic) partner'

s. 35 sets out who is entitled to compensation

ss. 57 & 58 cover death benefits for a surviving partner

Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Vic.)

This Act provides for financial and other assistance to victims of crime.

Sections to note:

s.3 defines 'close family member', 'dependant', 'domestic partner', 'parent', 'victim'

ss.7-8A define primary victim and outline available assistance

ss.9-10A define secondary victim and outline available assistance

ss.11-13 define related victim and outline available assistance

s.10A defines family member (in relation to secondary victim) to include domestic partner

Wills Act 1997 (Vic.)

This Act sets out with the law in Victoria relating to Wills. Part 2 (ss.4-19) covers the Making, Alteration and Revocation of Wills. The Act also has rules about how Wills are to be interpreted.

Sections to note:

s.3 defines 'domestic partner'

s.11 allows a beneficiary of a will to witness it

s.50 sets out who is entitled to see a Will

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