Although the State of Victoria is not a direct signatory to the international instruments to which Australia is a party, the obligations undertaken by the Commonwealth are nonetheless applicable to Victoria. Article 50 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), for example, provides that the ICCPR’s guarantees ‘extend to all parts of federal States without any limitations or exceptions.’
The Commonwealth is obliged to guarantee that the laws and activities of State and Territory governments conform with the ICCPR. For example, the United Nations Human Rights Committee that hears complaints under the First Optional Protocol to the ICCPR found a breach of human rights by the Commonwealth where the impugned law was a Tasmanian law rather than a Commonwealth law. Thus, whilst any breach is attributed to the Commonwealth, it is directly referable to the actions of a State.
The following rights are applicable to all States and Territories of Australia.