ICJ Victoria condemns the conduct of Victoria Police members, urges the elimination of discrimination against Trans, Gender Diverse and Gender Non-Confirming persons
The International Commission of Jurists (Victoria) condemns the conduct of members of the Victoria Police for illicitly taking and publishing photographs of an individual in police custody presenting as gender diverse.
Article 2 of the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials recognises the universal obligation of law enforcement officials to respect and protect human dignity and maintain and uphold the human rights of all persons. The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities further underscores the obligations held by all public authorities in Victoria to give proper consideration to human rights.
The Yogyakarta Principles guarantee the fundamental rights of gender diverse persons to non-discrimination, security of the person and the right to privacy.
ICJ Victoria is concerned that the publication of these photographs is an act of discrimination against an individual on the basis of their gender identity. It is a violation of their privacy and security of person. It is an act that fails to respect the inherent dignity of the person in the photographs, and all gender diverse or gender non-conforming people.
Article 4 of the UN Code of Conduct of Law Enforcement Officials maintains that “matters of a confidential nature in the possession of law enforcement officials shall be kept confidential, unless the performance of duty or the needs of justice strictly require otherwise.” Unlawful disclosure of confidential material in police possession is wholly improper. It undermines the public’s trust in law enforcement authorities and contravenes international principle.
ICJ Victoria commends the internal investigation and a professional standards investigation which are ongoing within Victoria Police. ICJ Victoria urges a further independent review of TGD policies and procedures within Victoria Police, and the implementation of sensitivity and human rights training throughout its police force.
For further comment, contact Guy Gilbert SC, Chair ICJ Victoria
Yogyakarta Principles: https://www.icj.org/yogyakarta-principles/
Yogyakarta +10: https://yogyakartaprinciples.org/principles-en/yp10/
UN OHCHR Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Authorities: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/LawEnforcementOfficials.aspx