Discrimination law review news

As part of the Australian Government’s Human Rights Framework the Government has announced it is reviewing Australia’s federal anti-discrimination laws, including the Disability Discrimination Act, with the intention of consolidating federal anti-discrimination legislation into one single comprehensive law and making rights and obligations clearer and easier to understand.

The Government has funded the Human Rights Law Centre to assist in getting effective public input.

Below is news from the Centre about their new Equality Law Website:

“We’re pleased to introduce a new website we have created to facilitate NGO input and engagement with the Federal Government’s Consolidation Project. The website contains background information about the project, links to publicly available submissions and other useful resources and details of upcoming meetings and events.

The site features a fantastic inaugural blog by Simon Rice.  Upcoming blogs will include a piece by the Attorney-General as well as international and domestic experts and commentators on equality, users of the anti-discrimination system, and representatives of interest groups affected by the laws. The website also has a notice board so you can contribute to the discussion and share information about any upcoming events and developments.  For tweeps, the site also includes a twitter feed which posts tweets containing the hash tag #actforequality.

We hope this website proves to be a useful resource and organising tool for the NGO sector throughout the course of this project.  Please let us know if you have any suggestions for the site, including any news, events, submissions or resources that we should post.

Kind regards
Rachel, Anna & Tom
Human Rights Law Centre”

And this Update:

“We’ve posted a new guest blog on the equality law website!  The blog – a fantastic piece on the centrality of equality to the advancement of rights – is written by Madam Justice Claire L’Heureux-Dubé, a retired judge of the Supreme Court of Canada. The website has also been updated to include the Human Rights Law Centre’s submission on addressing systemic discrimination and details of an upcoming panel discussion on women on boards, presented by Victorian Women Lawyers. Thanks to those who have provided feedback on the site.  As always, we welcome any suggestions for future posts.”

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One Response to Discrimination law review news

  1. Peter Viney says:

    The new law should enable the Commission to investigate and make legally enforceable determinations in respect of breaches of discrimination laws. The Commission would then be required to defend its decisions before the courts if required. This is similar to other arrangements relating to workplace safety etc. A legally sanctioned conciliation process should also be included prior to the determination stage.

    The reason for this suggestion is that in practice it can cost many tens of thousands of dollars to litigate a matter (a figure of $60K was mentioned in the recent case of a former Woodside executive to resolve a sex discrimination matter). For many people with a disability this denies them the practical potential to exercise their rights. The proposed arrangements would ensure that discrimination rights existed in practice for all Australians.

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