It’s time to strengthen Australia’s equality laws

Rachel Ball
Federal

On 22 September 2011 the Attorney General and Minister for Finance and Deregulation released a public discussion paper to seek community views on the consolidation of Federal anti-discrimination laws.

The consolidation project aims, among other things, to ‘explore opportunities to improve the effectiveness of the legislation to address discrimination and provide equality of opportunity to participate and contribute to the social, economic and cultural life of our community.’ The discussion paper raises several questions around areas for reform, including definitions of discrimination, protected attributes, exceptions and exemptions from the anti-discrimination laws and complaints and compliance.

Submissions on issues raised in the discussion paper will be accepted until 1 February 2012 and exposure draft legislation will be released for further public consultation in early 2012.

Resources on equality law reform — including materials from the Human Rights Law Centre’s Reforming Australia’s Equality Law conference — are available at http://www.equalitylaw.org.au.

RACHEL BALL is director of policy and campaigns at the Human Rights Law Centre.

(2011) 36(4) AltLJ 279
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