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Comments on Amendments to the Discrimination Act

Published on July 6, 2022

The Bill provides a welcome requirement for organisations to step up and take active measures to put in place additional frameworks which prevent discriminatory practices. Through our submission we will comment on issues in the draft that are relevant to the rights of people with disability, however we note the broader remit of the legislation. We have made recommendations that aim to preserve the flexibility of the draft amendments and allow it to applied to the unique circumstance of people with disabilities to achieve the best human rights outcomes. Issues of competing human rights are highly complex and context specific, and thus we promote solutions which allow for flexibility and nuance.
As a general comment we recommend:
• Providing more definitions throughout the Act to improve clarity
• The guidance and educative material accompanying the legislation is important – for instance it would be good to have cameos to explore the operation of the bill in different circumstances
• Expanding the regulation-making power provided to the Executive under the Act
• Requiring the Executive consider whether human rights requirements have been satisfied in making regulations under the Act
• That there be investment in community education, compliance frameworks and other resources for advocates and the ACTHRCto ensure that non-government sectors undertake an active program to identify and remove discriminatory practice during the three year period between it being enacted and coming into force

Read all our comments below