Anti-discrimination laws in force in Victoria include:
- Equal Opportunity A written law made by parliament. Also called an ‘Act of parliament’, ‘statute’ or legislation. 2010 (Vic) (‘Equal Opportunity Act’);
- Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 (Vic) (‘Racial and Religious Tolerance Act’);
- Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth);
- Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth);
- Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth);
- Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth);
- Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth).
These laws make discrimination unlawful in a range of areas of public life, including in employment, education, sport, the provision of goods and services, the provision of accommodation, and in certain government activities.
Discrimination and victimisation that occur in the workplace may also be covered by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (‘Fair Work Act’). For further information about the Fair Work Act, see Chapter 11.5: Employment contracts, awards and agreements.
The overlap between Commonwealth and Victorian laws is complex. Generally, a complaint of discrimination cannot be made under both Commonwealth and state Statutory rules made by parliament or by bodies the parliament delegates power to, for example a local council or a registration authority. See delegated legislation; statute. at the same time, so it is important to choose the appropriate avenue.
Generally, discrimination legislation enables people who have experienced certain forms of discrimination to access confidential dispute resolution and A form of alternative dispute resolution. The parties negotiate with the help of an independent person called a conciliator. The aim is to sort out the dispute by mutual agreement, rather than having a decision made by a court or tribunal. See also arbitration; mediation; negotiation. services – and, in some instances, a public The time and place at which a court or tribunal hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. – to resolve their discrimination dispute.
In Victoria, the right to equality and freedom from discrimination is also protected in the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) (see ‘Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities’.