Preliminary Submission to the NSW Law Reform Commission Review of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) Alternative formats available on request to PIAC - Contact PIAC
PIAC has long advocated for comprehensive review and modernisation of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW), which is now widely recognised as the worst anti-discrimination law of any jurisdiction in Australia. This includes through our 2021 Report ‘Leader to Laggard: The case for modernisation of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act.’
We therefore welcome the Government’s referral of the Act to the NSW Law Reform Commission for review. In this preliminary submission, we make only one recommendation:
That the NSW Law Reform Commission recommends the repeal of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW), and the drafting of a new anti-discrimination law, based on best practice from other jurisdictions and drawing on community and expert input.
The remainder of the submission covers a range of keys issues across the 12 substantive terms of reference for the NSWLRC review, including supporting:
- Modernising and simplifying the Act, including its language, structure and numbering
- Protecting more of our community, through reforms to protected attributes ensuring they appropriately cover the LGBTIQ+ community, people of faith and no faith, people with disability and others
- Covering all areas of public life
- Modernising the test for discrimination, including removing the comparator test
- Harmonising vilification protections
- Bringing harassment laws into the 21st century, including adopting the reforms of the Respect@Work Report
- Imposing a positive obligation to make adjustments for people with disability, and
- Reforming exceptions, including removing the blanket exceptions for private educational authorities under the Act.