Legal Groundup

Legal Studies from the ground up

Application Excercise 5i

FOR EXAMPLE: Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissionis an independent statutory bodyresponsible for eliminating discrimination in Victoria with responsibilities under three laws: Equal Opportunity Act 2010, Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001, and the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.

The Equal Opportunity Act makes it against the law to discriminate against people on the basis of a number of different personal characteristics in certain areas. Discrimination on various grounds when it occurs in an area of public life such as accommodation, clubs, schools, shops, in the workplace or sport is prohibited. Grounds of discrimination include age, carer and parental status. disability (including physical, sensory and intellectual disability, work related injury, medical conditions, and mental, psychological and learning disabilities), employment activity, gender identity, lawful sexual activity and sexual orientation, industrial activity, marital status, physical features, political belief or activity, pregnancy and breastfeeding, race (including colour, nationality, ethnicity and ethnic origin), religious belief or activity, sex, and personal association with someone who has, or is assumed to have, one of these personal characteristics.

The Racial and Religious Tolerance Act makes it against the law to vilify people because of their race or religion.

Under the Equal Opportunity Act and the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act, the Commission helps people resolve complaints of discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation and racial or religious vilification through a free, fair and timely dispute resolution service with the aim of achieving a mutual agreement.

The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities (the Charter) means that government and public bodies must consider human rights when making laws and providing services.

If a person feels he/she has been discriminated against, sexually harassed, victimised or vilified, they themselves or someone on their behalf can make a complaint to the Commission. The Commission will help resolve a complaint through their free, fair and timely dispute resolution service.