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Review of the Australian Human Rights Commission Regulations 1989 and the Disability Discrimination Regulations 1996

The submission to the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD) regarding its review of the Australian Human Rights Commission Regulations 1989 (Cth) (the AHRC Regulations) and the Disability Discrimination Regulations 1996 (Cth) (the DD Regulations), both of which will sunset in October 2019, was prepared by the Law Council. As noted in the AGD’s consultation paper1 (the Consultation Paper), the review is intended to determine these regulations’ currency and fitness for purpose prior to them being remade.

The Consultation Paper proposes reforms in three areas:

a) replacing the three separate disability-related grounds with a single ground of ‘disability’ in the AHRC Regulations;

b) amending ‘criminal record’ to ‘irrelevant criminal record’ in the AHRC Regulations; and

c) ensuring the DD Regulations (in particular, those regulations relating to the definition of ‘combat duties’ and the prescribed laws) are still appropriate and in line with community and stakeholder expectations.

The Law Council supports the AGD’s proposal that the three separate disability-related grounds be replaced with a single ground of ‘disability’ in the AHRC Regulations. To avoid confusion and ensure this ground is interpreted as intended, it considers that the new ‘disability’ attribute in the AHRC Regulations should be defined by reference to the definition of disability in section 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) (DDA).

You can read the full submission below.

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