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Victorian Discrimination Law

Published by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission

Commissioner's message

In 2018, we celebrate 40 years of Victoria's equal opportunity laws. Over that time, we have seen progressive growth in our understanding of the impact of discrimination in our community. Victoria's Equal Opportunity Act 2010 recognises discrimination can cause social disadvantage, and access to opportunities is not equitably distributed through society. The law, therefore, plays a critical role in providing a framework to recognise rights and to eliminate discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation as much as possible.

As our understanding of the nature and impact of discrimination has progressed, so have our laws. In 2013, the Commission released Victorian Discrimination Law to give the community clear, accessible information about the anti-discrimination laws in this state. At the time, Victoria's Equal Opportunity Act had been substantially revised, with key changes to legal definitions of discrimination, a new, simpler dispute resolution process, and greater scope to address systemic discrimination. Victorian Discrimination Law quickly became an essential tool for navigating the anti-discrimination landscape in Victoria.

This second edition of Victorian Discrimination Law:

  • updates commentary about how courts and tribunals implement Equal Opportunity laws
  • provides important information about how Equal Opportunity laws apply to particular areas of life in Victoria, such as in schools, at work, in sport, in accommodation and when accessing services such as shops, transport or government assistance
  • explains how the laws relate to the many groups in our community who may experience discrimination
  • includes a new comprehensive section on the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001
  • is restructured to provide clearer, more accessible information for our readers.

We hope you find it informative and useful.

Kristen Hilton

Commissioner

Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission

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