Submission: Review of Anti-Discrimination Law

Redfern Legal Centre (RLC) welcomes the opportunity to respond to the NSW Government’s report, Racial Vilification Law in New South Wales.

RLC believes there needs to be a complete review of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (“ADA”), particularly in light of developments in other jurisdictions.

A review of the Act should increase protection of vulnerable minority communities. it In the two years since the release of the Report, NSW has faced increasing challenges in relation to the impact of race hate speech on individuals and communities.

RLC continues to assist many clients who identify as being from a diverse range of backgrounds who experience significant prejudice and marginalisation. In the year 2014-2015, 42% of clients assisted by our general legal team were from a culturally and linguistically diverse background (based on main home language) and 8% of clients identified as being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

In RLC’s response, the centre highlights the need for justice to be made more accessible, by increasing the timeframes for lodging and referring complaints. Additionally, the ADA should become more effective, by permitting the President of the Anti-Discrimination to directly refer serious racial vilification complaints to the NSW Police Force.