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Human Rights Legislation Amendment Bill 2017


Type
Government
Originating house
Senate
Status
Act
Portfolio
Attorney-General

Summary

Amends the: Racial Discrimination Act 1975 to: amend section 18C, which prohibits offensive behaviour based on racial hatred, to replace the words ‘offend’, ‘insult’ and ‘humiliate’ with ‘harass’ (resulting in the formulation ‘harass or intimidate’); and provide that an assessment of whether an act is reasonably likely to harass or intimidate a person or group of persons is made against the standard of a reasonable member of the Australian community; Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 to: replace the defined term of ‘alleged unlawful discrimination’ with ‘alleged acts, omissions or practices’; repeal the requirement for the President and commissioners to act in a way that promotes the collegiate nature of the Australian Human Rights Commission; provide that certain powers to report to the minister must be exercised by the President; expressly provide that the President is responsible for managing the administrative affairs, and is the accountable authority, of the commission; remove mandatory requirements to report to the minister on certain matters and replace them with discretionary reporting powers; provide that the President cannot delegate certain powers; introduce new grounds on which the commission or the President may or must close inquiries or terminate complaints; require the commission to act fairly in the performance of its inquiry functions; increase the threshold for lodging complaints; require the President to consider whether a complaint should be terminated on certain grounds before starting to inquire into the complaint; require the President to act fairly in his or her handling of complaints; allow the President to terminate complaints lodged more than six months after the alleged unlawful discrimination; require the inclusion of a note about the costs jurisdiction of the Federal Court (FC) and the Federal Circuit Court (FCC) in a notice of termination; prescribe procedures for voluntary conciliation conferences; and provide that applications may be made to the FC or FCC in relation to complaints terminated on certain grounds; and Native Title Act 1993 to replace the mandatory requirement for the Social Justice Commissioner to provide an annual report to the minister with a discretion to report when he or she sees fit.

Progress of bill

For committee reference information, please see the Notes section at the end of this page.

Senate
Introduced and read a first time 22/03/17  
Second reading moved 22/03/17  
Second reading debate 28/03/17  
Second reading debate 29/03/17  
Second reading debate 30/03/17  
Second reading agreed to 30/03/17  
Committee of the Whole debate 30/03/17 Amendment details: 9 Government and 1 Opposition agreed to
Committee of the Whole debate 31/03/17 Amendment details: 2 Government agreed to
Third reading agreed to 31/03/17  
     
House of Representatives
Introduced and read a first time 31/03/17  
Second reading moved 31/03/17  
Second reading debate 31/03/17  
Second reading agreed to 31/03/17  
Third reading agreed to 31/03/17  
     
Finally passed both Houses 31/03/17  
Assent 12/04/17 Act no: 32 - Year: 2017
     

Text of bill

  • First reading

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  • Third reading

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  • As passed by both Houses

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Explanatory memoranda

  • Explanatory memorandum

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  • Supplementary explanatory memorandum relating to sheet HV208

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  • Supplementary explanatory memorandum relating to sheet HZ118

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  • Revised explanatory memorandum

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Second reading speeches


Proposed amendments

Senate
  • Australian Conservatives [sheet 8132]
BERNARDI, Sen Cory

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  • Australian Conservatives [sheet 8131]
BERNARDI, Sen Cory

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  • Australian Greens [sheet 8116]
MCKIM, Sen Nick

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  • Australian Greens [sheet 8119]
MCKIM, Sen Nick

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  • Government [sheet HZ118]

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  • Government [sheet HV208]

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  • Nick Xenophon Team [sheet 8115]
GRIFF, Sen Stirling

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  • Opposition [sheet 8134]
COLLINS, Sen Jacinta

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  • Opposition [sheet 8122]
COLLINS, Sen Jacinta

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Schedules of amendments

Bills Digest



Notes
  • Referred to Committee (23/03/2017): Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee; Committee report (28/03/2017)
  • An electronic version of this Act is available on the Federal Register of Legislation (www.legislation.gov.au)