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Racial Discrimination Act

RDA1975.doc 25/06/2004 3:41 pm

Racial Discrimination Act 1975
Act No. 52 of 1975 as amended
This compilation was prepared on 24 June 2004
taking into account amendments up to Act No. 40 of 2004
The text of any of those amendments not in force
on that date is appended in the Notes section
The operation of amendments that have been incorporated may be
affected by application provisions that are set out in the Notes section
Prepared by the Office of Legislative Drafting,
Attorney-General’s Department, Canberra

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 iii
Contents
Part I—Preliminary 1
1 Short title [see Note 1] ……………………………………………………………. 1
2 Commencement [see Note 1] …………………………………………………… 1
3 Interpretation…………………………………………………………………………. 2
4 Extension to external Territories ………………………………………………. 3
5 Additional operation of Act …………………………………………………….. 4
6 Act binds the Crown ………………………………………………………………. 4
6A Operation of State and Territory laws ……………………………………….. 4
6B Application of the Criminal Code…………………………………………….. 5
7 Ratification of Convention………………………………………………………. 5
Part II—Prohibition of racial discrimination
6
8 Exceptions…………………………………………………………………………….. 6
9 Racial discrimination to be unlawful ………………………………………… 6
10 Rights to equality before the law ……………………………………………… 7
11 Access to places and facilities………………………………………………….. 8
12 Land, housing and other accommodation ………………………………….. 9
13 Provision of goods and services ……………………………………………….. 9
14 Right to join trade unions………………………………………………………. 10
15 Employment………………………………………………………………………… 10
16 Advertisements ……………………………………………………………………. 11
17 Unlawful to incite doing of unlawful acts ………………………………… 11
18 Acts done for 2 or more reasons …………………………………………….. 11
18A Vicarious liability ………………………………………………………………… 12
Part IIA—Prohibition of offensive behaviour based on racial
hatred
13
18B Reason for doing an act…………………………………………………………. 13
18C Offensive behaviour because of race, colour or national or
ethnic origin ………………………………………………………………………… 13

18D Exemptions …………………………………………………………………………. 14
18E Vicarious liability ………………………………………………………………… 14
18F State and Territory laws not affected ………………………………………. 15
Part III—Race Discrimination Commissioner and functions of
Commission
16
Division 1—Preliminary 16
19 Race Discrimination Commissioner ……………………………………….. 16
20 Functions of Commission ……………………………………………………… 16

iv Racial Discrimination Act 1975
Part IV—Offences 17
26 Unlawful acts not offences unless expressly so provided …………… 17
27 Offences relating to administration of Act ……………………………….. 17
27F Non-disclosure of private information …………………………………….. 18
Part V—Community Relations Council
21
28 Establishment and functions of Council…………………………………… 21
Part VI—Administrative provisions
22
Division 1—Race Discrimination Commissioner 22
29 Appointment of Race Discrimination Commissioner ………………… 22
30 Terms and conditions of appointment ……………………………………… 22
31 Remuneration of Commissioner …………………………………………….. 22
32 Leave of absence………………………………………………………………….. 22
33 Resignation …………………………………………………………………………. 23
34 Termination of appointment…………………………………………………… 23
35 Outside employment …………………………………………………………….. 23
36 Acting Commissioner …………………………………………………………… 23
40 Delegation …………………………………………………………………………… 24
Division 2—Community Relations Council 25
41 Constitution of Council …………………………………………………………. 25
42 Remuneration of members …………………………………………………….. 25
43 Meetings of Council……………………………………………………………… 25
Part VII—Miscellaneous
27
44 Jurisdiction………………………………………………………………………….. 27
45 Protection from civil actions ………………………………………………….. 27
45A Commissioner to furnish information ……………………………………… 28
47 Regulations …………………………………………………………………………. 28
Schedule—International Convention on the elimination of all
forms of racial discrimination
29
Notes
45

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 1
An Act relating to the Elimination of Racial and
other Discrimination
WHEREAS a Convention entitled the “International Convention on the
Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination” (being the Convention a
copy of the English text of which is set out in the Schedule) was opened for
signature on 21 December 1965:
AND WHEREAS the Convention entered into force on 2 January 1969:
AND WHEREAS it is desirable, in pursuance of all relevant powers of the
Parliament, including, but not limited to, its power to make laws with respect to
external affairs, with respect to the people of any race for whom it is deemed
necessary to make special laws and with respect to immigration, to make the
provisions contained in this Act for the prohibition of racial discrimination and
certain other forms of discrimination and, in particular, to make provision for
giving effect to the Convention:
BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED by the Queen, the Senate and the House
of Representatives of Australia, as follows:
Part I—Preliminary

1 Short title [see Note 1] This Act may be cited as the Racial Discrimination Act 1975.
2 Commencement [see Note 1] (1) Sections 1, 2 and 7 shall come into operation on the day on which
this Act receives the Royal Assent.
(2) The remaining provisions of this Act shall come into operation on
a day to be fixed by Proclamation, being a day not earlier than the
day on which the Convention enters into force for Australia.

Part I Preliminary

Section 3

2 Racial Discrimination Act 1975
3 Interpretation
(1) In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears:
Aboriginal means a person who is a descendant of an indigenous
inhabitant of Australia but does not include a Torres Strait Islander.
Chairman means Chairman of the Council.
Commission means the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity
Commission established by the Human Rights and Equal
Opportunity Commission Act 1986.
Commissioner means the Race Discrimination Commissioner
appointed under section 29.
Commonwealth agency means an agency within the meaning of
the Privacy Act 1988.
conciliation committee means a conciliation committee established
under the regulations.
Convention means the International Convention on the Elimination
of All Forms of Racial Discrimination that was opened for
signature on 21 December 1965 and entered into force on 2
January 1969, being the Convention a copy of the English text of
which is set out in the Schedule.
Council means the Community Relations Council established by
section 28.
Deputy Chairman means Deputy Chairman of the Council.
dispose includes sell, assign, lease, let, sub-lease, sub-let, license or
mortgage, and also includes agree to dispose and grant consent to
the disposal of.
employment includes work under a contract for services, and
cognate expressions have corresponding meanings.
member means a member of the Council and includes the
Chairman and the Deputy Chairman.

Preliminary Part I

Section 4

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 3 President means President of the Commission.
principal executive, in relation to a Commonwealth agency, has
the same meaning as in Part V of the Privacy Act 1988.
relative, in relation to a person, means a person who is related to
the first-mentioned person by blood, marriage, affinity or adoption
and includes a person who is wholly or mainly dependent on, or is
a member of the household of, the first-mentioned person.
residential accommodation includes accommodation in a
dwelling-house, flat, hotel, motel or boarding-house or on a
camping ground.
services includes services consisting of the provision of facilities
by way of banking or insurance or of facilities for grants, loans,
credit or finance.
Torres Strait Islander means a person who is a descendant of an
indigenous inhabitant of the Torres Strait Islands.
vehicle includes a ship, an aircraft and a hovercraft.
(2) A reference in this Act to an Australian ship or aircraft shall be
construed as a reference to a ship or aircraft registered in Australia
or belonging to or in the possession of the Commonwealth or a
State.
(3) For the purposes of this Act, refusing or failing to do an act shall
be deemed to be the doing of an act and a reference to an act
includes a reference to such a refusal or failure.
(4) A reference in this Act to the doing of an act by a person includes a
reference to the doing of an act by a person in association with
other persons.
4 Extension to external Territories
This Act extends to every external Territory.

Part I Preliminary

Section 5

4 Racial Discrimination Act 1975
5 Additional operation of Act
Without prejudice to its effect apart from this section, this Act also
has, by force of this section, the effect it would have if:
(a) there were added at the end of sections 11 and 13 the words
“or by reason that that other person or any relative or
associate of that other person is or has been an immigrant”;
(b) there were added at the end of subsections 12(1) and 15(1)
the words “or by reason that that second person or any
relative or associate of that second person is or has been an
immigrant”;
(c) there were inserted in subsection 14(1), before the words “is
invalid, the words or by reason that that person is or has been
an immigrant”;
(d) there were added at the end of subsection 14(2) the words “or
by reason that that other person is or has been an immigrant”;
(e) there were added at the end of subsection 15(2) the words “or
by reason that the person so seeking employment or any
relative or associate of that person is or has been an
immigrant”; and
(f) there were inserted in section 18, after the word “person”, the
words “or by reason that a person is or has been an
immigrant”.
6 Act binds the Crown
This Act binds the Crown in right of the Commonwealth, of each
of the States, of the Northern Territory and of Norfolk Island, but
nothing in this Act renders the Crown liable to be prosecuted for an
offence.
6A Operation of State and Territory laws
(1) This Act is not intended, and shall be deemed never to have been
intended, to exclude or limit the operation of a law of a State or
Territory that furthers the objects of the Convention and is capable
of operating concurrently with this Act.

Preliminary Part I

Section 6B

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 5 (2) Where:
(a) a law of a State or Territory that furthers the objects of the
Convention deals with a matter dealt with by this Act; and
(b) a person has, whether before or after the commencement of
this section, made a complaint, instituted a proceeding or
taken any other action under that law in respect of an act or
omission in respect of which the person would, but for this
subsection, have been entitled to make a complaint under the
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986
alleging that the act or omission is unlawful under a
provision of Part II or IIA of this Act;
the person shall be deemed never to have been, and is not, entitled
to make a complaint or institute a proceeding under the Human
Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 alleging that
the act or omission is unlawful under a provision of Part II or IIA
of this Act and any proceedings pending under this Act at the
commencement of this section in respect of such a complaint made
before that commencement are, by force of this subsection,
terminated.
(3) Where:
(a) a law of a State or Territory that furthers the objects of the
Convention deals with a matter dealt with by this Act; and
(b) an act or omission by a person that constitutes an offence
against that law also constitutes an offence against this Act;
the person may be prosecuted and convicted either under that law
of the State or Territory or under this Act, but nothing in this
subsection renders a person liable to be punished more than once in
respect of the same act or omission.
6B Application of the Criminal Code
Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code applies to all offences against this
Act.
Note: Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of
criminal responsibility.
7 Ratification of Convention
Approval is given to ratification by Australia of the Convention.

Part II Prohibition of racial discrimination

Section 8

6 Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Part II—Prohibition of racial discrimination

8 Exceptions
(1) This Part does not apply to, or in relation to the application of,
special measures to which paragraph 4 of Article 1 of the
Convention applies except measures in relation to which
subsection 10(1) applies by virtue of subsection 10(3).
(2) This Part does not apply to:
(a) any provision of a deed, will or other instrument, whether
made before or after the commencement of this Part, that
confers charitable benefits, or enables charitable benefits to
be conferred, on persons of a particular race, colour or
national or ethnic origin; or
(b) any act done in order to comply with such a provision.
(3) In this section, charitable benefits means benefits for purposes that
are exclusively charitable according to the law in force in any State
or Territory.
9 Racial discrimination to be unlawful
(1) It is unlawful for a person to do any act involving a distinction,
exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent
or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of
nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on
an equal footing, of any human right or fundamental freedom in the
political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.
(1A) Where:
(a) a person requires another person to comply with a term,
condition or requirement which is not reasonable having
regard to the circumstances of the case; and
(b) the other person does not or cannot comply with the term,
condition or requirement; and

Prohibition of racial discrimination Part II

Section 10

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 7 (c) the requirement to comply has the purpose or effect of
nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or
exercise, on an equal footing, by persons of the same race,
colour, descent or national or ethnic origin as the other
person, of any human right or fundamental freedom in the
political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of
public life;
the act of requiring such compliance is to be treated, for the
purposes of this Part, as an act involving a distinction based on, or
an act done by reason of, the other person’s race, colour, descent or
national or ethnic origin.
(2) A reference in this section to a human right or fundamental
freedom in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other
field of public life includes any right of a kind referred to in Article
5 of the Convention.
(3) This section does not apply in respect of the employment, or an
application for the employment, of a person on a ship or aircraft
(not being an Australian ship or aircraft) if that person was
engaged, or applied, for that employment outside Australia.
(4) The succeeding provisions of this Part do not limit the generality of
this section.
10 Rights to equality before the law
(1) If, by reason of, or of a provision of, a law of the Commonwealth
or of a State or Territory, persons of a particular race, colour or
national or ethnic origin do not enjoy a right that is enjoyed by
persons of another race, colour or national or ethnic origin, or
enjoy a right to a more limited extent than persons of another race,
colour or national or ethnic origin, then, notwithstanding anything
in that law, persons of the first-mentioned race, colour or national
or ethnic origin shall, by force of this section, enjoy that right to
the same extent as persons of that other race, colour or national or
ethnic origin.
(2) A reference in subsection (1) to a right includes a reference to a
right of a kind referred to in Article 5 of the Convention.

Part II Prohibition of racial discrimination

Section 11

8 Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (3) Where a law contains a provision that:
(a) authorizes property owned by an Aboriginal or a Torres
Strait Islander to be managed by another person without the
consent of the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander; or
(b) prevents or restricts an Aboriginal or a Torres Strait Islander
from terminating the management by another person of
property owned by the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander;
not being a provision that applies to persons generally without
regard to their race, colour or national or ethnic origin, that
provision shall be deemed to be a provision in relation to which
subsection (1) applies and a reference in that subsection to a right
includes a reference to a right of a person to manage property
owned by the person.
11 Access to places and facilities
It is unlawful for a person:
(a) to refuse to allow another person access to or use of any
place or vehicle that members of the public are, or a section
of the public is, entitled or allowed to enter or use, or to
refuse to allow another person access to or use of any such
place or vehicle except on less favourable terms or conditions
than those upon or subject to which he or she would
otherwise allow access to or use of that place or vehicle;
(b) to refuse to allow another person use of any facilities in any
such place or vehicle that are available to members of the
public or to a section of the public, or to refuse to allow
another person use of any such facilities except on less
favourable terms or conditions than those upon or subject to
which he or she would otherwise allow use of those facilities;
or
(c) to require another person to leave or cease to use any such
place or vehicle or any such facilities;
by reason of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of that
other person or of any relative or associate of that other person.

Prohibition of racial discrimination Part II

Section 12

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 9
12 Land, housing and other accommodation
(1) It is unlawful for a person, whether as a principal or agent:
(a) to refuse or fail to dispose of any estate or interest in land, or
any residential or business accommodation, to a second
person;
(b) to dispose of such an estate or interest or such
accommodation to a second person on less favourable terms
and conditions than those which are or would otherwise be
offered;
(c) to treat a second person who is seeking to acquire or has
acquired such an estate or interest or such accommodation
less favourably than other persons in the same circumstances;
(d) to refuse to permit a second person to occupy any land or any
residential or business accommodation; or
(e) to terminate any estate or interest in land of a second person
or the right of a second person to occupy any land or any
residential or business accommodation;
by reason of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of that
second person or of any relative or associate of that second person.
(2) It is unlawful for a person, whether as a principal or agent, to
impose or seek to impose on another person any term or condition
that limits, by reference to race, colour or national or ethnic origin,
the persons or class of persons who may be the licensees or
invitees of the occupier of any land or residential or business
accommodation.
(3) Nothing in this section renders unlawful an act in relation to
accommodation in a dwelling-house or flat, being accommodation
shared or to be shared, in whole or in part, with the person who did
the act or a person on whose behalf the act was done or with a
relative of either of those persons.
13 Provision of goods and services
It is unlawful for a person who supplies goods or services to the
public or to any section of the public:
(a) to refuse or fail on demand to supply those goods or services
to another person; or

Part II Prohibition of racial discrimination

Section 14

10 Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (b) to refuse or fail on demand to supply those goods or services
to another person except on less favourable terms or
conditions than those upon or subject to which he or she
would otherwise supply those goods or services;
by reason of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of that
other person or of any relative or associate of that other person.
14 Right to join trade unions
(1) Any provision of the rules or other document constituting, or
governing the activities of, a trade union that prevents or hinders a
person from joining that trade union by reason of the race, colour
or national or ethnic origin of that person is invalid.
(2) It is unlawful for a person to prevent or hinder another person from
joining a trade union by reason of the race, colour or national or
ethnic origin of that other person.
15 Employment
(1) It is unlawful for an employer or a person acting or purporting to
act on behalf of an employer:
(a) to refuse or fail to employ a second person on work of any
description which is available and for which that second
person is qualified;
(b) to refuse or fail to offer or afford a second person the same
terms of employment, conditions of work and opportunities
for training and promotion as are made available for other
persons having the same qualifications and employed in the
same circumstances on work of the same description; or
(c) to dismiss a second person from his or her employment;
by reason of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of that
second person or of any relative or associate of that second person.
(2) It is unlawful for a person concerned with procuring employment
for other persons or procuring employees for any employer to treat
any person seeking employment less favourably than other persons
in the same circumstances by reason of the race, colour or national
or ethnic origin of the person so seeking employment or of any
relative or associate of that person.

Prohibition of racial discrimination Part II

Section 16

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 11 (3) It is unlawful for an organization of employers or employees, or a
person acting or purporting to act on behalf of such an
organization, to prevent, or to seek to prevent, another person from
offering for employment or from continuing in employment by
reason of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of that other
person or of any relative or associate of that other person.
(4) This section does not apply in respect of the employment, or an
application for the employment, of a person on a ship or aircraft
(not being an Australian ship or aircraft) if that person was
engaged, or applied, for that employment outside Australia.
(5) Nothing in this section renders unlawful an act in relation to
employment, or an application for employment, in a
dwelling-house or flat occupied by the person who did the act or a
person on whose behalf the act was done or by a relative of either
of those persons.
16 Advertisements
It is unlawful for a person to publish or display, or cause or permit
to be published or displayed, an advertisement or notice that
indicates, or could reasonably be understood as indicating, an
intention to do an act that is unlawful by reason of a provision of
this Part or an act that would, but for subsection 12(3) or 15(5), be
unlawful by reason of section 12 or 15, as the case may be.
17 Unlawful to incite doing of unlawful acts
It is unlawful for a person:
(a) to incite the doing of an act that is unlawful by reason of a
provision of this Part; or
(b) to assist or promote whether by financial assistance or
otherwise the doing of such an act.
18 Acts done for 2 or more reasons
Where:
(a) an act is done for 2 or more reasons; and

Part II Prohibition of racial discrimination

Section 18A

12 Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (b) one of the reasons is the race, colour, descent or national or
ethnic origin of a person (whether or not it is the dominant
reason or a substantial reason for doing the act);
then, for the purposes of this Part, the act is taken to be done for
that reason.
18A Vicarious liability
(1) Subject to subsection (2), if:
(a) an employee or agent of a person does an act in connection
with his or her duties as an employee or agent; and
(b) the act would be unlawful under this Part if it were done by
that person;
this Act applies in relation to that person as if that person had also
done the act.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an act done by an employee or
agent of a person if it is established that the person took all
reasonable steps to prevent the employee or agent from doing the
act.

Prohibition of offensive behaviour based on racial hatred Part IIA

Section 18B

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 13

Part IIA—Prohibition of offensive behaviour based
on racial hatred

18B Reason for doing an act
If:
(a) an act is done for 2 or more reasons; and
(b) one of the reasons is the race, colour or national or ethnic
origin of a person (whether or not it is the dominant reason or
a substantial reason for doing the act);
then, for the purposes of this Part, the act is taken to be done
because of the person’s race, colour or national or ethnic origin.
18C Offensive behaviour because of race, colour or national or
ethnic origin
(1) It is unlawful for a person to do an act, otherwise than in private, if:
(a) the act is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to
offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a
group of people; and
(b) the act is done because of the race, colour or national or
ethnic origin of the other person or of some or all of the
people in the group.
Note: Subsection (1) makes certain acts unlawful. Section 46P of the Human
Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 allows people to
make complaints to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity
Commission about unlawful acts. However, an unlawful act is not
necessarily a criminal offence. Section 26 says that this Act does not
make it an offence to do an act that is unlawful because of this Part,
unless Part IV expressly says that the act is an offence.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), an act is taken not to be done in
private if it:
(a) causes words, sounds, images or writing to be communicated
to the public; or
(b) is done in a public place; or
(c) is done in the sight or hearing of people who are in a public
place.

Part IIA Prohibition of offensive behaviour based on racial hatred

Section 18D

14 Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (3) In this section:
public place includes any place to which the public have access as
of right or by invitation, whether express or implied and whether or
not a charge is made for admission to the place.
18D Exemptions
Section 18C does not render unlawful anything said or done
reasonably and in good faith:
(a) in the performance, exhibition or distribution of an artistic
work; or
(b) in the course of any statement, publication, discussion or
debate made or held for any genuine academic, artistic or
scientific purpose or any other genuine purpose in the public
interest; or
(c) in making or publishing:
(i) a fair and accurate report of any event or matter of
public interest; or
(ii) a fair comment on any event or matter of public interest
if the comment is an expression of a genuine belief held
by the person making the comment.
18E Vicarious liability
(1) Subject to subsection (2), if:
(a) an employee or agent of a person does an act in connection
with his or her duties as an employee or agent; and
(b) the act would be unlawful under this Part if it were done by
the person;
this Act applies in relation to the person as if the person had also
done the act.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an act done by an employee or
agent of a person if it is established that the person took all
reasonable steps to prevent the employee or agent from doing the
act.

Prohibition of offensive behaviour based on racial hatred Part IIA

Section 18F

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 15
18F State and Territory laws not affected
This Part is not intended to exclude or limit the concurrent
operation of any law of a State or Territory.

Part III Race Discrimination Commissioner and functions of Commission
Division 1 Preliminary

Section 19

16 Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Part III—Race Discrimination Commissioner and
functions of Commission
Division 1—Preliminary
19 Race Discrimination Commissioner
For the purposes of this Act there shall be a Race Discrimination
Commissioner.
20 Functions of Commission
(1) The following functions are hereby conferred on the Commission:
(b) to promote an understanding and acceptance of, and
compliance with, this Act;
(c) to develop, conduct and foster research and educational
programs and other programs for the purpose of:
(i) combating racial discrimination and prejudices that lead
to racial discrimination;
(ii) promoting understanding, tolerance and friendship
among racial and ethnic groups; and
(iii) propagating the purposes and principles of the
Convention;
(d) to prepare, and to publish in such manner as the Commission
considers appropriate, guidelines for the avoidance of
infringements of Part II or Part IIA;
(e) where the Commission considers it appropriate to do so, with
the leave of the court hearing the proceedings and subject to
any conditions imposed by the court, to intervene in
proceedings that involve racial discrimination issues;
(f) to inquire into, and make determinations on, matters referred
to it by the Minister or the Commissioner.
Note: For the provisions about inquiries into complaints of discrimination
and conciliation of those complaints: see Part IIB of the Human Rights
and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986.

Offences Part IV

Section 26

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 17

Part IV—Offences

26 Unlawful acts not offences unless expressly so provided
Except as expressly provided by this Part, nothing in this Act
makes it an offence to do an act or agree with another person to do
an act that is unlawful by reason of a provision of Part II or
Part IIA.
27 Offences relating to administration of Act
(1) A person shall not hinder, obstruct, molest or interfere with a
person exercising or performing any of the powers or functions
referred to in this Act.
Penalty for an offence against subsection (1):
(a) in the case of a natural person—$1,000; or
(b) in the case of a body corporate—$5,000.
(1A) For the purposes of an offence against subsection (1), strict liability
applies to the physical element of circumstance, that a person is
exercising or performing any of the powers or functions referred to
in this Act.
Note: For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.
(2) A person shall not:
(a) refuse to employ another person;
(b) dismiss, or threaten to dismiss, another person from the other
person’s employment;
(c) prejudice, or threaten to prejudice, another person in the
other person’s employment; or
(d) intimidate or coerce, or impose any pecuniary or other
penalty upon, another person;
by reason that the other person:
(e) has made, or proposes to make, a complaint under this Act or
the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act
1986;

Part IV Offences

Section 27F

18 Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (f) has furnished, or proposes to furnish, any information or
documents to a person exercising or performing any powers
or functions under this Act or the Human Rights and Equal
Opportunity Commission Act 1986; or
(g) has attended, or proposes to attend, a conference held under
this Act or the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity
Commission Act 1986.
Penalty for an offence against subsection (2):
(a) in the case of a natural person—$2,500 or imprisonment for
3 months, or both; or
(b) in the case of a body corporate—$10,000.
27F Non-disclosure of private information
(1) A person who is, or has at any time been, the Commissioner, a
member of the Commission or a member of the staff assisting the
Commission or is, or has at any time been, authorised to perform or
exercise any function or power of the Commission or the
Commissioner or any function or power on behalf of the
Commission or the Commissioner, being a function or power
conferred on the Commission or on the Commissioner under this
Act, shall not, either directly or indirectly:
(a) make a record of, or divulge or communicate to any person,
any information relating to the affairs of another person
acquired by the first-mentioned person by reason of that
person’s office or employment under or for the purpose of
this Act or by reason of that person being or having been so
authorised;
(b) make use of any such information as is mentioned in
paragraph (a); or
(c) produce to any person a document relating to the affairs of
another person furnished for the purposes of this Act.
Penalty: $5,000 or imprisonment for 1 year, or both.
(2) A person who is, or has at any time been, the Commissioner, a
member of the Commission or a member of the staff assisting the
Commission or is, or has at any time been, authorised to perform or
exercise any function or power of the Commission or the
Commissioner or any function or power on behalf of the

Offences Part IV

Section 27F

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 19 Commission or the Commissioner, being a function or power
conferred on the Commission or on the Commissioner under this
Act, shall not be required:
(a) to divulge or communicate to a court any information
relating to the affairs of another person acquired by the
first-mentioned person by reason of that person’s office or
employment under or for the purposes of this Act or by
reason of that person being or having been so authorised; or
(b) to produce in a court a document relating to the affairs of
another person of which the first-mentioned person has
custody, or to which that person has access, by reason of that
person’s office or employment under or for the purposes of
this Act or by reason of that person being or having been so
authorised;
except where it is necessary to do so for the purposes of this Act.
(3) Nothing in this section prohibits a person from:
(a) making a record of information that is, or is included in a
class of information that is, required or permitted by an Act
to be recorded, if the record is made for the purposes of or
pursuant to that Act;
(b) divulging or communicating information, or producing a
document, to any person in accordance with an arrangement
in force under section 16 of the Human Rights and Equal
Opportunity Commission Act 1986; or
(c) divulging or communicating information, or producing a
document, that is, or is included in a class of information that
is or class of documents that are, required or permitted by an
Act to be divulged, communicated or produced, as the case
may be, if the information is divulged or communicated, or
the document is produced, for the purposes of or pursuant to
that Act.
Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to a matter in
subsection (3) (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code).
(3A) Subsection (1) does not prevent a person from making a record of,
divulging, communicating or making use of information, or
producing a document, if the person does so:
(a) in the performance of a duty under or in connection with this
Act; or

Part IV Offences

Section 27F

20 Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (b) in the performance or exercise of a function or power
conferred on the Commission or on the Commissioner under
this Act.
Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in
subsection (3A) (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code).
(4) Nothing in subsection (2) prevents a person from being required,
for the purposes of or pursuant to an Act, to divulge or
communicate information, or to produce a document, that is, or is
included in a class of information that is or class of documents that
are, required or permitted by that Act to be divulged,
communicated or produced.
(5) In this section:
court includes any tribunal, authority or person having power to
require the production of documents or the answering of questions.
produce includes permit access to.

Community Relations Council Part V

Section 28

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 21

Part V—Community Relations Council

28 Establishment and functions of Council
(1) For the purposes of this Act there is established a Community
Relations Council.
(2) It is the function of the Council to advise, and make
recommendations to, the Minister and the Commission, either of its
own motion or upon request made to it by the Minister or the
Commission, as the case may be, concerning:
(a) the observance and implementation of the Convention;
(b) the promotion of educational programs with respect to the
observance of the Convention;
(c) the promotion of studies and research programs with respect
to the observance and implementation of the Convention;
(d) the publication and dissemination of material to assist in the
observance and implementation of the Convention;
(e) the promotion of understanding, tolerance and friendship
among racial and ethnic groups; and
(f) any other matter related to the observance or implementation
of the Convention.

Part VI Administrative provisions
Division 1 Race Discrimination Commissioner

Section 29

22 Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Part VI—Administrative provisions
Division 1—Race Discrimination Commissioner
29 Appointment of Race Discrimination Commissioner
(1) The Race Discrimination Commissioner shall be appointed by the
Governor-General.
(2) A person is not qualified to be appointed as the Race
Discrimination Commissioner unless the Governor-General is
satisfied that the person has appropriate qualifications, knowledge
or experience.
30 Terms and conditions of appointment
(1) Subject to this section, the Commissioner holds office for such
period, not exceeding 7 years, as is specified in the instrument of
his or her appointment, but is eligible for re-appointment.
(3) The Commissioner holds office on such terms and conditions (if
any) in respect of matters not provided for by this Act as are
determined by the Governor-General.
31 Remuneration of Commissioner
(1) The Commissioner shall be paid such remuneration as is
determined by the Remuneration Tribunal, but, if no determination
of that remuneration by the Tribunal is in operation, the
Commissioner shall be paid such remuneration as is prescribed.
(2) The Commissioner shall be paid such allowances as are prescribed.
(3) This section has effect subject to the Remuneration Tribunal Act
1973.
32 Leave of absence
(1) The Commissioner has such recreation leave entitlements as are
determined by the Remuneration Tribunal.

Administrative provisions Part VI
Race Discrimination Commissioner Division 1

Section 33

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 23 (2) The Minister may grant the Commissioner leave of absence, other
than recreation leave, on such terms and conditions as to
remuneration or otherwise as the Minister determines.
33 Resignation
The Commissioner may resign from the office of Commissioner by
writing signed by the Commissioner and delivered to the
Governor-General.
34 Termination of appointment
(1) The Governor-General may terminate the appointment of the
Commissioner by reason of misbehaviour or of physical or mental
incapacity.
(2) The Governor-General shall terminate the appointment of the
Commissioner if the Commissioner:
(a) is absent from duty, except on leave of absence, for 14
consecutive days or for 28 days in any period of 12 months;
or
(b) becomes bankrupt, applies to take the benefit of any law for
the relief of bankrupt or insolvent debtors, compounds with
creditors or makes an assignment of remuneration for their
benefit.
35 Outside employment
The Commissioner shall not, except with the approval of the
Minister, engage in paid employment outside the duties of the
office of Commissioner.
36 Acting Commissioner
(1) The Minister may appoint a person to act in the office of
Commissioner during any period, or during all periods, when the
Commissioner is absent from duty or from Australia or during a
vacancy in that office.

Part VI Administrative provisions
Division 1 Race Discrimination Commissioner

Section 40

24 Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (4) Sections 32, 33 and 35 apply in relation to a person appointed to
act in the office of Commissioner in like manner as they apply in
relation to the Commissioner.
(6) The validity of anything done by a person appointed to act in the
office of Commissioner shall not be called in question on the
ground that the occasion for the person’s appointment had not
arisen or that the appointment had ceased to have effect.
40 Delegation
(1) The Commission may, by writing under its seal, delegate to a
member of its staff, or to another person, all or any of the powers
conferred on the Commission under this Act.
(2) The Commissioner may, by writing signed by the Commissioner,
delegate to a member of the staff of the Commission approved by
the Commission, or to another person approved by the
Commission, all or any of the powers exercisable by the
Commissioner under this Act.

Administrative provisions Part VI
Community Relations Council Division 2

Section 41

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 25

Division 2—Community Relations Council
41 Constitution of Council
(1) The Council shall consist of such members (not being less than
10 or more than 20 in number) as the Minister appoints.
(2) One of the members shall be designated in the instrument of the
member’s appointment as the Chairman of the Council and another
of the members shall be designated in the instrument of the
member’s appointment as the Deputy Chairman of the Council.
(3) The performance of the functions or the exercise of the powers of
the Council is not affected by the number of members falling
below 10 for a period not exceeding 3 months.
42 Remuneration of members
(1) Members shall be paid such remuneration as is determined by the
Remuneration Tribunal, but, if no determination of that
remuneration by the Tribunal is in operation, they shall be paid
such remuneration as is prescribed.
(2) Members shall be paid such allowances as are prescribed.
(3) This section has effect subject to the Remuneration Tribunal Act
1973.
43 Meetings of Council
(1) The Chairman, or, if the Chairman is unavailable, the Deputy
Chairman, may convene meetings of the Council.
(2) At a meeting of the Council, 6 members constitute a quorum.
(3) The Chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Council at which
the Chairman is present.
(4) If the Chairman is not present at a meeting of the Council but the
Deputy Chairman is present, the Deputy Chairman shall preside at
the meeting.

Part VI Administrative provisions
Division 2 Community Relations Council

Section 43

26 Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (5) If the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman are not present at a
meeting of the Council, the members present shall appoint one of
their number to preside at the meeting.
(6) Questions arising at a meeting of the Council shall be decided by a
majority of the votes of the members present and voting.
(7) The member presiding at a meeting of the Council has a
deliberative vote and, in the event of an equality of votes, also has
a casting vote.
(8) The Council shall cause records to be kept of its meetings.

Miscellaneous Part VII

Section 44

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 27

Part VII—Miscellaneous

44 Jurisdiction
(1) The several courts of the States are invested with federal
jurisdiction, and jurisdiction is conferred on the several courts of
the Territories, within the limits of their several jurisdictions,
whether those limits are as to locality, subject-matter or otherwise,
to hear and determine civil and criminal proceedings instituted in
those courts under this Act.
(2) No proceedings under this Act shall be instituted in a court of a
State or Territory before a day to be fixed by Proclamation as the
day on which:
(a) that court shall commence to exercise its jurisdiction under
subsection (1); or
(b) a class of courts of that State or Territory in which that court
is included shall commence to exercise their jurisdiction
under that subsection;
but nothing in this subsection prevents a court from exercising
jurisdiction in a matter arising under this Act in a proceeding
instituted in that court otherwise than under this Act.
45 Protection from civil actions
(1) The Commission, a member of the Commission, the Commissioner
or a person acting under the direction or authority of the
Commission or of the Commissioner or under a delegation under
section 40 is not liable to an action or other proceeding for
damages for or in relation to an act done or omitted to be done in
good faith in the performance or purported performance of any
function, or in the exercise or purported exercise of any power or
authority, conferred on the Commission or the Commissioner.
(2) If a submission has been made, a document or information has
been given, or evidence has been given, to the Commission or the
Commissioner,

Part VII Miscellaneous

Section 45A

28 Racial Discrimination Act 1975 a person is not liable to an action, suit or other proceeding in
respect of loss, damage or injury of any kind suffered by another
person merely because submission was made, the document or
information was furnished or the evidence was given.
45A Commissioner to furnish information
The Commissioner shall furnish to the Commission such
information relating to the Commissioner’s operations under this
Act as the Commission from time to time requires.
47 Regulations
The Governor-General may make regulations, not inconsistent with
this Act, prescribing all matters required or permitted by this Act to
be prescribed, or necessary or convenient to be prescribed for
carrying out or giving effect to this Act and, in particular,
prescribing the manner in which a member may resign from office
and prescribing fees and allowances payable to members of
conciliation committees.

International Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination
Schedule

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 29
Schedule—International Convention on the
elimination of all forms of racial
discrimination
Section 3(1)
The States Parties to this Convention,
Considering that the Charter of the United Nations is based on the
principles of the dignity and equality inherent in all human beings, and that all
Member States have pledged themselves to take joint and separate action, in
co-operation with the Organization, for the achievement of one of the purposes
of the United Nations which is to promote and encourage universal respect for
and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without
distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,
Considering that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims
that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that
everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set out therein, without
distinction of any kind, in particular as to race, colour or national origin,
Considering that all human beings are equal before the law and are
entitled to equal protection of the law against any discrimination and against
any incitement to discrimination,
Considering that the United Nations has condemned colonialism and all
practices of segregation and discrimination associated therewith, in whatever
form and wherever they exist, and that the Declaration on the Granting of
Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples of 14 December 1960 (General
Assembly resolution 1514 (XV)) has affirmed and solemnly proclaimed the
necessity of bringing them to a speedy and unconditional end,
Considering that the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of
All Forms of Racial Discrimination of 20 November 1963 (General Assembly
resolution 1904 (XVIII)) solemnly affirms the necessity of speedily eliminating
racial discrimination throughout the world in all its forms and manifestations
and of securing understanding of and respect for the dignity of the human
person,

Schedule International Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial
discrimination

30 Racial Discrimination Act 1975 Convinced that any doctrine of superiority based on racial differentiation
is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous, and
that there is no justification for racial discrimination, in theory or in practice,
anywhere,
Reaffirming that discrimination between human beings on the grounds of
race, colour or ethnic origin is an obstacle to friendly and peaceful relations
among nations and is capable of disturbing peace and security among peoples
and the harmony of persons living side by side even within one and the same
State,
Convinced that the existence of racial barriers is repugnant to the ideals
of any human society,
Alarmed by manifestations of racial discrimination still in evidence in
some areas of the world and by governmental policies based on racial
superiority or hatred, such as policies of apartheid, segregation or separation,
Resolved to adopt all necessary measures for speedily eliminating racial
discrimination in all its forms and manifestations, and to prevent and combat
racist doctrines and practices in order to promote understanding between races
and to build an international community free from all forms of racial
segregation and racial discrimination,
Bearing in mind the Convention concerning Discrimination in respect of
Employment and Occupation adopted by the International Labour Organisation
in 1958, and the Convention against Discrimination in Education adopted by the
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 1960,
Desiring to implement the principles embodied in the United Nations
Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and to
secure the earliest adoption of practical measures to that end,
Have agreed as follows:
PART I
Article 1
1. In this Convention, the term “racial discrimination” shall mean any
distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent,
or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or
impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human

International Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination
Schedule

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 31 rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or
any other field of public life.
2. This Convention shall not apply to distinctions, exclusions, restrictions or
preferences made by a State Party to this Convention between citizens and
non-citizens.
3. Nothing in this Convention may be interpreted as affecting in any way
the legal provisions of States Parties concerning nationality, citizenship or
naturalization, provided that such provisions do not discriminate against any
particular nationality.
4. Special measures taken for the sole purpose of securing adequate
advancement of certain racial or ethnic groups or individuals requiring such
protection as may be necessary in order to ensure such groups or individuals
equal enjoyment or exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms shall
not be deemed racial discrimination, provided, however, that such measures do
not, as a consequence, lead to the maintenance of separate rights for different
racial groups and that they shall not be continued after the objectives for which
they were taken have been achieved.
Article 2
1. States Parties condemn racial discrimination and undertake to pursue by
all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating racial
discrimination in all its forms and promoting understanding among all races,
and, to this end:
(a) Each State Party undertakes to engage in no act or practice of racial
discrimination against persons, groups of persons or institutions
and to ensure that all public authorities and public institutions,
national and local, shall act in conformity with this obligation;
(b) Each State Party undertakes not to sponsor, defend or support
racial discrimination by any persons or organizations;
(c) Each State Party shall take effective measures to review
governmental, national and local policies, and to amend, rescind or
nullify any laws and regulations which have the effect of creating
or perpetuating racial discrimination wherever it exists;
(d) Each State Party shall prohibit and bring to an end, by all
appropriate means, including legislation as required by
circumstances, racial discrimination by any persons, group or
organization;

Schedule International Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial
discrimination

32 Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (e) Each State Party undertakes to encourage, where appropriate,
integrationist multi-racial organizations and movements and other
means of eliminating barriers between races, and to discourage
anything which tends to strengthen racial division.
2. States Parties shall, when the circumstances so warrant, take, in the
social, economic, cultural and other fields, special and concrete measures to
ensure the adequate development and protection of certain racial groups or
individuals belonging to them, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the full and
equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms. These measures
shall in no case entail as a consequence the maintenance of unequal or separate
rights for different racial groups after the objectives for which they were taken
have been achieved.
Article 3
States Parties particularly condemn racial segregation and apartheid and
undertake to prevent, prohibit and eradicate all practices of this nature in
territories under their jurisdiction.
Article 4
States Parties condemn all propaganda and all organizations which are
based on ideas or theories of superiority of one race or group of persons of one
colour or ethnic origin, or which attempt to justify or promote racial hatred and
discrimination in any form, and undertake to adopt immediate and positive
measures designed to eradicate all incitement to, or acts of, such discrimination
and, to this end, with due regard to the principles embodied in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and the rights expressly set forth in article 5 of
this Convention, inter alia:
(a) Shall declare an offence punishable by law all dissemination of
ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, incitement to racial
discrimination, as well as all acts of violence or incitement to such
acts against any race or group of persons of another colour or
ethnic origin, and also the provision of any assistance to racist
activities, including the financing thereof;
(b) Shall declare illegal and prohibit organizations, and also organized
and all other propaganda activities, which promote and incite racial
discrimination, and shall recognize participation in such
organizations or activities as an offence punishable by law;
(c) Shall not permit public authorities or public institutions, national or
local, to promote or incite racial discrimination.

International Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination
Schedule

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 33 Article 5
In compliance with the fundamental obligations laid down in article 2 of
this Convention, States Parties undertake to prohibit and to eliminate racial
discrimination in all its forms and to guarantee the right of everyone, without
distinction as to race, colour, or national or ethnic origin, to equality before the
law, notably in the enjoyment of the following rights:
(a) The right to equal treatment before the tribunals and all other
organs administering justice;
(b) The right to security of person and protection by the State against
violence or bodily harm, whether inflicted by government officials
or by any individual, group or institution;
(c) Political rights, in particular the rights to participate in elections—
to vote and to stand for election—on the basis of universal and
equal suffrage, to take part in the Government as well as in the
conduct of public affairs at any level and to have equal access to
public service;
(d) Other civil rights, in particular:
(i) The right to freedom of movement and residence within
the border of the State;
(ii) The right to leave any country, including one’s own, and to
return to one’s country;
(iii) The right to nationality;
(iv) The right to marriage and choice of spouse;
(v) The right to own property alone as well as in association
with others;
(vi) The right to inherit;
(vii) The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion;
(viii) The right to freedom of opinion and expression;
(ix) The right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association;
(e) Economic, social and cultural rights, in particular:
(i) The rights to work, to free choice of employment, to just
and favourable conditions of work, to protection against
unemployment, to equal pay for equal work, to just and
favourable remuneration;
(ii) The right to form and join trade unions;
(iii) The right to housing;

Schedule International Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial
discrimination

34 Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (iv) The right to public health, medical care, social security and
social services;
(v) The right to education and training;
(vi) The right to equal participation in cultural activities;
(f) The right of access to any place or service intended for use by the
general public such as transport, hotels, restaurants, cafes, theatres
and parks.
Article 6
States Parties shall assure to everyone within their jurisdiction effective
protection and remedies, through the competent national tribunals and other
State institutions, against any acts of racial discrimination which violate his
human rights and fundamental freedoms contrary to this Convention, as well as
the right to seek from such tribunals just and adequate reparation or satisfaction
for any damage suffered as a result of such discrimination.
Article 7
States Parties undertake to adopt immediate and effective measures,
particularly in the fields of teaching, education, culture and information, with a
view to combating prejudices which lead to racial discrimination and to
promoting understanding, tolerance and friendship among nations and racial or
ethnic groups, as well as to propagating the purposes and principles of the
Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the
United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination, and this Convention.
PART II
Article 8
1. There shall be established a Committee on the Elimination of Racial
Discrimination (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) consisting of eighteen
experts of high moral standing and acknowledged impartiality elected by States
Parties from amongst their nationals who shall serve in their personal capacity,
consideration being given to equitable geographical distribution and to the
representation of the different forms of civilization as well as of the principal
legal systems.

International Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination
Schedule

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 35 2. The members of the Committee shall be elected by secret ballot from a
list of persons nominated by the States Parties. Each State Party may nominate
one person from among its own nationals.
3. The initial election shall be held six months after the date of the entry into
force of this Convention. At least three months before the date of each election
the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall address a letter to the States
Parties inviting them to submit their nominations within two months. The
Secretary-General shall prepare a list in alphabetical order of all persons thus
nominated, indicating the States Parties which have nominated them, and shall
submit it to the States Parties.
4. Elections of the members of the Committee shall be held at a meeting of
States Parties convened by the Secretary-General at United Nations
Headquarters. At that meeting, for which two-thirds of the States Parties shall
constitute a quorum, the persons elected to the Committee shall be those
nominees who obtain the largest number of votes and an absolute majority of
the votes of the representatives of States Parties present and voting.
5. (a) The members of the Committee shall be elected for a term of four
years. However, the terms of nine of the members elected at the first election
shall expire at the end of two years; immediately after the first election the
names of these nine members shall be chosen by lot by the Chairman of the
Committee.
(b) For the filling of casual vacancies, the State Party whose expert has
ceased to function as a member of the Committee shall appoint another expert
from among its nationals, subject to the approval of the Committee.
6. States Parties shall be responsible for the expenses of the members of the
Committee while they are in performance of Committee duties.
Article 9
1. States Parties undertake to submit to the Secretary-General of the United
Nations, for consideration by the Committee, a report on the legislative,
judicial, administrative or other measures which they have adopted and which
give effect to the provisions of this Convention:
(a) within one year after the entry into force of the Convention for the State
concerned; and
(b) thereafter every two years and whenever the Committee so requests. The
Committee may request further information from the States Parties.

Schedule International Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial
discrimination

36 Racial Discrimination Act 1975 2. The Committee shall report annually, through the Secretary-General, to
the General Assembly of the United Nations on its activities and may make
suggestions and general recommendations based on the examination of the
reports and information received from the States Parties. Such suggestions and
general recommendations shall be reported to the General Assembly together
with comments, if any, from States Parties.
Article 10
1. The Committee shall adopt its own rules of procedure.
2. The Committee shall elect its officers for a term of two years.
3. The secretariat of the Committee shall be provided by the
Secretary-General of the United Nations.
4. The meetings of the Committee shall normally be held at United Nations
Headquarters.
Article 11
1. If a State Party considers that another State Party is not giving effect to
the provisions of this Convention, it may bring the matter to the attention of the
Committee. The Committee shall then transmit the communication to the State
Party concerned. Within three months, the receiving State shall submit to the
Committee written explanations or statements clarifying the matter and the
remedy, if any, that may have been taken by that State.
2. If the matter is not adjusted to the satisfaction of both parties, either by
bilateral negotiations or by any other procedure open to them, within six months
after the receipt by the receiving State of the initial communication, either State
shall have the right to refer the matter again to the Committee by notifying the
Committee and also the other State.
3. The Committee shall deal with a matter referred to it in accordance with
paragraph 2 of this article after it has ascertained that all available domestic
remedies have been invoked and exhausted in the case, in conformity with the
generally recognized principles of international law. This shall not be the rule
where the application of the remedies is unreasonably prolonged.
4. In any matter referred to it, the Committee may call upon the States
Parties concerned to supply any other relevant information.

International Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination
Schedule

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 37 5. When any matter arising out of this article is being considered by the
Committee, the States Parties concerned shall be entitled to send a
representative to take part in the proceedings of the Committee, without voting
rights, while the matter is under consideration.
Article 12
1. (a) After the Committee has obtained and collated all the information
it deems necessary, the Chairman shall appoint an ad hoc Conciliation
Commission (hereafter referred to as the Commission) comprising five persons
who may or may not be members of the Committee. The members of the
Commission shall be appointed with the unanimous consent of the parties to the
dispute, and its good offices shall be made available to the States concerned
with a view to an amicable solution of the matter on the basis of respect for this
Convention.
(b) If the States parties to the dispute fail to reach agreement within
three months on all or part of the composition of the Commission, the members
of the Commission not agreed upon by the States parties to the dispute shall be
elected by secret ballot by a two-thirds majority vote of the Committee from
among its own members.
2. The members of the Commission shall serve in their personal capacity.
They shall not be nationals of the States parties to the dispute or of a State not
Party to this Convention.
3. The Commission shall elect its own Chairman and adopt its own rules of
procedure.
4. The meetings of the Commission shall normally be held at United
Nations Headquarters or at any other convenient place as determined by the
Commission.
5. The secretariat provided in accordance with article 10, paragraph 3, of
this Convention shall also service the Commission whenever a dispute among
States Parties brings the Commission into being.
6. The States Parties to the dispute shall share equally all the expenses of the
members of the Commission in accordance with estimates to be provided by the
Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Schedule International Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial
discrimination

38 Racial Discrimination Act 1975 7. The Secretary-General shall be empowered to pay the expenses of the
members of the Commission, if necessary, before reimbursement by the States
parties to the dispute in accordance with paragraph 6 of this article.
8. The information obtained and collated by the Committee shall be made
available to the Commission, and the Commission may call upon the States
concerned to supply any other relevant information.
Article 13
1. When the Commission has fully considered the matter, it shall prepare
and submit to the Chairman of the Committee a report embodying its findings
on all questions of fact relevant to the issue between the parties and containing
such recommendations as it may think proper for the amicable solution of the
dispute.
2. The Chairman of the Committee shall communicate the report of the
Commission to each of the States parties to the dispute. These States shall,
within three months, inform the Chairman of the Committee whether or not they
accept the recommendations contained in the report of the Commission.
3. After the period provided for in paragraph 2 of this article, the Chairman
of the Committee shall communicate the report of the Commission and the
declarations of the States Parties concerned to the other States Parties to this
Convention.
Article 14
1. A State Party may at any time declare that it recognizes the competence
of the Committee to receive and consider communications from individuals or
groups of individuals within its jurisdiction claiming to be victims of a violation
by that State Party of any of the rights set forth in this Convention. No
communication shall be received by the Committee if it concerns a State Party
which has not made such a declaration.
2. Any State Party which makes a declaration as provided for in paragraph 1
of this article may establish or indicate a body within its national legal order
which shall be competent to receive and consider petitions from individuals and
groups of individuals within its jurisdiction who claim to be victims of a
violation of any of the rights set forth in this Convention and who have
exhausted other available local remedies.

International Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination
Schedule

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 39 3. A declaration made in accordance with paragraph 1 of this article and the
name of any body established or indicated in accordance with paragraph 2 of
this article shall be deposited by the State Party concerned with the
Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit copies thereof to
the other States Parties. A declaration may be withdrawn at any time by
notification to the Secretary-General, but such a withdrawal shall not affect
communications pending before the Committee.
4. A register of petitions shall be kept by the body established or indicated
in accordance with paragraph 2 of this article, and certified copies of the register
shall be filed annually through appropriate channels with the Secretary-General
on the understanding that the contents shall not be publicly disclosed.
5. In the event of failure to obtain satisfaction from the body established or
indicated in accordance with paragraph 2 of this article, the petitioner shall have
the right to communicate the matter to the Committee within six months.
6. (a) The Committee shall confidentially bring any communication
referred to it to the attention of the State Party alleged to be violating any
provision of this Convention, but the identity of the individual or groups of
individuals concerned shall not be revealed without his or their express consent.
The Committee shall not receive anonymous communications.
(b) Within three months, the receiving State shall submit to the
Committee written explanations or statements clarifying the matter and the
remedy, if any, that may have been taken by that State.
7. (a) The Committee shall consider communications in the light of all
information made available to it by the State Party concerned and by the
petitioner. The Committee shall not consider any communication from a
petitioner unless it has ascertained that the petitioner has exhausted all available
domestic remedies. However, this shall not be the rule where the application of
the remedies is unreasonably prolonged.
(b) The Committee shall forward its suggestions and
recommendations, if any, to the State Party concerned and to the petitioner.
8. The Committee shall include in its annual report a summary of such
communications and, where appropriate, a summary of the explanations and
statements of the States Parties concerned and of its own suggestions and
recommendations.

Schedule International Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial
discrimination

40 Racial Discrimination Act 1975 9. The Committee shall be competent to exercise the functions provided for
in this article only when at least ten States Parties to this Convention are bound
by declarations in accordance with paragraph 1 of this article.
Article 15
1. Pending the achievement of the objectives of the Declaration on the
Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, contained in
General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960, the provisions
of this Convention shall in no way limit the right of petition granted to these
peoples by other international instruments or by the United Nations and its
specialized agencies.
2. (a) The Committee established under article 8, paragraph 1, of this
Convention shall receive copies of the petitions from, and submit expressions of
opinion and recommendations on these petitions to, the bodies of the United
Nations which deal with matters directly related to the principles and objectives
of this Convention in their consideration of petitions from the inhabitants of
Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories and all other territories to which
General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) applies, relating to matters covered by
this Convention which are before these bodies.
(b) The Committee shall receive from the competent bodies of the
United Nations copies of the reports concerning the legislative, judicial,
administrative or other measures directly related to the principles and objectives
of this Convention applied by the administering Powers within the territories
mentioned in sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph, and shall express opinions
and make recommendations to these bodies.
3. The Committee shall include in its report to the General Assembly a
summary of the petitions and reports it has received from United Nations
bodies, and the expressions of opinion and recommendations of the Committee
relating to the said petitions and reports.
4. The Committee shall request from the Secretary-General of the United
Nations all information relevant to the objectives of this Convention and
available to him regarding the Territories mentioned in paragraph 2 (a) of this
article.

International Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination
Schedule

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 41 Article 16
The provisions of this Convention concerning the settlement of disputes
or complaints shall be applied without prejudice to other procedures for settling
disputes or complaints in the field of discrimination laid down in the constituent
instruments of, or in conventions adopted by, the United Nations and its
specialized agencies, and shall not prevent the States Parties from having
recourse to other procedures for settling a dispute in accordance with general or
special international agreements in force between them.
PART III
Article 17
1. This Convention is open for signature by any State Member of the United
Nations or member of any of its specialized agencies, by any State Party to the
Statute of the International Court of Justice, and by any other State which has
been invited by the General Assembly of the United Nations to become a Party
to this Convention.
2. This Convention is subject to ratification. Instruments of ratification shall
be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 18
1. This Convention shall be open to accession by any State referred to in
article 17, paragraph 1, of the Convention.
2. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession
with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 19
1. This Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date of
the deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the
twenty-seventh instrument of ratification or instrument of accession.
2. For each State ratifying this Convention or acceding to it after the deposit
of the twenty-seventh instrument of ratification or instrument of accession, the
Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date of the deposit
of its own instrument of ratification or instrument of accession.

Schedule International Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial
discrimination

42 Racial Discrimination Act 1975 Article 20
1. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall receive and circulate
to all States which are or may become Parties to this Convention reservations
made by States at the time of ratification or accession. Any State which objects
to the reservation shall, within a period of ninety days from the date of the said
communication, notify the Secretary-General that it does not accept it.
2. A reservation incompatible with the object and purpose of this
Convention shall not be permitted, nor shall a reservation the effect of which
would inhibit the operation of any of the bodies established by this Convention
be allowed. A reservation shall be considered incompatible or inhibitive if at
least two-thirds of the States Parties to this Convention object to it.
3. Reservations may be withdrawn at any time by notification to this effect
addressed to the Secretary-General. Such notification shall take effect on the
date on which it is received.
Article 21
A State Party may denounce this Convention by written notification to
the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Denunciation shall take effect one
year after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary-General.
Article 22
Any dispute between two or more States Parties with respect to the
interpretation or application of this Convention, which is not settled by
negotiation or by the procedures expressly provided for in this Convention,
shall, at the request of any of the parties to the dispute, be referred to the
International Court of Justice for decision, unless the disputants agree to another
mode of settlement.
Article 23
1. A request for the revision of this Convention may be made at any time by
any State Party by means of a notification in writing addressed to the
Secretary-General of the United Nations.
2. The General Assembly of the United Nations shall decide upon the steps,
if any, to be taken in respect of such a request.

International Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination
Schedule

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 43 Article 24
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States referred to
in article 17, paragraph 1, of this Convention of the following particulars:
(a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions under articles 17 and 18;
(b) the date of entry into force of this Convention under article 19;
(c) communications and declarations received under articles 14, 20
and 23;
(d) denunciations under article 21.
Article 25
1. This Convention, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and
Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the
United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified
copies of this Convention to all States belonging to any of the categories
mentioned in article 17, paragraph 1, of the Convention.

Notes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Table of Acts

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 45
Notes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975
Note 1
The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 as shown in this compilation comprises
Act No. 52, 1975 amended as indicated in the Tables below.
All relevant information pertaining to application, saving or transitional
provisions prior to 13 October 1999 is not included in this compilation.
For subsequent information see Table A.
Table of Acts
Act Number
and year Date
of Assent Date of
commencement Application,
saving or
transitional
provisions
Racial Discrimination Act
1975 52, 1975 11 June 1975 Ss. 1, 2 and 7:
Royal Assent
Remainder: 31 Oct
1975 (see Gazette
1975, No. S221)
Administrative Changes
(Consequential
Provisions) Act 1976 91, 1976 20 Sept 1976 S. 3: (a) S. 4
Racial Discrimination
Amendment Act 1980 18, 1980 23 Apr 1980 10 Dec 1981 (see
s. 2 and Gazette
1981, No. G49,
p. 2) —
as amended by
Racial Discrimination
Amendment Act 1981 25, 1981 14 Apr 1981 10 Dec 1981 (see
s. 2 and Gazette
1981, No. G49,
p. 2) —
Racial Discrimination
Amendment Act 1983 38, 1983 19 June 1983 19 June 1983 —
Human Rights and Equal
Opportunity Commission
(Transitional Provisions
and Consequential
Amendments) Act 1986 126, 1986 6 Dec 1986 10 Dec 1986 (see
s. 2 and Gazette
1986, No. S631) Ss. 31–34
Statute Law (Miscellaneous
Provisions) Act 1988 38, 1988 3 June 1988 S. 3: Royal Assent
(b) S. 5(1)
Law and Justice Legislation
Amendment Act 1990 115, 1990 21 Dec 1990 S. 49: Royal
Assent (c) —
Human Rights and Equal
Opportunity Legislation
Amendment Act 1992 132, 1992 30 Oct 1992 26 Nov 1992 (see
s. 2 and Gazette
1992, No. S346) —

Notes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Table of Acts

46 Racial Discrimination Act 1975
Act Number
and year Date
of Assent Date of
commencement Application,
saving or
transitional
provisions
Law and Justice Legislation
Amendment Act (No. 3)
1992 165, 1992 11 Dec 1992 S. 4 (Schedule
[Part 2]): 8 Jan
1993 (d) S. 3(2)
Sex Discrimination and
other Legislation
Amendment Act 1992 179, 1992 16 Dec 1992 13 Jan 1993 Ss. 2(2)
and 4
Law and Justice Legislation
Amendment Act 1993 13, 1994 18 Jan 1994 Part 4 (ss. 17–20):
Royal Assent (e) S. 18(2)
Human Rights Legislation
Amendment Act 1995 59, 1995 28 June 1995 Schedule (item 25):
30 Oct 1992
Remainder: Royal
Assent Ss. 4 and 5
Racial Hatred Act 1995 101, 1995 15 Sept 1995 13 Oct 1995 —
Statute Law Revision Act
1996 43, 1996 25 Oct 1996 Schedule 5 (items
133, 134): Royal
Assent (f) —
Human Rights Legislation
Amendment Act (No. 1)
1999 133, 1999 13 Oct 1999 Ss. 1–3 and 21:
Royal Assent
S. 22 and Schedule
1 (items 53, 60):
10 Dec 1999 (see
Gazette 1999,
No. S598)
Remainder: 13 Apr
2000 Ss. 4–22
[see Table
A] Public Employment
(Consequential and
Transitional) Amendment
Act 1999 146, 1999 11 Nov 1999 Schedule 1 (item
760): 5 Dec 1999
(see Gazette 1999,
No. S584) (g) —
Criminal Code Amendment
(Theft, Fraud, Bribery and
Related Offences) Act
2000 137, 2000 24 Nov 2000 Ss. 1–3 and
Schedule 1 (items
1, 4, 6, 7, 9–11,
32): Royal Assent
Remainder: 24 May
2001 Sch. 2
(items 418,
419) [see
Table A] Law and Justice Legislation
Amendment (Application
of Criminal Code) Act
2001 24, 2001 6 Apr 2001 S. 4(1), (2) and
Schedule 43: (h) S. 4(1), (2)
[see Table
A] Age Discrimination
(Consequential
Provisions) Act 2004 40, 2004 21 Apr 2004 Schedule 2
(item 27): [see (i)
and Note 2] —

Notes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Act Notes

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 47
(a) The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 was amended by section 3 only of the Administrative
Changes (Consequential Provisions) Act 1976, subsection 2(7) of which provides as follows:
(7) The amendments of each other Act specified in the Schedule made by this Act shall
be deemed to have come into operation on 22 December 1975.
(b) The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 was amended by section 3 only of the Statute Law
(Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1988, subsection 2(1) of which provides as follows:
(1) Subject to this section, this Act commences on the day on which it receives the
Royal Assent.
(c) The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 was amended by section 49 only of the Law and Justice
Legislation Amendment Act 1990, subsection 2(1) of which provides as follows:
(1) Subject to this section, this Act commences on the day on which it receives the
Royal Assent.
(d) The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 was amended by section 4 (Schedule [Part 2]) only of the
Law and Justice Legislation Amendment Act (No. 3) 1992, subsection 2(7) of which provides
as follows:
(7) Part 2 of the Schedule commences on the 28th day after the day on which this Act
receives the Royal Assent.
(e) The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 was amended by Part 4 (sections 17–20) only of the Law
and Justice Legislation Amendment Act 1993, subsection 2(1) of which provides as follows:
(1) Subject to this section, this Act commences on the day on which it receives the
Royal Assent.
(f) The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 was amended by Schedule 5 (items 133 and 134) only of
the Statute Law Revision Act 1996, subsection 2(1) of which provides as follows:
(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), this Act commences on the day on which it
receives the Royal Assent.
(g) The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 was amended by Schedule 1 (item 760) only of the Public
Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Act 1999, subsections 2(1) and (2)
of which provide as follows:
(1) In this Act, commencing time means the time when the Public Service Act 1999
commences.
(2) Subject to this section, this Act commences at the commencing time.
(h) The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 was amended by Schedule 43 only of the Law and Justice
Legislation Amendment (Application of Criminal Code) Act 2001, subsection 2(1)(a) of which
provides as follows:
(1) Subject to this section, this Act commences at the later of the following times:
(a) immediately after the commencement of item 15 of Schedule 1 to the
Criminal Code Amendment (Theft, Fraud, Bribery and Related Offences)
Act 2000;
Item 15 commenced on 24 May 2001.
(i) Subsection 2(1) (item 7) of the Age Discrimination (Consequential Provisions) Act 2004
provides as follows:
(1) Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken
to have commenced, on the day or at the time specified in column 2 of the table.

Notes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Act Notes

48 Racial Discrimination Act 1975
Commencement information
Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
Provision(s) Commencement Date/Details
7. Schedule 2,
items 23 to 28 The later of:
(a) immediately after the commencement of the
Age Discrimination Act 2004; and
(b) immediately after the commencement of
Schedule 1 to the Australian Human Rights
Commission Legislation Act 2004 [see Note 2] (paragraph (b)
applies)

Notes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Table of Amendments

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 49
Table of Amendments
ad. = added or inserted am. = amended rep. = repealed rs. = repealed and substituted
Provision affected How affected
Part I
S. 2 ……………………………………. am. No. 91, 1976; No. 126, 1986
S. 3 ……………………………………. am. No. 18, 1980 (as am. by No. 25, 1981); No. 126, 1986;
No. 38, 1988; No. 179, 1992; No. 133, 1999
S. 4 ……………………………………. am. No. 18, 1980
S. 6 ……………………………………. am. No. 18, 1980
rs. No. 126, 1986
S. 6A ………………………………….ad. No. 38, 1983
am. No. 126, 1986; No. 133, 1999
S. 6B ………………………………….ad. No. 24, 2001
Part II
S. 9 ……………………………………. am. No. 115, 1990
S. 10 …………………………………..am. No. 18, 1980; No. 126, 1986
S. 11 …………………………………..am. No. 43, 1996
S. 12 …………………………………..am. No. 126, 1986
S. 13 …………………………………..am. No. 43, 1996
S. 15 …………………………………..am. No. 126, 1986; No. 43, 1996
S. 16 …………………………………..am. No. 126, 1986
S. 18 ………………………………….. rs. No. 115, 1990
S. 18A…………………………………ad. No. 115, 1990
Part IIA
Part IIA ………………………………ad. No. 101, 1995
S. 18B…………………………………ad. No. 101, 1995
S. 18C………………………………..ad. No. 101, 1995
Note to s. 18C(1) …………………. am. No. 133, 1999
Ss. 18D–18F………………………..ad. No. 101, 1995
Part III
Heading to Part III ………………… rs. No. 133, 1999
Part III ……………………………….. rs. No. 126, 1986
Division 1
S. 19 ………………………………….. rs. No. 126, 1986
S. 19A…………………………………ad. No. 179, 1992
rep. No. 133, 1999
S. 20 …………………………………..am. No. 18, 1980 (as am. by No. 25, 1981)
rs. No. 126, 1986
am. No. 101, 1995; No. 133, 1999
Note to s. 20(1)…………………….ad. No. 133, 1999
S. 20A…………………………………ad. No. 18, 1980
rep. No. 126, 1986

Notes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Table of Amendments

50 Racial Discrimination Act 1975
ad. = added or inserted am. = amended rep. = repealed rs. = repealed and substituted
Provision affected How affected
S. 21 …………………………………..am. No. 18, 1980 rs. No. 126, 1986
rep. No. 133, 1999
S. 22 …………………………………..am. No. 18, 1980
rs. No. 126, 1986
am. No. 179, 1992; No. 101, 1995
rep. No. 133, 1999
S. 23 …………………………………..am. No. 18, 1980
rs. No. 126, 1986
rep. No. 133, 1999
Div. 2 of Part III ……………………. rep. No. 133, 1999
S. 24 …………………………………..am. No. 18, 1980
rs. No. 126, 1986
am. No. 38, 1988; No. 165, 1992; No. 101, 1995
rep. No. 133, 1999
Ss. 24AA, 24AB……………………ad. No. 165, 1992
rep. No. 133, 1999
Ss. 24A–24E………………………..ad. No. 126, 1986
rep. No. 133, 1999
Div. 3 of Part III ……………………. rep. No. 133, 1999
S. 24F…………………………………ad. No. 126, 1986
rep. No. 133, 1999
S. 25 ………………………………….. rs. No. 126, 1986
rep. No. 133, 1999
Ss. 25A–25H……………………….ad. No. 126, 1986
rep. No. 133, 1999
Ss. 25J, 25K………………………..ad. No. 126, 1986
rep. No. 133, 1999
Ss. 25L, 25M……………………….ad. No. 126, 1986
rs. No. 179, 1992
rep. No. 133, 1999
S. 25MA………………………………ad. No. 179, 1992
rep. No. 133, 1999
S. 25N………………………………..ad. No. 126, 1986
am. No. 179, 1992
rep. No. 133, 1999
S. 25P…………………………………ad. No. 126, 1986
rs. No. 179, 1992
rep. No. 133, 1999
Ss. 25Q–25U……………………….ad. No. 126, 1986
rep. No. 133, 1999
S. 25V…………………………………ad. No. 126, 1986
am. No. 179, 1992
rep. No. 133, 1999
Ss. 25W, 25X……………………….ad. No. 126, 1986
am. No. 101, 1995
rep. No. 133, 1999

Notes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Table of Amendments

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 51
ad. = added or inserted am. = amended rep. = repealed rs. = repealed and substituted
Provision affected How affected
S. 25Y…………………………………ad. No. 126, 1986 am. No. 179, 1992
rep. No. 133, 1999
S. 25Z…………………………………ad. No. 126, 1986
am. No. 38, 1988; No. 179, 1992
rep. No. 133, 1999
S. 25ZA………………………………ad. No. 126, 1986
am. No. 165, 1992
rs. No. 179, 1992
rep. No. 133, 1999
S. 25ZAA…………………………….ad. No. 179, 1992
rep. No. 59, 1995
S. 25ZAB…………………………….ad. No. 179, 1992
am. No. 13, 1994
rep. No. 59, 1995
S. 25ZAC…………………………….ad. No. 179, 1992
rep. No. 59, 1995
S. 25ZB………………………………ad. No. 126, 1986
rep. No. 133, 1999
Div. 3A of Part III ………………….ad. No. 59, 1995
rep. No. 133, 1999
S. 25ZC………………………………ad. No. 126, 1986
am. No. 179, 1992; No. 13, 1994
rs. No. 59, 1995
rep. No. 133, 1999
Ss. 25ZCA–25ZCF ……………….ad. No. 59, 1995
rep. No. 133, 1999
Div. 4 of Part III ……………………ad. No. 179, 1992
rep. No. 133, 1999
Ss. 25ZD–25ZI …………………….ad. No. 179, 1992
rep. No. 133, 1999
Part IV
S. 26 …………………………………..am. No. 101, 1995
S. 27 …………………………………..am. No. 18, 1980; No. 126, 1986; No. 133, 1999; No. 24,
2001
Ss. 27A–27D……………………….ad. No. 126, 1986
rep. No. 133, 1999
S. 27E…………………………………ad. No. 126, 1986
am. No. 133, 1999
rep. No. 137, 2000
S. 27F…………………………………ad. No. 126, 1986
am. No. 24, 2001
Note to s. 27F(3)…………………..ad. No. 24, 2001
Part V
S. 28 …………………………………..am. No. 91, 1976; No. 18, 1980; No. 126, 1986
Part VI
Division 1
Heading to Div. 1 of Part VI……. rs. No. 126, 1986

Notes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Table of Amendments

52 Racial Discrimination Act 1975
ad. = added or inserted am. = amended rep. = repealed rs. = repealed and substituted
Provision affected How affected
S. 29 ………………………………….. rs. No. 126, 1986 am. No. 59, 1995
S. 30 ………………………………….. rs. No. 126, 1986
am. No. 133, 1999
S. 31 …………………………………..am. No. 126, 1986; No. 59, 1995
S. 32 …………………………………..am. No. 91, 1976
rs. No. 132, 1992
am. No. 146, 1999
S. 33 …………………………………..am. No. 126, 1986
S. 34 …………………………………..am. No. 91, 1976; No. 126, 1986; No. 132, 1992
S. 35 …………………………………..am. No. 91, 1976; No. 126, 1986
S. 36 …………………………………..am. No. 91, 1976; No. 126, 1986; No. 132, 1992; No. 13,
1994
S. 37 …………………………………..rep. No. 126, 1986
S. 38 …………………………………..rep. No. 18, 1980
S. 39 …………………………………..rep. No. 126, 1986
S. 40 ………………………………….. rs. No. 18, 1980
am. No. 126, 1986; No. 132, 1992
Division 2
S. 41 …………………………………..am. No. 91, 1976; No. 126, 1986
S. 42 …………………………………..am. No. 126, 1986; No. 59, 1995
S. 43 …………………………………..am. No. 126, 1986
Part VII
S. 44A…………………………………ad. No. 18, 1980
rep. No. 126, 1986
S. 45 …………………………………..am. No. 18, 1980
rep. No. 126, 1986
ad. No. 38, 1988
am. No. 133, 1999
S. 45A…………………………………ad. No. 18, 1980
am. No. 126, 1986
S. 46 …………………………………..am. No. 91, 1976
rep. No. 18, 1980
S. 47 …………………………………..am. No. 126, 1986

Notes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Note 2

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 53
Note 2
Age Discrimination (Consequential Provisions) Act 2004 (No. 40, 2004)
The following amendment commences immediately after the commencement of
Schedule 1 to the Australian Human Rights Commission Legislation Act 2004
(still a Bill):
Schedule 2
27 Paragraph 20(2)(c)
Repeal the paragraph, substitute:
(c) whether, in the Attorney-General’s opinion, the proceedings
have significant implications for the administration of any of
the following Acts:
(i) this Act;
(ii) the Age Discrimination Act 2004;
(iii) the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986;
(iv) the Disability Discrimination Act 1992;
(v) the Sex Discrimination Act 1984;
As at 24 June 2004 the amendment is not incorporated in this compilation.

Notes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Table A

54 Racial Discrimination Act 1975
Table A
Application, saving or transitional provisions
Human Rights Legislation Amendment Act (No. 1) 1999 (No. 133, 1999)
Division 1—Interpretation
4 Interpretation
In this Part:
appropriate Commissioner means:
(a) in relation to a complaint lodged under the old DDA—the
Disability Discrimination Commissioner; and
(b) in relation to a complaint lodged under the old RDA—the
Race Discrimination Commissioner; and
(c) in relation to a complaint lodged under the old SDA—the
Sex Discrimination Commissioner.
Court means the Federal Court of Australia.
holding of an inquiry means a holding of an inquiry referred to in
a notice given under:
(a) section 83 of the old DDA; or
(b) section 25E of the old RDA; or
(c) section 63 of the old SDA.
new HREOCA means the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity
Commission Act 1986 as amended by Schedule 1 to this Act.
old DDA means the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 before
being amended by Schedule 1 to this Act.
old RDA means the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 before being
amended by Schedule 1 to this Act.
old SDA means the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 before being
amended by Schedule 1 to this Act.

Notes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Table A

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 55 purported complaint means a document purporting to be a
complaint.
starting day means the day on which this Part commences.
Division 2—Treatment of complaints lodged before
starting day
Subdivision A—Treatment of complaint depends on the stage it
has reached
5 Purported complaint lodged but no decision as to whether it is a
complaint
(1) A purported complaint is treated in the way set out in subsection
(2) if, before the starting day:
(a) it was lodged with the Commission; and
(b) the Commission had not decided whether it was a complaint
within the meaning of the old DDA, old RDA or old SDA.
(2) On the starting day:
(a) the purported complaint is taken to have been lodged under
section 46P of the new HREOCA; and
(b) the Commission must then decide whether it is a complaint
within the meaning of the new HREOCA.
6 Administrative appeal on Commission’s decision as to whether
complaint
(1) A purported complaint is treated in the way set out in subsection
(2) if:
(a) before the starting day, the Commission decided that it was,
or was not, a complaint within the meaning of the old DDA,
old RDA or old SDA; and
(b) on or after the starting day, the Court makes an order under
the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 to
refer the matter to which the decision relates to the
Commission for further consideration.

Notes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Table A

56 Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (2) On the day on which the order is made:
(a) the purported complaint is taken to have been lodged under
section 46P of the new HREOCA; and
(b) the Commission must then decide whether it is a complaint
within the meaning of the new HREOCA.
7 Complaint lodged but Commissioner not notified of it
(1) A purported complaint is treated in the way set out in subsection
(2) if, before the starting day:
(a) it was lodged with the Commission; and
(b) the Commission decided that it was a complaint within the
meaning of the old DDA, old RDA or old SDA; and
(c) the Commission had not notified the appropriate
Commissioner of it.
(2) On the starting day:
(a) the purported complaint is taken to have been lodged under
section 46P of the new HREOCA; and
(b) the Commission is taken to have decided that it is a
complaint within the meaning of the new HREOCA.
8 Commissioner notified of complaint but had not decided to dismiss
or refer it
(1) A complaint is treated in the way set out in subsection (2) if, before
the starting day:
(a) the Commission had notified the appropriate Commissioner
of the complaint; and
(b) the appropriate Commissioner had not made a decision not to
inquire, or not to continue to inquire, into the complaint; and
(c) the appropriate Commissioner had not referred the complaint
to the Commission.
(2) On the starting day, the complaint is taken to have been referred to
the President under section 46PD of the new HREOCA.

Notes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Table A

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 57
9 Commissioner decided to dismiss complaint
(1) A complaint is treated in the way set out in subsection (2) if:
(a) before the starting day, the appropriate Commissioner
decided not to inquire, or not to continue to inquire, into the
complaint; and
(b) on the starting day, the complainant could have required the
appropriate Commissioner to:
(i) refer the complaint to the President under section 71 of
the old DDA if that section had not been repealed by
this Act; or
(ii) refer the Commissioner’s decision to the President, or
refer the complaint to the Commission, under section 24
of the old RDA if that section had not been repealed by
this Act; or
(iii) refer the Commissioner’s decision to the President, or
refer the complaint to the Commission, under section 52
of the old SDA if that section had not been repealed by
this Act.
(2) On the starting day, the President is taken to have terminated the
complaint under section 46PH of the new HREOCA.
Note: The President is required to give a notice of termination of the
complaint under section 14 of this Act.
10 Presidential review of Commissioner’s decision to dismiss
complaint
(1) A complaint is treated in the way set out in subsection (2) if, before
the starting day:
(a) the appropriate Commissioner decided not to inquire, or not
to continue to inquire, into the complaint; and
(b) the complainant required the appropriate Commissioner to
refer the complaint, or the Commissioner’s decision, to the
President; and
(c) the President had not made a decision under whichever of the
following sections is applicable:
(i) section 101 of the old DDA;
(ii) section 24AA of the old RDA;

Notes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Table A

58 Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (iii) section 52A of the old SDA.
(2) On the starting day, the President is taken to have terminated the
complaint under section 46PH of the new HREOCA.
Note: The President is required to give a notice of termination of the
complaint under section 14 of this Act.
11 Administrative review of President’s decision
(1) A complaint is treated in the way set out in subsection (2) if:
(a) before the starting day, the President made a decision in
relation to the complaint under:
(i) section 101 of the old DDA; or
(ii) section 24AA of the old RDA; or
(iii) section 52A of the old SDA; and
(b) on or after the starting day, the Court makes an order under
the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 to
refer the matter to which the decision relates to the
Commission for further consideration.
(2) On the day the order is made, the President is taken to have
terminated the complaint under section 46PH of the new
HREOCA.
Note: The President is required to give a notice of termination of the
complaint under section 14 of this Act.
12 Complaint referred to Commission but inquiry not started
(1) A complaint is treated in the way set out in subsection (2) if, before
the starting day:
(a) the appropriate Commissioner referred the complaint to the
Commission; and
(b) a holding of an inquiry into the complaint had not started
under the old DDA, old RDA or old SDA; and
(c) the complaint had not been withdrawn under whichever of
the following sections is applicable:
(i) section 79 of the old DDA;
(ii) section 25A of the old RDA;
(iii) section 59 of the old SDA.

Notes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Table A

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 59 (2) On the starting day, the President is taken to have terminated the
complaint under section 46PH of the new HREOCA.
Note: The President is required to give a notice of termination of the
complaint under section 14 of this Act.
13 Inquiry started
(1) A complaint is treated in the way set out in subsection (2) if, before
the starting day:
(a) a holding of an inquiry into the complaint had started under
the old DDA, old RDA or old SDA; and
(b) the complaint had not been withdrawn under whichever of
the following sections is applicable:
(i) section 79 of the old DDA;
(ii) section 25A of the old RDA;
(iii) section 59 of the old SDA.
(2) The amendments made by Schedule 1 to this Act do not apply in
relation to the complaint.
Subdivision B—Other rules about complaints lodged before
starting day
14 Notice of termination
(1) If the President is taken to have terminated a complaint under
section 9, 10, 11 or 12, then the President must notify the
complainants in writing of the termination and the reasons for the
termination.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply if all the complainants requested the
appropriate Commissioner not to inquire into the complaint.
(3) The President must give a person a copy of the notice that was
given to the complainants under subsection (1) if:
(a) the person was a person on whose behalf the complaint was
lodged; and
(b) the person requested the President for a copy of the notice.

Notes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Table A

60 Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (4) The President is not required to notify any person under section
46PH of the new HREOCA.
15 Work done by Commissioner is taken to have been done by
President
Any thing done, or information obtained, by the appropriate
Commissioner in relation to a complaint that is referred to the
President under section 8 is taken to have been done or obtained by
the President.
16 Special rules apply to proceedings to enforce a determination
Sections 46PQ, 46PR and 46PT of the new HREOCA apply for the
purposes of proceedings in the Court:
(a) for an order to enforce a determination in relation to a
complaint; or
(b) for an order directing a Commonwealth agency (or the
principal executive of a Commonwealth agency) to comply;
if the proceedings started on or after the starting day under:
(c) section 105A or 106F of the old DDA; or
(d) section 25ZC or 25ZI of the old RDA; or
(e) section 83A or 84F of the old SDA.
Division 3—Other transitional and application provisions
17 Protection from civil actions
The amendments made by items 30, 31, 83, 84, 119 and 120 of
Schedule 1 do not apply to a complaint lodged before the starting
day under the old DDA, old RDA or old SDA.
18 Referrals under the old SDA
The amendments made by items 1, 2, 85, 86, 97, 100, 122, 123,
124 and 125 of Schedule 1 do not apply to a complaint lodged
before the starting day under section 50A, 50C or 50E of the old
SDA.

Notes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Table A

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 61
19 Inquiries started by Human Rights Commissioner
The amendment made by item 52 of Schedule 1 does not apply in
relation to an inquiry that the Human Rights Commissioner started
before the starting day.
20 When a person cannot lodge a complaint under the new
HREOCA
A person cannot lodge a complaint under section 46P of the new
HREOCA if:
(a) the person is a class member for a representative complaint in
respect of the same subject matter; and
(b) a holding of an inquiry into the representative complaint had
started under the old DDA, old RDA or old SDA.
21 Regulations
(1) The Governor-General may make regulations prescribing matters:
(a) required or permitted by this Act to be prescribed; or
(b) necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or
giving effect to this Act.
(2) In particular, regulations may be made in relation to matters of a
transitional or saving nature arising out of the enactment of this
Act.
22 Transitional—powers of a Secretary
A thing done by the Commission before the commencement of this
section in exercising powers referred to in subsection 43(2) of the
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 has
effect, for the purpose of the exercise by the President after the
commencement of this section of powers referred to in that
subsection, as if the thing had been done by the President.

Notes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Table A

62 Racial Discrimination Act 1975 Criminal Code Amendment (Theft, Fraud, Bribery and Related Offences)
Act 2000 (No. 137, 2000)
Schedule 2
418 Transitional—pre-commencement offences
(1) Despite the amendment or repeal of a provision by this Schedule, that
provision continues to apply, after the commencement of this item, in
relation to:
(a) an offence committed before the commencement of this item;
or
(b) proceedings for an offence alleged to have been committed
before the commencement of this item; or
(c) any matter connected with, or arising out of, such
proceedings;
as if the amendment or repeal had not been made.
(2) Subitem (1) does not limit the operation of section 8 of the Acts
Interpretation Act 1901.
419 Transitional—pre-commencement notices
If:
(a) a provision in force immediately before the commencement
of this item required that a notice set out the effect of one or
more other provisions; and
(b) any or all of those other provisions are repealed by this
Schedule; and
(c) the first-mentioned provision is amended by this Schedule;
the amendment of the first-mentioned provision by this Schedule does
not affect the validity of such a notice that was given before the
commencement of this item.

Notes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Table A

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 63 Law and Justice Legislation Amendment (Application of Criminal Code)
Act 2001 (No. 24, 2001)
4 Application of amendments
(1) Subject to subsection (3), each amendment made by this Act
applies to acts and omissions that take place after the amendment
commences.
(2) For the purposes of this section, if an act or omission is alleged to
have taken place between 2 dates, one before and one on or after
the day on which a particular amendment commences, the act or
omission is alleged to have taken place before the amendment
commences.

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