Human Rights Legislation Amendment Bill 2017

Type
Government
Portfolio
Attorney-General
Originating house
Senate
Status
Act
Parliament no
45

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Summary

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

Progress

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

Documents and transcripts

Text of bill

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Explanatory memoranda

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Proposed amendments

Senate

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Schedules of amendments

No documents at present

Notes

Helpful information

Text of bill

  • First reading: Text of the bill as introduced into the Parliament
  • Third reading: Prepared if the bill is amended by the house in which it was introduced. This version of the bill is then considered by the second house.
  • As passed by both houses: Final text of bill agreed to by both the House of Representatives and the Senate which is presented to the Governor-General for assent.

Explanatory memoranda

  • Explanatory memorandum: Accompanies and provides an explanation of the content of the introduced version (first reading) of the bill.
  • Supplementary explanatory memorandum: Accompanies and explains amendments proposed by the government to the bill.
  • Revised explanatory memorandum: Accompanies and explains the amended version (third reading) of the bill. It supersedes the explanatory memorandum.

Proposed amendments

Circulated by members and senators when they propose to make changes to the bill. For details about the outcome of proposed amendments please refer to either the Votes and Proceedings (House of Representatives) or the Journals (Senate).

Schedules of amendments

Schedules of amendments list amendments agreed to by the second house are communicated to the first house for consideration. Subsequent action by either house may also be included in a schedule.