The Federation Press

Australian Anti-Discrimination Law


This book, which is the first major text in the field directed to both legal practitioners and law students, contains a detailed analysis of Australian anti-discrimination law as well as extracts from all of the major cases and the writings of leading commentators. It incorporates the many changes to the law since the first edition was published in 2008 and includes new chapters dealing with positive duties, victimisation and protections against discrimination in industrial relations laws.

The book includes a comprehensive examination of the difficult concepts of direct and indirect discrimination as well as coverage of the major grounds of unlawful discrimination, such as race, sex and disability.

The book records the history of the major pieces of anti-discrimination legislation, examines important international developments and includes numerous suggestions for reform. The book will be of interest to legal and human rights practitioners as well as students. The chapters in the areas of procedure and remedies will be particularly important to those people practicing in the field.


Reviews of previous edition:
...the real strength of this book is in the perceptive and insightful commentary bringing together the cases and materials extracted in it...the book is primarily devised as a teaching tool as it appears from the questions posed at the end of each chapter. The questions are designed in such a way as to challenge the reader to think about the contents of the substantive part of the book and service to highlight the complexity of anti-discrimination law that protect many classes, some of whose interest may not merge. - Human Rights Law Review, 9:4(2009), 691-698

Every day, governments, private companies and individuals must navigate the shoals of discrimination law. They must grapple with issues for which there is no clear answer and disputes in which both sides are understandable; often institutions and individuals will have little or no idea of their positive or negative obligations to others.
For lawyers too this area is a minefield. The law, which is borne of a plethora of statutes, themselves often children of international treaties, is constantly evolving and adapting. Australian Anti-Discrimination Law is the answer to the prayers of the discrimination law practitioner for a complete case and materials textbook on the subject. The book contains extracts from cases (state, federal and international), statutes and statutory instruments, and academic materials where they assist our understanding.
The authors are eminently qualified by their practical and academic experience. The book deals thoroughly with the subject from procedure and remedies through philosophical and political underpinnings to thorny issues of constitutional, international and comparative law. It covers both state and federal discrimination law. - Law Institute Journal of Victoria, July 2009

This book, which honours the best traditions of its genre, provides, within an appropriate conceptual framework, careful selection of extracts from cases and other pertinent materials and, importantly, incisive textual analysis. Whilst providing a cogent critique of the current law, the authors have kept their feet firmly on the ground. The result is an authoritative analysis based on the very considerable practical and academic experience of its authors. Under the leadership of Professor Neil Rees, and subsequently Simon Rice, Kingsford Legal Centre developed in the early 1980s a specialist practice in anti-discrimination law, providing the skill and experience to mount many of the early groundbreaking cases. Professor Rees continued his work in the area after moving to the University of Newcastle, where he collaborated with Katherine Lindsay. Together, they have established an immensely valuable resource covering the full spectrum of anti-discrimination law in Australia. - From the Foreword by John Basten, Judge of Appeal, Supreme Court of New South Wales

Table of Contents

An Overview of Australian Anti-Discrimination Law
The Policy Goals of Australian Anti-Discrimination Law
The Impact of the Australian Constitution on Anti-Discrimination Law
The Concept of Unlawful Discrimination
Positive Duties
Protected Attributes
Areas of Unlawful Discrimination
Defences, Exceptions and Exemptions
Employment legislation

Of interest...