Project 111 – Review of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (WA)

Independent report
Commenced: 2019; Completed 2022

Terms of Reference

The Law Reform Commission of Western Australia is to provide advice and make recommendations for consideration by the Government on possible amendments to enhance and update the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (WA) (“the Act”) taking into account Australian and international best practices regarding equality and non-discrimination.

In carrying out its review, the Law Reform Commission should consider whether there is a need for any reform, and if so, the scope of reform regarding:

  1. the objects of the Act and other preliminary provisions;
  2. the grounds of discrimination including (but not limited to) introducing grounds of gender identity and intersex status;
  3. the areas of public life to which the Act applies;
  4. definitions in the Act including (but not limited to) discrimination, harassment (including a requirement for disadvantage in a definition of sexual harassment), impairment (including a requirement to make reasonable adjustments for persons with an impairment), victimisation, services and employment;
  5. the inclusion of vilification, including racial, religious, sexual orientation and impairment vilification;
  6. the inclusion of a positive duty not to discriminate on grounds covered by the Act;
  7. exceptions to grounds of discrimination including (but not limited to) those for religious institutions;
  8. the burden of proof;
  9. the functions and investigative powers of the Commissioner for Equal Opportunity including (but not limited to) the functions of the Commissioner (either personally or by counsel) assisting complainants in the presentation of their case to the State Administrative Tribunal (“SAT”);
  10. requirements around the referral of complaints to SAT;
  11. the role and jurisdiction of SAT under the Act, including the requirement for leave if the complaint is dismissed by the Commissioner;
  12. interaction with the Commonwealth Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 and with other relevant Commonwealth laws or proposed laws;
  13. any other element of the Act or other laws relevant to equal opportunity and non-discrimination; and
  14. any related matter.

Outcomes

The Final Report was tabled in Parliament on 16 August 2022.

Documents

Project 111 – Discussion Paper (August 2021)
Project 111: Issues paper – Definition of ‘impairment’
Project 111: Issues paper – Definition of ‘race’
Project 111: Issues paper – Definition of 'sexual harassment'
Project 111: Issues paper – Sexual harassment by members of Parliament
Project 111: Issues paper – Sexual harassment by judicial officers
Project 111: Issues paper – Should the definition of ‘employees’ include unpaid or volunteer workers?
Project 111: Issues paper – Should the ground of discrimination against gender identity be broadened?
Project 111: Issues paper – ‘Religious or political conviction’
Project 111: Issues paper – Should it be unlawful to discriminate against someone because they use an assistance or therapeutic animal?
Project 111: Issues paper – Creation of a duty to eliminate discrimination
Project 111: Issues paper – Content of a duty to eliminate discrimination
Project 111: Issues paper – Enforcement of a duty to eliminate discrimination
Page reviewed 16 August 2022