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A Bill for an Act to amend the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986, and for related purposes
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Registered 08 Feb 2017
Introduced Senate 07 Feb 2017
Table of contents.

2016‑2017

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian Human Rights Commission Amendment (Preliminary Assessment Process) Bill 2017

 

No.      , 2017

 

(Senator Burston)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to amend the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986, and for related purposes

  

  


Contents

1............ Short title............................................................................................. 1

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 1

3............ Schedules............................................................................................ 2

Schedule 1—Amendments                                                                                                3

Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986                                                  3

 

 


A Bill for an Act to amend the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1  Short title

                   This Act is the Australian Human Rights Commission Amendment (Preliminary Assessment Process) Act 2017.

2  Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  The whole of this Act

The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this Act.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this Act. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this Act.

3  Schedules

                   Legislation that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

Schedule 1Amendments

  

Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986

1  At the end of subsection 46PE(3)

Add “(other than any requirement to notify the President or the Commission)”.

2  Subsection 46PF(1)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (1)  If a complaint is referred to the President under section 46PD, the President must appoint a committee, consisting of the President and 2 other members of the Commission, to make a preliminary assessment of the complaint.

          (1A)  The President must, as soon as practicable after the complaint is referred, by notice in writing:

                     (a)  inform the complainant that the President will inquire into the complaint, subject to a preliminary assessment; and

                     (b)  invite the complainant to provide evidence for the complaint, within a period specified in the notice, for the preliminary assessment.

          (1B)  After the end of the period specified in the notice to the complainant, the committee must:

                     (a)  consider the complaint and any evidence provided by the complainant; and

                     (b)  form a view on whether the complaint could be terminated under section 46PH; and

                     (c)  unless the committee forms the view that the complaint could be terminated—form a view on whether any respondent should be removed from the complaint.

          (1C)  If the committee forms a view under paragraph (1B)(c) that a respondent should be removed from the complaint, the President must make an appropriate recommendation to the complainant in writing, giving the reasons.

          (1D)  As soon as practicable after subsection (1B) and, if applicable, subsection (1C) have been complied with, the President must, unless the complaint is terminated under section 46PE or 46PH, by notice in writing to each respondent:

                     (a)  inform the respondent of the complaint, or that part of the complaint that relates to the respondent; and

                     (b)  inform the respondent that the President will inquire into the complaint, subject to a preliminary assessment; and

                     (c)  invite the respondent to provide evidence in relation to the complaint, within a period specified in the notice, for the preliminary assessment.

          (1E)  After the end of the period specified in the notices to the respondents, the committee must:

                     (a)  consider the complaint and any evidence provided by a respondent; and

                     (b)  form a view on whether the complaint could be terminated under section 46PH; and

                     (c)  unless the committee forms the view that the complaint could be terminated—form a view on whether any respondent should be removed from the complaint.

           (1F)  If the committee forms a view under paragraph (1E)(c) that a respondent should be removed from the complaint, the President must make an appropriate recommendation to the complainant in writing, giving the reasons.

          (1G)  As soon as practicable after subsection (1E) and, if applicable, subsection (1F) have been complied with, the President must, unless the complaint is terminated under section 46PE or 46PH:

                     (a)  by notice in writing to the complainant and to each respondent:

                              (i)  inform the recipient that the President will inquire into the complaint and attempt to conciliate the complaint; and

                             (ii)  set out briefly the proposed process for the inquiry and conciliation; and

                     (b)  proceed to inquire into the complaint and attempt to conciliate the complaint.

3  Subsection 46PF(5)

Repeal the subsection.

4  Subsection 46PH(1)

After “may terminate a complaint”, insert “, at any time (including before the inquiry into the complaint has begun),”.

5  Before paragraph 46PH(1)(a)

Insert:

                    (aa)  the President is satisfied that the person aggrieved by the alleged unlawful discrimination does not want the President to inquire, or to continue to inquire, into the complaint;

                   (ab)  the President is satisfied that the complaint has been settled or resolved;

6  Subsection 46PH(2)

After “must notify the complainants”, insert “, and any respondents that have been notified of the complaint”.

7  Paragraph 46PO(1)(b)

Omit “any person”, substitute “a complainant”.

8  Application of amendments

The amendments made by this Schedule apply in relation to a complaint lodged on or after the day this item commences.