Monday, 19 February 2018 14:24

Commission makes submission to Religious Freedom Review

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission has written to the Religious Freedom Review, which was commissioned by the Australian Government last year to evaluate the strength of existing religious protections in Australia.

The Commission's letter (PDF, 215MB) outlines how religious freedom is protected in Victoria under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010, the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 and the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.

The Commission's letter also expresses support for the recommendations of the Australian Human Rights Commission in its submission to the review. We contributed to that submission about religious freedom is protected in Victoria and the number and type of complaints we receive about discrimination on the grounds of religion.

The Australian Human Rights Commission recommends that the Australian Government conduct research and community consultation, with a view to enhancing Australian legal protections prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion or belief to give effect to international human rights standards.

The Australian Human Rights Commission also recommends that the Australian Government examine the system of religious exemptions to anti-discrimination law to protect the human rights of all Australians. We support these recommendations.

The Religious Freedom Review panel was commissioned by the Australian Government in November 2017. The expert panel was chaired by the Hon Philip Ruddock and included the president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM, the Hon Dr Annabelle Bennett AO SC, Father Frank Brennan SJ AO, and Professor Nicholas Aroney.

The Commission met with the Religious Freedom Review expert panel during its consultations with stakeholders in February 2018.

Following the meeting, the Commission responded to follow up questions from the Religious Freedom Review expert panel in a further submission dated 10 April 2018.

The panel is expected to report its findings by 18 May 2018.

Read the Commission's letter (PDF, 215MB).
Read the Commission's further submission (PDF, 145MB)

Media contact

Kat O'Shea
Mobile: 0459 114 657
Email: kat.o'shea@veohrc.vic.gov.au

Lodge a complaint with us
Updates6
Chat live with us now