The Discrimination Act

Picture of anti-discrimination brochure, with HRC logo, and picture of people linking hands

The ACT Human Rights Commission can take complaints of unlawful discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation and vilification under the ACT Discrimination Act 1991.

Unlawful Discrimination

For the Human Rights Commission to be able to take action on a complaint there must be three elements. These are:

  1. Allegations of unfair treatment because of
  2. Certain ‘protected attributes’ as defined by the Discrimination Act 1991, and
  3. In a part of ‘public life’, as defined by the Discrimination Act 1991.

Protected Attributes

The protected attributes a person must have, and are the reason for the unfair treatment:


Those areas of public life that the discrimination must have occurred in

  • Access to premises
  • Access or membership to a professional or trade organisation
  • Accommodation
  • Education
  • Employment, including recruitment
  • Employment agency
  • Engagement as a commission agent
  • Engagement or employment as a contract worker
  • Membership or services of a licensed club
  • In the provision of goods, services or facilities
  • Partnerships
  • Public act (applies to vilification only)
  • Qualifying body
  • Request for information
  • Unlawful advertising

Other Types of Complaints

A person can also make separate complaints to the Commission about:

There is more information on the following pages: