Response to Discrimination Costs Consultation - Free Speech Union of Australia

Response to Discrimination Costs Consultation

Monday Jan 08 2024 at 11:00 AM

The Free Speech Union of Australia has made a submission to the Australian Parliament in response to a consultation on anti-discrimination laws.

As presently planned, if a claimant wins on any point in a discrimination claim, then they are entitled to their full legal costs. This reduces the risk of bringing discrimination claims, even when they are poorly conceived, arguably vexatious, or based on merely being 'offended'.

We are concerned that the proposed cost-shifting arrangements will promote attacks on Free Speech and will simultaneously undermine anti-discrimination law. We have proposed some modifications to this Bill, as well as to anti-discrimination law more generally, in order to address these unintended consequences.

In particular, we seek to remove 'offence' based provisions which are not genuinely part of anti-discrimination law, as well as limiting the proposed entitlement to full legal costs to large organisations who are able to more easily insure themselves against this risk.

For more details, please see the below submission:

Please download here: [Full response (PDF)]