Annual Report 2006-2007 Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Commission
Tabled paper 1144
Tabled papers for 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; Tabled Papers for 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT; Tabled Papers
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Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Commission 2006/2007 Annual Report 14 Complaints One of the Anti-Discrimination Commissioners functions is to carry out investigations and hearings into complaints and endeavour to effect conciliation. [Section 13(1) NT Anti-Discrimination Act (the Act)]. In performing this function the Anti-Discrimination Commission is a neutral body which does not represent either side in a complaint. The function of the Commission in relation to complaints is to impartially assess, investigate, provide advice, conciliate, and, if necessary, conduct hearings to determine complaints. The Act provides that, if the Commissioner has personally conducted the investigation or taken part in the conciliation of a complaint, he cannot conduct a hearing into that matter. For this reason the Commissioner delegates the powers to investigate and conciliate complaints to senior Commission officers called Delegates. These Delegates functions include: receiving complaints; deciding whether to accept or reject complaints; conducting investigations; providing advice to both parties; writing complex decisions as to whether or not a complainant has established a prima facie complaint; and endeavouring to conciliate complaints including conducting conciliation conferences. If a complaint proceeding to conciliation is not resolved it may be referred to a public hearing which is conducted by the Commissioner. Summary of Complaint-Handling in 2006/2007 Complaint Process (Overview) a. Discrimination, Prohibited Conduct and Areas of Activity The Act defines discrimination as including any distinction, restriction, exclusion or preference made on the basis of an attribute that has the effect of nullifying or impairing equality of opportunity. Prohibited discrimination also includes harassment on the basis of an attribute. The Act prohibits discrimination in any of the areas covered by the Act on the ground of any of the following attributes which appear in Section 19: (a) race; (b) sex; (c) sexuality; (d) age; (e) marital status; (f) pregnancy; (g) parenthood; (h) breastfeeding; (j) impairment; (k) trade union or employer association activity;