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Discrimination cases pile up in Tasmania December 3, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in Card, Discriminate, Discrimination, Racism.

TASMANIANS are waiting three years or more to have discrimination cases resolved.

And Hobart lawyers say the processes of the Anti-Discrimination Commission need to be changed.Conciliation meetings — which in other jurisdictions may take place within days — can take months, entrenching opposition between parties.

Hobart lawyer Craig Green said the commission’s focus on investigation could mean months of examining papers and requesting statements.

“They can take a considerable period to review matters just on paper. They don’t talk directly to the people involved at that stage,” said Mr Green, a specialist in anti-discrimination law.

That reduced the likelihood of those involved resolving their differences when they met face to face. Often in claims of discrimination, people were acting on a matter of principle.

“The most common thing I hear from complainants is `I don’t want this to happen to anyone else’,” Mr Green said.

But often these matters are not solved by litigation.

“If the case is accepted after investigation, it may encourage a person to believe their claim is very strong even though there has been no assessment of its merit.

“There is also the over-arching issue of the number of people complaining, and the resources the commission has to deal with all these.”

This year Attorney-General Steve Kons announced a review of the processes around the Anti-Discrimination Act. Submissions closed in September.

Mr Green said the review was welcome and the commission had a valuable role in educating people about rights and responsibilities under the Act.

Hobart lawyer Audrey Mills, who also welcomed the review, said the process and investigation of claims took too long

C.a.r.d {Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination} Source: News.com.au

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