Senate Inquiry into ‘Legislative Exemptions’ reports

Posted on November 27, 2018 
Filed under Australia, Culture wars

“The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee (“LCAR Committee”) has now handed down its report into Legislative exemptions that allow faith-based educational institutions to discriminate against students, teachers and staff.

The inquiry has been incredibly short – the motion referring the topic was only passed on 13 November.

As expected (due to the preponderance of ALP and Greens committee members) the report recommends complete removal of religious freedom protections for faith-based schools relating to how those schools deal with same-sex attracted students. There is a strong dissenting report from Coalition Senators.

In my view the majority report would seriously impair the right of faith-based schools to operate in accordance with their religious ethos, and should be rejected by those considering changes to the law. …

… without reading the contents of the Ruddock Report, the Committee recommends two of its recommendations be rejected out of hand. …

I can’t help but also register my dissent from the Committee’s apparent preference for the ‘Tasmanian’ model of discrimination law …

I recommend a careful reading of the minority report, which is (in terms of page length) of comparable size to the majority, and in my respectful opinion, provides a much more persuasive analysis than the majority.”

– Neil Foster, Associate Professor in Law, takes a look at the Senate Report on ‘Legislative exemptions’.

He notes that, while the recommendations of the Ruddock Report on religious freedom were leaked prior to a recent by-election, the Ruddock Report itself has not yet been released.

Read his full comments at Law and Religion Australia.