The Racial Discrimination Act

The Racial Discrimination Act of 1975 is an Australian statute passed by the Australian government. The Racial Discrimination Act in Australia provides that racial discrimination is unlawful, and overrides inconsistent territory and state legislations that are likely to make territory, or state law ineffective to the extent of the inconsistency. According to Johnstone (2003: p108), this power was established from the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial discrimination, Australia as one of the signatories to the convention adopted this law.

The Equal employment Opportunity (Commonwealth Authorities) Act of 1987, provides that all people should be given equal employment opportunities and get equal treatment at their places of work, regardless of their gender, color, race, descent, nationality or ethnic originality. Any form of discrimination is termed as unlawful The racial discrimination Act enacted in 1975 provides that it is unlawful for anyone to to any act, outside the private sphere that would amount to discrimination.

The acts listed under the Racial discrimination Act include any act that is likely to intimidate, humiliate, insult or offend another, because of their ethnic origin, nationality, color or race. If anyone discriminates any person on the basis of the above race factors, the act is recognized as unlawful and is punishable by the law (Madelaine, 2006: p243-246) . Section 46p of the Human Rights and Equal opportunities Act of 1986 provides that anyone who is discriminated can lounge their complaints to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Act Commission, about any unlawful Acts done against them.

It has however been emphasized that not all acts of discrimination amount to a criminal offense. Section 26 of the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975 provides that, an action does not amount to a criminal offense, unless it is expressly provided for under section IV. From the above statutory provisions, Melinda has a right to approach the court or the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Act Commission.

Melinda will rely on the provisions of the RDA which provides that, Racial Discrimination is said to have taken place when a specific person is given a different treatment, in most cases, treated less fairly than the others under similar situations because of their color, ethnic origin, race, or descent or nationality. This is also a denial of equal employment opportunity. Big corporation can also be sued for racial discrimination because its policy is already discriminative and does not offer all people equal opportunities. It in fact restricts the employment opportunities only to the indigenous members of the community.

Under this circumstance, Melinda was discriminated on the basis of her national originality and has a right to seek legal protection. Josh, an indigenous of Australia was allowed the opportunity for the interview and subsequently got the job. However, just like Melinda, he also has a complain. Josh has hard feelings due to the harassment he received during his interview from one of the panelist in Big corporation. Josh has a right to complain for unfair treatment at the work place. The two should expect that after bringing a legal action against the company, the case will be investigated by the body which is charged with this responsibility.

In Australia, Racial Discrimination complaints are taken before the Australian Human Rights Commission, who have the authority to investigate such complaints. If it is found that the complainants are indeed injured by the discriminative acts done against them, awards of damages can be made, the Commission may ask for a specific performance from the Big company. For instance, the Commission may require that Melinda be offered the opportunity for an interview if that is possible, or finally, the Big Corporation may be required to pay a fine as a disciplinary measure.