Latest document on cases investigated under section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act

EnergizerBunny made this Freedom of Information request to Attorney-General's Department

The request was successful.

From: EnergizerBunny


Dear Attorney-General's Department,

I would like the latest document that shows how many cases have been investigated or had charges laid using section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, since the act was passed.

If possible, please treat this as an informal request and just send through the document or a link if they’re already public. Otherwise, please treat this as a formal FOI request.

Yours faithfully,


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From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department


Dear Eliza


I am writing in response to your email to the
Attorney‑General’s Department yesterday, in which you sought
information about investigations and charges relating to section 18C of
the Racial Discrimination Act 1975.


Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act makes certain conduct
unlawful, but does not criminalise conduct. As there is no ability to
prosecute a contravention of section 18C, no charges can be laid.
 Accordingly, the Attorney-General’s Department holds no documents on
the number of charges laid under section 18C.


The Australian Human Rights Commission is the most appropriate agency to
provide information about the number of investigations of complaints made
under section 18C. The Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986
requires the Commission to investigate written complaints alleging
unlawful discrimination and attempt to conciliate them. Information about
the number of complaints the Commission has received is published in its
Annual Reports, which are available at


If you wish to seek further information beyond what is provided in the
annual reports referred to above, you would need to make an FOI request to
the Commission. Information about making an FOI request to the Commission
can be found on the following webpage:


I hope this information is of assistance to you.



Freedom of Information and Privacy Section

Attorney-General's Department

[3][AGD request email]



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Luke Bacon left an annotation ()

This is a really helpful and clear response from the Attorney-General's Department. Great requesting Eliza, and great work from the FOI Officer at the Department.

You can see in the latest annual report they link to, in 2015-16 the Human Rights Commission had:

* 16,836 enquirers seeking information about discrimination and human rights were assisted via their National Information Service (phone line?)
* 2,013 complaints about discrimination and breaches of human rights received
* 27 Australian Human Rights Commission Act investigations

If you want more detail now, you could make an FOI request to the Commission as they suggest here .

You should now update the status of the request so it's clear what the outcome was :)

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