An evaluation of the mechanisms designed to promote substantive equality in the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic)

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As a society, we have learnt a great deal about the nature of discrimination in the four decades since it was first prohibited, yet our laws have not evolved despite being criticised for aiming at formal equality and failing to address discrimination on a systemic level. In 2010, Victoria enacted legislation aimed specifically at promoting substantive equality and targeting systemic discrimination. Using doctrinal and empirical methodologies, this article assesses the impact of the novel mechanisms in the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) which were designed to promote substantive equality: the objects clause; the definitions of direct and indirect discrimination; the obligation to make reasonable adjustments; special measures; and the duty to eliminate discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-501
Number of pages43
JournalMelbourne University Law Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Equal opportunity
  • Discrimination
  • positive duty
  • Law

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