Australian legislation and international law
Introduction | International law relating to racism and discrimination | Commonwealth of Australia laws and policies | State and territory legislation
Summary of scope of Australian racial discrimination laws | References
All Australian laws (Commonwealth and State) impose some responsibility on schools and individuals, be they teachers or students, to take steps to prevent and combat racism. The Australian laws are aimed at protecting individuals from racism at school and also to protect those individuals who make complaints about racism. Commonwealth and State laws make it unlawful for a person to racially discriminate against another person at school and also make it unlawful to encourage, incite, permit or allow racist acts to occur. For this reason, the Australian laws do impose an obligation on everyone to be vigilant about racism and to take action when incidents of racism occur, particularly where those incidents might be unlawful.
Australia is also a party to a number of international conventions and declarations which impose obligations to eliminate racism and racial discrimination when ratified in Australian law.