Summary publication


I am pleased to present, on behalf of the Australian Human Rights Commission and LexisNexis, the 2016 edition of Federal Discrimination Law.

Federal Discrimination Law is produced by the Commission’s legal section and provides an overview of the federal unlawful discrimination laws and examines the significant issues that have arisen in the federal unlawful discrimination cases. It also contains comprehensive tables of damages awards made since 13 April 2000 when the function of hearing unlawful discrimination matters was transferred from the Commission to the Federal Court and the Federal Circuit Court.

In 2016, the Commission entered into a partnership with LexisNexis to update Federal Discrimination Law as it was last updated in 2011. It is this partnership that has resulted in the publication of the 2016 edition of Federal Discrimination Law.

The Commission has also entered into a partnership with AustLII to make Federal Discrimination Law available on the AustLII website at

These important partnerships have resulted in this publication being current and available to a broader audience, including legal practitioners, businesses, employers and members of the public with an interest in the field. Federal Discrimination Law is also available on the Commission’s website: 

It is vital that information and resources are available to enable individuals to understand and enforce their rights effectively, and to assist businesses and employers to meet their obligations under federal discrimination laws and support workplace diversity. The Commission hopes that the content of this publication will play a significant role in helping to educate all Australians in respect of their rights and responsibilities.

Professor Gillian Triggs

Federal Discrimination Law 2016 has been updated to 30 June 2016.



Archive of older versions

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Conciliation Register

If you use FDL you may also be interested in the Commission's Conciliation Register. The Register contains de-identified summaries of complaints under federal discrimination law that have been resolved through the Commission’s conciliation process. The Register provides information about the types of issues raised in complaints and the terms on which such complaints are resolved. New cases are added to the Conciliation Register at regular intervals.