Under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) religious schools are provided with an exception from the operation of the Act in relation to their employment decisions. This article evaluates the merits of the legal protections provided to religious schools by specifically focusing on the extent to which the provisions are consistent with the right to equality. Although there are a range of other considerations relevant in determining the merits of the provisions a specific focus on the right to equality is appropriate considering the significance of the right in anti-discrimination legislation. The article explores the extent to which the provisions may violate the right to equality in relation to the number of persons adversely affected and also the gravity of harm that these individuals are likely to suffer, and then addresses whether there are any grounds for considering that the protections can be justified on the grounds of equality.


Anit-Discrimination Act, equality, religious schools

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