Summary of the Court of Appeal's judgment delivered on 4 October 2018.
The Court of Appeal today (by majority) upheld a challenge to the legality of a review into workplace discrimination within the Country Fire Authority and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.
The review, by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, was commenced in 2016 at the request of the Victorian Government. The Commission was asked to review the programs and practices of the CFA and the MFB and, specifically, to report on
the nature and prevalence of discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisaiton amongst current [CFA] and [MFB] personnel (paid and voluntary) and those whol left in
or after 2010 ('the Review').
The role of the courts in a case such as this is quite different. It is to ensure that government operates according to law and, relevantly, to ensure that powers
conferred on statutory bodies such as the Commission are exercised within the legal limits imposed by Parliament. In this case, we have held that those legal limits
were exceeded, and hence that the Review was beyond the Commission’s power.
NOTE: This summary is necessarily incomplete. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the published reasons for judgment
Read the Court's full judgment on AustLII