Date: 9 December 2020
Tribunal: Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal 
Tribunal Member: Member Hughes
Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) Sections: ss 15, 19 
Rights Considered: Right to recognition and equality before the law; Freedom of movement 
Other Legislation: Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld), ss 11, 46, 101, 130, 133, 139, 158, 175, 178, 205, 210, Schedule 1; Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld), s 28 
Keywords: Discrimination

A self-represented applicant claimed that the State, vicariously through a Queensland state school, indirectly discriminated against and victimised her. As the events pre-dated the commencement of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld), the Tribunal stated that the Act did not apply. Regardless, the Tribunal held that the applicant’s right to recognition and equality before the law (section 15) and freedom of movement (section 19) were not contravened. 

In this case, the applicant, Ms Wildin, claimed that the State of Queensland indirectly discriminated against and victimised her.

The applicant relied on a wheelchair for mobility. Her claim concerned conduct dating back to 2019 when a Queensland state school held a consultation process prior to allocating students’ classrooms. Although the applicant did not participate in the consultation at the time, she later expressed concern that her daughter had been  allocated a classroom on the second storey which did not provide her (the applicant) with wheelchair access. After hearing her concerns, the school ‘moved the entire classroom to an equivalent classroom on the ground floor’, a decision other parents did not agree with. The applicant was subsequently blocked from the parents’ Facebook page: at [1]-[5]. 

The Tribunal was satisfied that the applicant had a mobility impairment. However, the Tribunal stated it was difficult, on the evidence, to find that the School ‘imposed a requirement either on her or anyone to access the top level of the building.’ Consequently, it was held that no ‘term’ was imposed: at [26]-[27]. 

The applicant claimed that she was victimised by the school when it made the decision to relocate the classroom and because it failed to ‘take steps to prevent the actions taken on the parents’ Facebook page.’ The Tribunal held that the applicant could not establish an agency relationship between the State and Facebook page, and therefore the State was ‘not responsible for any alleged acts of victimisation’ and ‘under no legal obligation to restrain the actions of private citizens’: at [45]. 

In relation to human rights, specifically, the Tribunal held that the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) post-dated these events and, as such, did not apply. Regardless, the Tribunal was ‘unable to find any indirect discrimination or victimisation’ by the State and ‘equally, no contravention of [the applicant’s] human rights,’ specifically, her right to recognition and equality before the law (section 15, Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld),) and freedom of movement (section 19, Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld)): at [49]-[50]. 

The application was dismissed. 

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