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Commission accepts High Court decision

Media Release
15 December 2003

Commission accepts High Court decision

The Human Rights Commission accepts today's High Court decision and will be considering its impact on the Commission's day-to-day work, Chief Human Rights Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan said.

"The decision means the complaint made by Mr McCully against the Race Relations Commissioner can finally be resolved. Because of this the Commission will not be appealing the decision.

"Our focus has always been on resolving the issue. From the start we offered Mr McCully the opportunity to meet with the Race Relations Commissioner overseen by an independent mediator of his choosing. Mr McCully declined."

In March the Crown Law Office advised the Commission that the Human Rights Act barred any complaint to the Tribunal in relation to any statement made by a Commissioner in good faith. The office also advised that there was no ability for this immunity to be waived.

"Human rights and race relations are controversial areas and often raise extreme responses when discussed," Ms Noonan says.

"The aim of this type of provision is to enable Commissioners and staff to carry out their day-to-day duties. In today's ruling the court has clarified the paramenters of the areas covered by this provision.


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