R.A. v. N.C.

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The complainant was a Muslim woman who wore a hijab covering her hair. While the complainant and the respondent were in a residential elevator, the defendant made disrespectful remarks to the complainant about the complainant’s presumed religion.The two did not know each other – the complainant’s hijab was the only way for the defendant to identify her religion. The complainant sought an apology. Video evidence was submitted at trial from CCTV. Importantly, there was an additional individual in the lift. As a result of this witness, the tribunal was able to find that the defendant had committed a “public act” for the purposes of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld). However, the tribunal ultimately did not find for the complainant as the words used were determined by the tribunal to not, in fact, result in religious vilification as the additional individual in the lift did not react to the words. This case is relevant as it goes directly to ongoing discrimination women may face in Australia as a result of expressing their religion (through, for example, wearing a hijab).



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