Last Updated 14 June 2017

Where the Federal Court or the Federal Circuit Court finds unlawful discrimination, a number of orders can be made under the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth) (AHRC Act) (s 46PO(4)(a)–(f)):

  • a declaration of unlawful discrimination with a direction to not repeat or continue such discrimination
  • an order requiring performance of a reasonable act or course of conduct to redress any loss or damage
  • an order for damages by way of compensation for loss or damage
  • an order requiring variation of termination of a contract to redress any loss or damage
  • a declaration that it would be inappropriate for further action to be taken in the matter.


The Federal Court or the Federal Circuit Court has the power to grant interim injunctions pending determination by the court (s 46PO(6) AHRC Act). It should be noted that any injunction granted cannot include an undertaking as to damages as a condition (s 46PO(8) AHRC Act).

The AHRC Act also provides that the court can grant an injunction at any time after a complaint has been lodged with the Australian Human Rights Commission. The function of this is to allow the preservation of the status quo as it existed before the complaint was made whilst the inquiry and conciliation process is underway (s 46PP AHRC Act). The commission, a complainant, respondent or affected person can apply for an injunction. This injunction, however, cannot be granted after a complaint is withdrawn or terminated.