Last Updated 17 August 2021

According to the Anti-discrimination Act 1991 (Qld) (Anti-discrimination Act), the commissioner can reject a complaint if:

  • it is outside the 12-month time limit and the complainant has not been able to show good cause (s 138)
  • it is frivolous, trivial or vexatious, misconceived or lacking in substance (s 139)
  • there are concurrent proceedings in a court or tribunal in relation to the act or omission that is the subject of the complaint, or the Queensland Human Rights Commissioner reasonably considers the subject of the complaint has been adequately dealt with by another entity (s 140).

It is possible to ask for reasons why the Queensland Human Rights Commission (QHRC) did not accept a complaint, but this must be done within 28 days (s 142 Anti-discrimination Act). There is no provision to appeal a decision of the QHRC to reject a complaint within the Anti-discrimination Act.

One avenue open to a complainant whose complaint has been rejected by the QHRC is to apply to the Supreme Court under the Judicial Review Act 1991 (Qld) (Judicial Review Act) for a review of the commissioner’s decision (see the chapter on Complaints against Government).

Any application would need to be based on one of the grounds of review that are available under that Judicial Review Act, such as that the QHRC failed to take into account a relevant consideration or took into account an irrelevant consideration. This is an expensive, complex and technical legal process, and legal advice should be sought before any application for judicial review is made.