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New Discrimination Legislation to draw on Irish and Australian Law

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Guernsey's new disability discrimination legislation will be based on the Irish and Australian laws, the President of the Committee for Employment & Social Security has said.

During February and March 2018 the Committee has been working with Dr Shivaun Quinlivan and Dr Lucy-Ann Buckley from the National University of Ireland Galway's Centre for Disability Law and Policy to identify which country to model Guernsey's new disability discrimination legislation on.

At the end of March Drs Quinlivan and Buckley discussed their findings with the Committee.

Deputy Michelle Le Clerc said:

"After comparing five countries, we have decided to base our legislation on the Irish and Australian discrimination laws. Using model laws will help us to progress faster than writing the law from scratch.

"While it may seem complicated to work with two countries simultaneously, the Irish equality laws - the Equal Status Acts, 2000-2016 and the Employment Equality Acts, 1998-2015 - drew on the Australian Disability Discrimination Act, 1992 when they were originally drafted, so they are already related.

Drs Quinlivan and Buckley reviewed legislation against a number of different factors, including to what extent it would work with Guernsey's legal context; the complexity of the legislation; its compliance with the guidance of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its effectiveness. No model is perfect, but we believe that the Irish/Australian model will be a sound starting point for Guernsey."

The Committee will now be looking to review and tailor the legislation to best meet the island's needs before undertaking a public consultation.

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