FEDERAL MAGISTRATES COURT OF AUSTRALIA
No PEG 307 of 2006
CHILD SUPPORT AGENCY
OUTLINE OF SUBMISSIONS OF THE ACTING DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION COMMISSIONER
AS AMICUS CURIAE
A . BACKGROUND
- The applicant has mobility impairment and uses a wheelchair. There is no dispute that the applicant has a disability, as defined in s 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) (‘the DDA’).
- The applicant claims that the respondent has discriminated against him on the basis of his disability, in four respects, namely:
- Failure of the respondent to provide accessible parking bays;
- Inaccessibility of the respondent’s premises to people with disabilities;
- Failure of the respondent to take the applicant’s disability into account in formulating his child support assessment; and
- Failure of the respondent to have appropriate evacuation procedures in place for people with disabilities.
The applicant alleges that the respondent has contravened ss 5, 6, 23 and 29 of the DDA.
- The Acting Disability Discrimination Commissioner (‘the Commissioner’) wishes to make submissions on that aspect of the complaint relating to access to premises.
- The question of access to premises is typically approached as one of indirect discrimination and the Commissioner sets out in these submissions how the allegations made by the applicant may fall within the framework of indirect discrimination under the DDA. The Commissioner does not, however, express a view as to whether indirect discrimination exists or not in the present circumstances.
- A central issue in assessing access to premises issues under the DDA is the reasonableness of the relevant requirement or condition imposed upon people seeking access. While all relevant factors must be taken into account, the Commissioner stresses the importance of equality, dignity and self-reliance for people with disabilities as factors in making an assessment of reasonableness.
- As these submissions are being made prior to the hearing of the evidence, they are of a general nature. They do not seek to address all issues relevant to the present proceedings but only, consistent with the role of amicus curiae, particular issues where the Commissioner believes that he may be able to assist the Court. The Commissioner may, with the leave of the Court, seek to supplement these submissions with brief oral submissions at the conclusion of the evidence.
B. SUMMARY OF SUBMISSIONS
- The Commissioner’s submissions cover the following topics:
- Legislation (see section C)
- The general approach to statutory construction under the DDA (see section D)
- ‘Access to premises’ under ss 23 and 29 of the DDA (see section E);
- The relevance of the BCA and Australian Standards under the DDA (section F);
- Indirect discrimination (section G); and
- Unjustifiable hardship (section H).
Relevant areas of discrimination
- Part 2 of the DDA contains the prohibition of disability discrimination and provides for the areas in which such conduct is unlawful.
- There are two, potentially overlapping, areas of discrimination relevant to the present matter: Access to premises (s 23) and Administration of Commonwealth laws and programs (s 29).
- Section 23 provides:
23 Access to premises
(1)It is unlawful for a person to discriminate against another person on the ground of the other person’s disability or a disability of any of that other person’s associates:
(a) by refusing to allow the other person access to, or the use of, any premises that the public or a section of the public is entitled or allowed to enter or use (whether for payment or not); or
(b) in the terms or conditions on which the first‑mentioned person is prepared to allow the other person access to, or the use of, any such premises; or
(c) in relation to the provision of means of access to such premises; or
(d) by refusing to allow the other person the use of any facilities in such premises that the public or a section of the public is entitled or allowed to use (whether for payment or not); or
(e) in the terms or conditions on which the first‑mentioned person is prepared to allow the other person the use of any such facilities; or
(f) by requiring the other person to leave such premises or cease to use such facilities.
(2) This section does not render it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the ground of the person’s disability in relation to the provision of access to premises if:
(a) the premises are so designed or constructed as to be inaccessible to a person with a disability; and
(b) any alteration to the premises to provide such access would impose unjustifiable hardship on the person who would have to provide that access.
- Section 29 provides:
29 Administration of Commonwealth laws and programs
It is unlawful for a person who performs any function or exercises any power under a Commonwealth law or for the purposes of a Commonwealth program or has any other responsibility for the administration of a Commonwealth law or the conduct of a Commonwealth program, to discriminate against another person on the ground of the other person’s disability, or a disability of any of the other person’s associates in the performance of that function, the exercise of that power or the fulfilment of that responsibility.
Definitions relevant to these areas
- The meaning of ‘discrimination’ is to be found in s 4 of the DDA, which provides that ‘discriminate has the meaning given by sections 5 to 9 (inclusive)’.
- Relevant to the present case is section 6 of the DDA which provides the following definition of ‘indirect’ discrimination:
6 Indirect disability discrimination
For the purposes of this Act, a person (discriminator) discriminates against another person (aggrieved person) on the ground of a disability of the aggrieved person if the discriminator requires the aggrieved person to comply with a requirement or condition:
(a) with which a substantially higher proportion of persons without the disability comply or are able to comply; and
(b) which is not reasonable having regard to the circumstances of the case; and
(c) with which the aggrieved person does not or is not able to comply.
- ‘Premises’, for the purposes of s 23, are defined by a broad and inclusive definition contained in s 4 of the DDA as follows:
(a) a structure, building, aircraft, vehicle or vessel; and
(b) a place (whether enclosed or built on or not); and
(c) a part of premises (including premises of a kind referred to in paragraph (a) or (b)).
- Section 11 of the DDA states the following in relation to ‘unjustifiable hardship’:
For the purposes of this Act, in determining what constitutes unjustifiable hardship, all relevant circumstances of the particular case are to be taken into account including:
(a) the nature of the benefit or detriment likely to accrue or be suffered by any persons concerned; and
(b) the effect of the disability of a person concerned; and
(c) the financial circumstances and the estimated amount of expenditure required to be made by the person claiming unjustifiable hardship; and
(d) in the case of the provision of services, or the making available of facilities—an action plan given to the Commission under section 64.
D. GENERAL APPROACH TO STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION UNDER THE DDA
- In general, when construing legislation designed to protect human rights, the courts have a special responsibility to take account of and give effect to the purposes and objects of the legislation.1
- Further, in the interpretation of a provision of an Act, a construction that would promote the purpose or object underlying the Act shall be preferred to a construction that would not promote that purpose or object; s.15AA Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth). This approach applies, regardless of whether there is an ambiguity or inconsistency in the Act.2
- The stated objects of the DDA include: ‘to eliminate as far as possible, discrimination against persons on the ground of disability in the areas of … access to premises’ (s 3, emphasis added).
- To give effect to this object the Court should construe broadly those provisions which make unlawful discrimination against persons on the ground of disability, including those provisions defining discrimination for the purposes of the DDA. Conversely, exemptions and other provisions which restrict rights should be construed narrowly.
- In undertaking a task of statutory interpretation, the Court should also apply the principle of the common law that a statute is to be interpreted and applied, so far as its language admits, in a manner which is consistent with established rules of international law and which accords with Australia’s treaty obligations.4 That approach is not limited in its application to ambiguous statutory provisions.5 Rather, wherever the language of a statute is susceptible to a construction which is consistent with the terms of the relevant international instrument and the obligations which it imposes on Australia, that construction must prevail.6
- Most relevant to the present case is the Declaration of the Rights of Disabled Persons (‘the Declaration’)7 to which Australia is a party, which provides for:
- The inherent right of people with disabilities to respect for human dignity and the right to ‘enjoy a decent life, as normal and full as possible’ (Article 3);
- An entitlement to measures designed to enable the self-reliance of people with disabilities (Article 5); and
- An entitlement to have the special needs of people with disabilities taken into consideration at all stages of economic and social planning (Article 8).
E. ‘ACCESS TO PREMISES’ UNDER SECTIONS 23 AND 29 OF THE DDA
- The applicant claims that the building in which the Child Support Agency (‘CSA’), provides its services, is inaccessible to him, as a person with a disability. At paragraph 7 of his affidavit of 28 November 2006, the applicant states:
I found that this building was completely inaccessible to myself because the public entrance was on the side of a major hill away from public parking, it had no onsite or nearby disability parking, had steps but no ramp access and only after help from passers by did I manage to find my way into the back entrance of the building via another street and meandering through building lobbies.
- The address of the CSA is 15-17 William St, Perth WA: see paragraph 3 in the Affidavit of John Gherardi, sworn on 16 May 2007.
- The Commissioner observes that the CSA website lists 15-17 William St as the CSA’s address and contains a link to a map. A copy of the map is annexed to these submissions and marked ‘A’. The CSA’s location details can be found at the following link: http://www.csa.gov.au/contact/offices.aspx
- The Commissioner submits that the applicant’s complaint concerning access to the respondent’s premises may fall within two areas contained in Part 2 of the DDA: Access to premises (s 23) and Administration of Commonwealth laws and programs (s 29). As the applicant is unrepresented in these proceedings, the Commissioner sets out both possibilities for consideration by the Court.
- The Commissioner notes, however, that the onus of proof in relation to these matters is on the applicant.
Access to Premises, s 23 DDA
- Section 23 makes unlawful a range of discriminatory behaviour in relation to premises to which the public, or a section of the public, are entitled to enter. The Commissioner submits that the CSA’s premises are premises to which the public are entitled to enter.
- It would seem that the applicant’s complaint regarding access to the CSA’s premises is most likely to fall within s 23(1)(c), as being ‘in relation to the provision of means of access’ to the premises.
- The Commissioner notes that the section is broadly drawn – it covers acts done ‘in relation to’ the provision of means of access, not simply acts done in providing access.
- Further, a failure to do an act ‘in relation to the means of access’ to premises will also fall within the scope of s 23(1)(c), as refusing or failing to do an act is, for the purposes of the DDA, ‘taken to be the doing of an act’: see s 4(2) DDA.
- In the present case, access to the CSA’s premises is via the building ‘Australia Place’. The CSA does not provide any other means of access to their premises.
- It is necessary for a person to have ‘the capacity to control structural elements of premises by which access is obtained’ for s 23(1)(c) to apply: Sluggett v Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission  FCA 987, . This does not, however, exclude persons leasing premises from the coverage of s 23(1)(c) who may have the capacity to control such elements through ‘fit-out’ or by agreement with a lessor (including as part of the terms upon which a lease agreement is entered into or renewed).8
Administration of a Commonwealth Law or Program, s 29 DDA
- The Commissioner submits that the issue of access to premises should also be considered, in the alternative, under s 29. Section 29 is a section of broad application, applying to all aspects of the administration of Commonwealth laws and programmes, including access to the premises from which such programmes are administered.
- The Commissioner notes that there is no ‘unjustifiable hardship’ defence available in relation to s 29. This reflects a higher standard expected of the Commonwealth in providing equality for people with disabilities. However, it can be noted that in cases of indirect discrimination, such as cases involving access to premises, factors relevant to unjustifiable hardship will be taken into account when considering the ‘reasonableness’ of a particular requirement or condition.
- The CSA performs functions, exercises powers and has the responsibility of administering Commonwealth laws, namely the Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988 (Cth) and the Child Support (Assessment) 1989 (Cth).
- It is a feature of the manner in which the CSA administers these Commonwealth laws that they do so, in Perth, from the particular premises the subject of this application, namely at Australia Place.
F. STATUS OF THE BCA AND AUSTRALIAN STANDARDS UNDER THE DDA
- Neither the BCA nor the Australian Standards have any legal status under the DDA.9 They are to be distinguished from ‘disability standards’ as provided for by s 31 of the DDA.
- A breach of the BCA and/or Australian Standards will not necessarily result in there being unlawful discrimination under the DDA. Conversely, the fact of compliance with the BCA and/or Australian Standards will not be, of itself, a defence to a claim of unlawful discrimination under the DDA.
- There are a number of reasons for this ‘gap’ between the requirements of the BCA and the Australian Standards and the DDA. Most obviously, the BCA and Australian Standards are designed to meet a variety of needs and satisfy a variety of concerns, only one of which is access to premises by people with disabilities. In addition, those documents are limited in their scope – they do not cover all aspects of buildings or the built environment more generally. Furthermore, even where the BCA and Australian Standards set standards for certain design features, compliance will not guarantee access for all persons with disabilities. Whether the satisfaction of such a standard is, in the circumstances, ‘reasonable’ for the purposes of the DDA is something that a Court will need to determine on a case-by-case basis.
- The Commissioner submits, however, that as standards developed by technical experts in building, design and construction, the BCA and the Australian Standards are relevant and persuasive in determining the following issues:
- Whether or not a requirement or condition is ‘reasonable’ in the context of the definition of indirect discrimination under s 6 of the DDA; and
- Whether or not any hardship faced by the respondent in effecting an alteration to the premises the subject of the complaint would be ‘unjustifiable’.
- The Commissioner notes that an expert’s report is to be obtained which will provide expert evidence on (amongst other things) whether access to Australia Place is provided consistent with the requirements of the BCA and the AS.
G. INDIRECT DISCRIMINATION
(a) Identifying the ‘requirement or condition’
- In assessing whether the means of access to the CSA’s premises or the manner in which the CSA is administering Commonwealth laws is potentially indirectly discriminatory (as defined by s 6 of the DDA), it is first necessary to identify a ‘requirement or condition’ attaching to such access/administration.
- The Court should take a broad approach to what may amount to a ‘requirement or condition’. In Waters v Public Transport Corporation (1991) 173 CLR 349, Dawson and Toohey JJ noted that the expression ‘requirement or condition’ should be construed broadly ‘so as to cover any form of qualification or prerequisite, although the actual requirement or condition in each instance should be formulated with some precision’ (at 393).
Access to premises
- While there may be a number of ways in which the relevant ‘requirement or condition’ relating to access can be defined in the present case, the Commissioner suggests that one such formulation is: that persons seeking to enter the premises of the CSA from William St are required to use stairs.
- Under such a formulation, the availability of alternative means of access to the premises (in particular, via St Georges Terrace) is relevant to the reasonableness of this requirement (considered below).
- The Commissioner submits that the suggested formulation of the requirement/condition imposed upon the applicant is preferable to a broader formulation that may contemplate the existence of other means of access. This is because the preferred formulation best promotes equality. This approach starts from the proposition that people with disabilities should have exactly the same choices as those without disabilities. Where such choices are limited by the imposition of indirectly discriminatory criteria, this may not be discriminatory where that limitation is reasonable because of the existence of alternatives.
- The Commissioner observes that the fact that the applicant attended the respondent’s premises voluntarily (ie rather than being required to attend) is not an answer to the applicant’s case. The applicant was entitled to seek access to the premises of the CSA, as are other members of the public. Having elected the do so, the relevant inquiry under the DDA is what were the terms upon which he was able to do so? The Commissioner notes that it would be fundamentally contrary to providing equality for people with disability for the DDA to effectively apply only to premises to which a person is required to attend.
Administration of Commonwealth laws
- As above, while there may be a number of ways in which the relevant ‘requirement or condition’ can be defined in the present case, the Commissioner suggests that one such formulation is: that persons wishing to attend the premises of the CSA are required to use stairs to enter those premises from William St.
(b) ‘Compliance’ with a requirement or condition
- In determining whether or not a person is able to ‘comply’ with a requirement or condition within the meaning of s 6(c), the Court should consider issues of practicality and reasonableness. It is not enough that an applicant can physically or technically comply with a requirement or condition; Mandla v Dowell Lee  2 AC 548 (at 565-66), Sluggett v Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (2002) EOC ¶93-234 per Drummond J at -.
- In Travers v State of New South Wales  FCA 1565 it was accepted by the applicant that she would have been able to comply technically with a requirement or condition related to use of toilets, but that her compliance would have resulted in distress and embarrassment. In dismissing an application by the respondent for summary dismissal, Lehane J (at ) held that it was appropriate to adopt a ‘reasonably liberal’ interpretation of the expression ‘is able to comply’ such that it was not necessary for an applicant to demonstrate inability to ‘literally’ comply.
- Such an interpretation is supported by the purpose and objects of the DDA (set out in Section D above) as well as the ‘inherent right to respect for [the] human dignity [of disabled persons]’ as contained in Article 3 of the Declaration (see Section D above). It would be incompatible with respect for human dignity to find that a requirement or condition which compromised the dignity of people with disabilities, but with which they could ‘technically’ comply, was beyond the scope of the definition of discrimination in s 6 of the DDA.
- More recently it has been held that a person will be found to be unable to comply with a requirement or condition where they would suffer ‘serious disadvantage’ in complying with a requirement or condition: Hurst v Queensland  FCAFC 100 at .
- The Commissioner has suggested that the relevant requirement or condition imposed upon the applicant is that he use stairs to access the CSA premises from William Street. It would appear plain that the applicant cannot comply in any meaningful sense with such a requirement or condition.
- Should the Court accept a broader definition of the requirement or condition, contrary to the submissions of the Commissioner, it may still be necessary to consider whether the applicant suffered ‘serious disadvantage’ in accessing the building.
- The following factors should be taken into account in determining whether the applicant suffered ‘serious disadvantage’ in accessing Australia Place:
- The registered street address of the respondent, namely 15-17 William Street;
- The existence, adequacy and location of signage to indicate the availability of ramp access;
- The proximity of the St Georges Terrace entrance from the William Street entrance and the ease with which travel between the two can be effected;
- Whether the ramps on St Georges Terrace provide access to Australia Square in a manner consistent with the requirements of the DDA and the BCA and AS;
- The applicant’s evidence that he arrived at the meeting with the respondent in a sweaty, stressed and tired state from having to travel up the incline on William Street and then to St Georges Terrace.
- The impact upon the dignity of the applicant.
- In general, when considering whether or not a requirement or condition is ‘reasonable’, all the circumstances of the case should be considered, including the perspective of the respondent; Waters v Public Transport Corporation (1991) 173 CLR 349 (‘Waters’) per McHugh J at 411 cited with approval in Sluggett v Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (2002) ¶EOC 93-234 per Drummond J at 46-47.
- The Commissioner notes that the decision of the High Court in Waters and others following it suggest that all factors, including those relevant to hardship faced by a respondent are relevant in determining ‘reasonableness’.10 The cases note, in particular, that the issue of reasonableness needs to be considered in the context of all persons to whom the condition or requirement might apply and not just from the perspective of the applicant.
- Whilst compliance with the performance requirements of the BCA and/or Australian Standards will not necessarily satisfy the requirements of the DDA, the Commissioner submits that compliance or non-compliance with the standards set out in those documents will be an important factor in determining the ‘reasonableness’ of any requirement or condition that is imposed on a person with a disability.
- Where premises provide for alternative means of access, it is important to assess those alternatives to consider whether they provide ‘an equivalence of access’ such that the imposition of a requirement or condition with which a person with a disability cannot comply is considered reasonable. In other words, the alternative means of access must provide access which is equivalent in standard to the primary means of access.
- The Commissioner submits that where an alternative means of access does not comply with the performance requirements contained in the BCA and/or the AS, this will be a significant factor suggesting the unreasonableness of the requirement or condition imposed in relation to access.
- It is also relevant to consider the number of people adversely affected by a requirement or condition which is said to be discriminatory; Francey & Another v Hilton Hotels of Australia Pty Ltd (1997) ¶EOC 92-903 per Innes Cr at 77,451. In the present case, the requirement or condition to use stairs affects, or potentially affects, people with a range of mobility disabilities.
- Issues of the dignity and self-reliance of people with disabilities in access to, and use of, premises will also be relevant, consistent with the purpose and objects of the DDA and the rights protected by the Declaration: see Cocks v State of Queensland  QADT 3.
- The Court may also wish to consider the following factors in deciding whether the requirement or condition imposed was reasonable:
- whether there is adequate signage to indicate the ramp access via St Georges Terrace;
- whether the ramp is compliant with the BCA and AS;
- the street address indicated on the respondent’s website;
- the distance between the William Street access and the St Georges Terrace access;
- whether the alternative access allows people with disabilities to gain entry into the premises with dignity and ease.
H. UNJUSTIFIABLE HARDSHIP
- Should it be relevant to consider unjustifiable hardship, the Commissioner submits that the following general principles have been developed in understanding the concept of ‘unjustifiable hardship’ under the DDA:
- The appropriate approach is first to determine whether or not the respondent has discriminated against the complainant and then determine whether or not the respondent is able to make out the defence of unjustifiable hardship; Sluggett v Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (2002) ¶EOC 93-234 per Drummond J at  – ; Francey & Another v Hilton Hotels of Australia Pty Ltd (1997) ¶EOC 92-903 per Innes Cr at 77,452; Finney v Hills Grammar School  HREOCA 14 per Innes Cr at 49.
- The onus is on the respondent to establish the defence; Cooper v Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (1999) 93 FCR 481 at 491-492; Scott & Anor v Telstra Corporation Ltd (1995) EOC ¶92-717, per Wilson P at 78,401; Finney v Hills Grammar School at 49; see also House of Representatives Hansard, 26 May 1992 at 2753-2754 (Brian Howe, Minister for Health Housing and Community Services).
- The complainant may have an evidentiary role to play in assessing ‘unjustifiable hardship’. Determining exactly what accommodation a complainant will require to avoid discriminating against them and how it will best be achieved is an interactive process; Finney v Hills Grammar School per Innes Cr at 50.
- Implicit in the concept of unjustifiable hardship is that some hardship will be justifiable. The concept of unjustifiable hardship ‘connotes much more than just hardship’; Finney v Hills Grammar School at 52, affirmed on review in Hills Grammar School v HREOC& Others (2000) 100 FCR 306 at , Francey & Another v Hilton Hotels at 77,453.
- The financial circumstances of the respondent are important, but must be considered in the context of the DDA’s objects – the financial burden may be justifiable; Francey & Another v Hilton Hotels at 77,453.
- The group of ‘any persons concerned’ to whom a benefit or detriment may apply extends beyond the immediate complainant and respondent; Scott & Anor v Telstra at 78,401, Francey & Another v Hilton Hotels at 77,452. It is appropriate to consider, for example, the families of people with disabilities who may gain a benefit from access; Cooper v Holiday Coast Cinemas  HREOCA 32 per Keim Cr at 6.
- Possible hardship from other potential and unproved liabilities are not to be considered; Scott & Anor v Telstra at 78,402.
- In Cocks v State of Queensland  QADT 3 (2 September 1994), the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal of Queensland held that the provision of wheelchair access via an alternative entry some 40 metres from the main entrance effectively segregates people with a disability from those without. In assessing whether the provision of disabled access to the main entrance would cause unjustifiable hardship to the Respondent, the Tribunal emphasised considerations of equal dignity and worth (consistent with the objects of the DDA) which weigh in favour of ensuring access for the disabled by the same entrance as the able-bodied. The Tribunal was required to undertake a balancing exercise between benefit to the mobility-impaired in ensuring access by the same entrance as the able-bodied and the detriment to the Respondent (namely, a cost of close to $300,000 to install a lift). The Tribunal concluded that the hardship imposed by a requirement to supply special facilities allowing for access to the main entrance is justifiable. The Tribunal also concluded, for similar reasons that the Respondent had failed to discharge its onus of proving that the relevant requirement or condition, namely the ability to use steps, was reasonable.
- It may be relevant here to consider the position of the CSA as lessee of the premises. This may make expenditure by the CSA on altering the means of access to the premises less justifiable. However, it will not, in the Commissioner’s view, make any expenditure required of them necessarily unjustifiable. For example, a lessee could enter into negotiations with a lessor to modify a building so that it is compliant with the BCA and AS. A lessee could offer to contribute towards the cost of modifying a building so that it is more accessible to people with disabilities. It could also offer to provide its services in another venue to those people with disabilities who wish to access the lessee’s services face to face.
- As in the case of ‘reasonableness’, the Commissioner submits that compliance or non-compliance with the BCA and/or the AS will be an important factor in determining whether any hardship is ‘unjustifiable’. In particular, in circumstances where a respondent has entered into a lease for premises that are not compliant with the BCA and/or the AS applying at the time of entering into the lease, this would be expected to weigh in favour of a finding that hardship imposed by a requirement to alter those premises is justifiable.
- Furthermore, where a respondent has agreed to lease premises in circumstances where it should have known that those premises would give rise to a breach of the DDA (given, for example, resources that are available to assist in compliance such as the Commissioner’s Advisory Notes which have been in existence since 1997),11 this would be expected to weigh in favour of a finding that hardship imposed by a requirement to alter those premises is justifiable.
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
21 May 2007
 Waters v Public Transport Corporation (1991) 173 CLR 349 at 359 per Mason CJ and Gaudron J; IW v City of Perth (1997) 191 CLR 1 at 14 per Brennan CJ and McHugh J at 22-23, per Gaudron J, at 27 per Toohey J, at 39 per Gummow J and 58 per Kirby J; X v Commonwealth (1999) 200 CLR 177 at 223 Kirby J; and Qantas Airways Limited v Christie (1998) 193 CLR 280 at 332 per Kirby J
 Mills v Meeking (1990) 91 ALR 16 at 30-31, per Dawson J
 X v Commonwealth (1999) 200 CLR 177 at 223 per Kirby J; Qantas Airways Limited v Christie (1998) 193 CLR 280 at 333 and footnotes 168-169, per Kirby J; Gardner v All Australian Netball Association Ltd  FMCA 81,  and -.
 Jumbunna Coal Mine NL v Victorian Coal Miners’ Association (1908) 6 CLR 309 at 363; Chu Kheng Lim v Minister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs (1992) 176 CLR 1 at 38 per Brennan, Deane and Dawson JJ. See also Maxwell on the Interpretation of Statutes (7th Ed, 1929) at 127; Pearce, Statutory Interpretation In Australia (5th Ed, 2001) at [5.14].
 See eg Brown v Classification Review Board (1998) 154 ALR 67 at 78 per French J; Secretary of State, Ex Parte Simms  2 AC 115 at 130 per Lord Steyn, 131 per Lord Hoffman. Even if the principle is confined to ambiguous statutory provisions, the concept of ‘ambiguity’ in this context is construed broadly: Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs v Teoh (1995) 183 CLR 273 at 287.
 Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs v Teoh (1995) 183 CLR 273 at 287 per Mason CJ and Deane J. See also Kartinyeri v Commonwealth (1998) 195 CLR 337 at 384 per Gummow and Hayne JJ.
 GA Res 3447 (XXX), UN GAOR, 30th sess, Supp No 34, UN Doc A/10034 (1975). See also schedule 5 to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 (Cth).
 It can be noted that Sluggett was not a case dealing with lessee of premises, but rather whether or not a respondent University could be held liable for access to external premises at which a student was required to attend as part of a placement.
 It is noted that s 47(2) of the DDA provides an exemption for acts done ‘in direct compliance with a prescribed law’. No laws relevant to the present case (such as State laws which may regulate buildings or facilities in public places) are ‘prescribed laws’ for the purposes of the DDA; see reg 2A and Schedule 1, Disability Discrimination Regulations 1996 (Cth).
 Also see Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade v Styles (1989) 88 ALR 621 at 623; Minns v New South Wales FMCA 60 at ; Travers v New South Wales (2001) 163 FLR 99; Clarke v Catholic Education Office (2003) 202 ALR 340 at ; CEO v Clarke  FCAFC 197 at ; Commonwealth Bank of Australia v Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission (1997) 80 FCR 78 at 88; State of Victoria v Schou  FCAFC 197 at ; Daghlian v Australian Postal Corporation  FCA 759 at ; Hinchliffe v University of Sydney  FMCA 85 at ; Access for All Alliance (Hervey Bay) Inc v Hervey Bay City Council  FMCA 915 at -, - and  and Trindall v NSW Commissioner for Police  FMCA 2 at -.