Boards of Inquiry are hearings, which give parties to a human rights complaint the opportunity to present their evidence of, or argue against, an allegation of the human rights infringement. The objective of the hearing is to allow the Board of Inquiry to hear the merits of the case so it can decide whether discrimination occurred.
The forum gives the complainant a chance to show the circumstances in which the discrimination occurred and it gives the respondent the same opportunity to defend themselves against the allegations.
The Board makes a decision and may prescribe penalties.
How does a case get to a Board of Inquiry?
When the Human Rights Commission is unable to settle a human rights dispute they send the case to the Minister for Youth, Families, Sports and Community Development recommending that it be referred to a Board of Inquiry.
The Minister makes a decision whether to refer the matter to a Board of Inquiry. Once the case has been referred to a Board of Inquiry the Department of Human Affairs;