Effectiveness of Sexual Harassment Law - Paper Sample

Published: 2023-12-06
Effectiveness of Sexual Harassment Law - Paper Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Law Government Sexual abuse
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1866 words
16 min read

Section 3(A) of the sex discrimination act 1984 of the Commonwealth law offers to protect citizens and eliminate discrimination that involves workplace sexual harassment. However, this law does not entirely strike a balance between providing justice for the victims of sexual harassment and giving the respondent their right to legal procedures. The sexual harassment act undertakes to protect people in the workplace the educational setting and other public areas. However, this law remains insufficient, since it majors on compensating people who have suffered from sexual harassment and preventing harassment. Secondly, the sexual harassment protection law does not recognize some damages that occur due to sexual harassment. Therefore, this act requires a lot of improvement for it to serve its intended purpose effectively. This essay discusses some of the shortcomings of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) that make the law incomplete and proposes sections that need future review.

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The sexual harassment act recognizes and tries to mitigate the effects of sexual mistreatment by attempting to offer compensation to victims and giving legal justice to the respondent. However, one of its main weaknesses is that it views sexual harassment as an independent action and not a systematic outcome. In real-life situations, sexual harassment might be more than an individual happening. For instance, one might suffer sexual harassment progressively for a long time. Therefore, this law needs improvement for it to make sexual harassment a progressive action and, at times, an individual private event. For instance, the law should recognize sexual harassment acts, not only the physical harassment acts but also the emotional ones.

The case law of Lee v Smith makes it the responsibility of an employer to enlighten employees on their expected behaviors in the workplace. Each employee should therefore have a copy of the code of conduct of the workplace. In this case, the court held the state department of defense liable for sexual harassment of Lee, who was an employee in the defense base in Cairns. The case law also required that each employer should supply copies of workplace fact sheets personally, through addresses, via email, sending an internet link, or through fax. This case law also requires employees to sign an acknowledgment that they will abide by the rules and regulations of the workplace. However, the effectiveness of this case law is still questionable as supplying workers with written regulations might not imply that they will be aware of the rules.

Although the sexual harassment protection law is beneficial in correcting behavior and stopping the future of the action, it is inadequate as it mainly focuses on how to compensate those who suffer harassment and forgets the crucial role of preventing the occurrence of the harassment. Therefore, this law needs a review for it to serve best in preventing the occurrence and taking the necessary corrective measures when it happens. The sexual harassment law should be reviewed in a way that enables it to change people's behaviors at workplaces and in society in general. The law should be not only corrective but also preventive for it to be effective in preventing harassment. In most countries, sexual harassment at the workplace has not been fully attended to since employers concentrate mainly on improving the employees' performance. Employees focus on impressing their bosses to keep their jobs and pay less attention to sexual harassment cases.

The sex discrimination act is very instrumental in punishing those who harass others sexually. However, it has a significant weakness in that this law does not respond effectively to the harms that result from sexual harassment. This law does not fully address the losses and damages that result from sexual torment actions 2. Sexual harassment makes the subject suffer much, both physically and mentally. Although the current sex harassment law recommends compensation for damages that result from the action, it either caters to mental or physical harm and forgets the other effect. If the law has to be effective, then there will be a need to change it so that it can serve to alter all the arms that result from the mistreatment.

The use of alternative resolution procedures (ARP) has made solving cases of sexual harassment effective and economical for both complainant and respondent. Most society members prefer to settle disputes that arise out of sexual harassment confidentially at home and bypass legal procedures. However, Such practices are responsible for the unending cases of sexual mistreatment in most communities. There are many cases of sexual mistreatment that never lands in court, and the result of the secret court procedures is not particular. The sex discrimination act 1984 of the Commonwealth Law and other laws should be improved to cater to eliminating all the illegal and informal ways of addressing sexual harassment. it is not sure if the secret settling of sexual mistreatment cases ends with an amicable conclusion and whether it provides an acceptable solution. Therefore the law on sexual harassment needs some review to do away with the confidential procedures to ensure the victims' justice eliminates the evil acts.

Although the commonwealth law on sexual harassment tries to identify changes that can be done to the alternative resolution processes to improve its effectiveness, it might not be possible to monitor and control the functions. The government and other legal bodies might not know the procedures that happen in these confidential courts and might not be able to determine if ARP settles the cases well. Therefore, the law should be improved to make litigation the only way of dealing with sexual harassment issues. The confidential settling might not be effective in assuring justice to the victims of sexual abuse and giving procedural rights to the respondents.

The Australian Human Rights Commission Act has a role in investigating cases and complaints of breach of human rights. Such violations include sexual harassment complaints, as found in the Sex Discrimination Act 1986 (SDA), to resolve such claims by conciliation. This law defines cases of sexual harassment and decides whether sexual harassment has happened. The law aims at protecting the rights of the citizens. Still, it is significantly insufficient to serve such a purpose as it majors to reconcile the parties rather than stop sexual harassment. Therefore, the SDA law requires a great review for it to serve its purpose better in protecting Australians from sexual harassment.

The expensive litigation and low compensation procedures that complainants get are the main reasons most complainants prefer to settle cases of sexual abuse through confidential and private systems. Other people who like to resolve sexual mistreatment cases through ARP cite tedious court procedures as the reason for the choice while others do so for fear of not recovering the costs they would incur3. Nevertheless, ARP's effectiveness in correcting and preventing sexual harassment is in question as most of the cases that pass through the confidential resolution procedures are never concluded. For the law to effectively correct the behavior and prevent the evils' continuity, the governments and international bodies should improve the litigation process. The court processes should be made more affordable, economical, and less tedious for complainants to stop opting for non-litigation measures. Once done, the improvements are likely to make people stop preferring solving the cases at home.

Although sexual harassment is considered a severe crime in most countries, these cases remain high. For instance, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) received about 262 sexual harassment complaints between 2011 and 20123. The increase in the cases could mean that the law on sexual harassment is ineffective in stopping the vice's happening. APR assures reconciliation to sexual harassment parties but fails to give severe consequences to those guilty of actions of sexual injustice. Therefore, the government and commissions should either do away with the procedures of secret solutions or make laws that govern these procedures.

Even though the law against sexual harassment tasked employers with the role of protecting their employees and ensuring that sexual abuse does not happen, it is not easy to ensure a positive causal link between all employees. The vicarious law's main weakness is that although the employer might take reasonable measures to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, this might not necessarily prevent its occurrence. For this law to be effective in preventing sexual mistreatment, it requires improvement to stop happening of this evil in workplaces.

The vicarious law is so effective that it protects members of an institution from sexual harassment even outside the job area. However, the law's effectiveness can be questionable since it may not be easy for employers to know when the actions of sexual harassment happen outside the job area. Although these laws task employers with the responsibility of protecting their employees against sexual harassment, the biggest challenge to this role is how to determine whether the action is related to work. It is not easy to determine whether an act of sexual abuse that was done by an employee outside the workplace is job-related or not. Sometimes an employer might dismiss an act of sexual mistreatment, arguing that it is not vicarious. Therefore, the government should make adjustments to the law to make it more clear in defining circumstances under which sexual harassment is vicarious.

Australian law is very keen to punish both those who commit the crime of sexual harassment and those who try to hide evidence. Austrians face accusations for cases of silencing victims and hiding evidence of the evils. Citizens who conceal these actions risk their jobs, professions, and freedom as they take them as serious criminals. However, some people in authority try to hold stories about cases of sexual harassment. The media finds it hard to cover the news. The government of Australia does not allow journalists to give information which they do not have supporting evidence.

Although the Australian law on sexual harassment tries to protect citizens from this evil, it prevents people from reporting the happenings. Citizens fear reporting cases to avoid being held liable for writing something that they cannot prove. It is not easy to prove sexual assault cases as a journalist, who preferred to remain anonymous said. The Australian court system does not support litigation processes in sexual abuse cases, and many issues remain in the courts for a long without conclusions.

Citizens in every country expect that the law and the court system will protect their rights, but the case is different in Australia. Instead of the country law safeguarding the citizens from abuse, it makes attempts to cover those who commit sexual harassment. The authority stops journalists from revealing sexual abuse actions even before they start publishing reports of the cases. The revolution #MeToo has made every citizen able to give their cries10. The citizens could speak in one voice against the concealing of evidence of sexual harassment by Australia's government.

The sexual harassment act of the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act in 1984 made illegal any act that sexually offended a person and defined it as sexual harassment. However, this law does not list all the cases of sexual harassment, and one can take advantage of the citizens' ignorance of the cases. Therefore, the government and commissions on human rights should sufficiently define the law to make it clear for the citizens to be aware of the circumstances when one abuses the other.

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Effectiveness of Sexual Harassment Law - Paper Sample. (2023, Dec 06). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/effectiveness-of-sexual-harassment-law-paper-sample

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