High Court of Australia

Purvis v New South Wales (Department of Education and Training) [2003] HCA 62

217 CLR 92; 78 ALJR 1; 202 ALR 133

11 Nov 2003

Case Number: S423/2002

Before

Gleeson CJ, McHugh, Gummow, Kirby, Hayne, Callinan, Heydon JJ

Catchwords

Discrimination law – Disability discrimination – Suspension and subsequent exclusion from school of pupil who repeatedly assaulted teachers and other pupils – Where pupil's behaviour a consequence of brain damage – Whether pupil discriminated against on the ground of disability – Meaning of "disability" – Whether obligation to provide reasonable accommodation or make reasonable adjustments for persons with a disability – Whether treatment of pupil was less favourable than treatment that would be given to a person without the disability in "circumstances that are the same or are not materially different" – Whether comparator is a person who does not engage in violent behaviour – Whether pupil received less favourable treatment "because of" his disability – Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth), s 5(1).

Words and phrases – "disability", "circumstances that are the same or are not materially different", "because of".

Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) – ss 3, 4, 5, 10, 12, 22.
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