Meeuwissen v. Hilton Hotels of Australia Pty Ltd.

In a prior judgment, the Commission found that Hilton Hotels of Australia had discriminated against Sue Meeuwissen and Neil Francey under section 103(1)(b)(i) of the Disability Discrimination Act by permitting smoking in their premises (a nightclub), causing the complainants difficulty breathing in such an environment. Ms Meeuwissen had cystic fibrosis - her doctor had recommended that she live in a smoke-free environment. In the earlier judgment, the Commission had ordered that the respondent pay the complainants damages, but had requested written submissions on possible declarations that it could make for preventing further discrimination under section 103(1)(b). (See: Francey v Hilton Hotels of Australia Pty Ltd [1997] HREOCA 56.)

The Commission concluded that all but one of the options available to it were not viable (separation of smokers and non-smokers; separate smoking and non-smoking environments within the venue; and the use of ventilation-filtration systems). Only a complete ban on smoking in entertainment venues would prevent further discrimination towards disabled non-smokers. However, the Commission declined to make such a declaration on the basis that momentum was building to ban smoking in public entertainment venues, and it was inappropriate to single out this venue for an earlier ban.


Meeuwissen v Hilton Hotels of Australia, Nos. H97/50 & H97/51, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (2000).

  • Australia
  • Mar 10, 2000
  • Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission



  • Neil Francey
  • Sue Meeuwissen

Defendant Hilton Hotels of Australia

Legislation Cited

Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (NSW)

Smoking Regulation Act 1997 (NSW)

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues

Type of Tobacco Product