Rushed encryption laws create risk of unintended consequences and overreach
While the encryption access legislation rammed through the Senate is an improvement, there is now the very real possibility of unintended consequences as well as intelligence agency and law enforcement overreach according to the Law Council of Australia (07 December 2018). More...
Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council releases annual report
The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council 2017–18 Annual Report has been tabled in Parliament. The report details the Council’s activities in the 2017-18 financial year to inform, engage and advise Queenslanders about sentencing matters (05 December 2018). More...
Direct cross-examination ban gets the go ahead
The Morrison Government passed legislation ensuring victims of family violence will be protected from direct cross-examination by their alleged perpetrators in family law proceedings (05 December 2018). More...
Lawyer X's conduct unethical and clear breach of rules
The Law Council of Australia has expressed deep concern about disclosures legal counsel acted as a police informer. Law Council of Australia President said the disclosures reveal a clear breach of legal professional. Rules and reinforced the need for properly resourced oversight bodies to supervise the activities of law enforcement (04 December 2018). More...
Scam Technology Project to address proliferation of scams
The ACMA has established a Scam Technology Project to explore practical technical solutions to address the proliferation of scam calls over Australian telecommunications networks. Scam calls are more than a nuisance, they pose a real threat, particularly to those in vulnerable circumstances (03 December 2018). More...
Modern Slavery Act a reality after years of advocacy
Under the new laws, entities with an annual consolidated revenue of more than $100 million will be required to report on slavery risks in their supply chains. Law Council of Australia President, Morry Bailes, congratulated the Australian Government, and Parliament, for making a Modern Slavery Act a reality (29 November 2018). More...
New Modern Slavery law needs teeth to stop abuses
New laws to address forced labour in the supply chains of Australian companies passed in Parliament, but human rights advocates say they don’t go far enough (29 November 2018). More...
Amendments to Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme
Amendments to the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme introduced into Parliament will ensure the scheme is fully operational in time for the next federal election (28 November 2018). More...
Innovative court program begins in Southport
Southport is the latest location to launch the Court Link program, an initiative designed to address and overcome the underlying causes of offending. Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath lauded the initiative, which is based on individual case management and monitoring (28 November 2018). More...
Passage of the Defence Amendment (Call out of The Australian Defence Force) Bill 2018
The Government has passed legislation to enhance the ability of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to support state and territory police in responding to incidents of significant violence, including terrorism (27 November 2018). More...
Strengthened charity advocacy laws pass after year of consultation
The Human Rights Law Centre welcomes the passing of the electoral funding bill, which, after consultation with charities and not-for-profit organisations, is vastly different from the initial flawed proposal that would have stifled vital public advocacy by charities (27 November 2018). More...
Tax Office gives evidence to Family Court
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is to develop a new information-sharing system with the Family Court of Australia to ensure separating women receive a better deal accessing superannuation assets (26 November 2018). More....
Simple fixes can strengthen Queensland’s human rights law
Queensland’s proposed Human Rights Act should be improved with some simple amendments, the parliamentary committee reviewing the Palaszczuk Government’s legislation (26 November 2018). More...
Crossbench bill and passed motion brings corruption watchdog closer, Government must join the table
The Law Council strongly supports the establishment of a National Integrity Commission to combat corruption at the federal level. Law Council of Australia President, Morry Bailes, said it was important that momentum is maintained, but that proper process is followed to ensure Parliament gets the model right (28 November 2018). More...
United against corruption: Joint communiqué from Australia’s anti-corruption Commissioners
To mark International Anti-Corruption Day on 9 December, the heads of all Australian anti-corruption bodies have issued a joint communiqué. It calls on public sector leaders to do more to build strong cultures of integrity that resist corruption. Read the full communiqué here.
New sittings times for Full Court sittings in the High Court of Australia.
Having recently trial led an earlier starting time of 10:00am for Full Court sittings the Justices of the High Court have adopted the earlier starting time as a permanent practice (03 December 2018). More...
High Court Rules - Amendments to Second Schedule
The High Court have advised it has made amendments to the High Court Rules 2004, amending Schedule 2, available here. The explanatory statement is available here. The Court has agreed to the recommendation of the Committee for an increase of 2.1% to the solicitors’ costs as set out in Schedule 2 of the High Court Rules 2004, which is to come into operation on 1 January 2019 and will apply in respect of all work done and services performed by solicitors after 31 December 2018. See the High Court Amendment (Fees) Rules 2018 here (07 December 2018).
Australian Human Rights Commission refreshed guidelines for the use of special measures under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth).
Special measures are positive actions used to promote equality for disadvantaged groups, which are permitted under the Sex Discrimination Act. The Commission’s guidelines are intended to assist organisations and individuals to understand and use the special measures provisions in the Sex Discrimination Act. The guidelines can be accessed here (06 December 2018).
AAT: Time limits for applying for review in the MRD
The Federal Court recently decided in Brown v Minister for Home Affairs (No. 2)  FCA 1787 that the Migration and Refugee Division (MRD) has the power to extend the time limits for applying for review. Prior to this judgment, it was understood that the AAT could not accept MRD applications made outside of time limits (03 December 2018). More...
Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme to commence December 10
The Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme (FITS) will commence on 10 December, 2018. From this date any person who undertakes certain activities, on behalf of a foreign principal for the purpose of influencing a political or government process will be required to register under the scheme.
LCA makes submission on future of the Family Court
The Law Council of Australia has made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry into the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2018 and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2018. The submission has now been published here (28 November 2018).
LCA: Australian Human Rights Commission National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces
The development of the Law Council's submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces is underway. Under the inquiry's terms of reference it will also consider the current legal framework and contributing factors behind workplace sexual harassment in the legal profession. Contributions to the submission has closed on 3 December 2018. More...
Reminder: Australian Digital Health Agency three month "opt-out period" for My Health Record
As announced by the Australian Digital Health Agency, every Australian will be offered a My Health Record unless they choose not to have one during the three-month opt out period which has been extended to 31 January 2019. During the opt out period individuals who do not want a record will be able to opt out by visiting here.
50th Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA) Forum
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner, New Zealand (OPC) hosted the 50th Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA) Forum which was held on 3-4 December in Wellington, New Zealand. More...
QCAT reserved decisions
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) President, the Honourable Justice Daubney AM, has informed Queensland Law Society that QCAT has published a new reserved decisions policy, revoking QCAT’s Practice Direction No4 of 2013.
SMS message reminders to adult defendants on bail
From 7 December 2018, the Queensland Courts will send SMS messages to adult defendants on bail to remind them of the date and time for their next court appearance. This follows a successful trial of the reminder service in Mackay this year. More..
Sentencing Information Service
The Queensland Sentencing Information Service (QSIS) is a free online resource provided by the Supreme Court Library Queensland (SCLQ) to eligible users. SCLQ is seeking feedback about QSIS via an anonymous survey. The survey will help the library to understand who uses the service, how and why it is used, what works well. Importantly, it will show what could be improved. Members of the criminal justice system are invited to provide their comments about the service. The survey deadline is 19 December 2018. Share your feedback about QSIS.
Legal policy submission - Human rights
On 26 November 2018, with the assistance of the QLS Human Rights Working Group, the Society wrote a response to the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee regarding the Human Rights Bill 2018. For information on the history of human rights in Queensland and the current Bill, read our latest blog here. You’re invited to provide feedback – legal policy reform. Practitioners are invited to provide feedback as QLS policy committees prepare submissions for reviews of:, (2) the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018.
Streamlining Criminal Justice Committee - Standardised bail conditions
The Streamlining Criminal Justice Committee and the Rules Committee of the Supreme Court of Queensland have provided a document as an aid to practitioners and their clients to assist with clearer proposed bail conditions. The intention of the document is to assist those granted bail to understand their obligations better. The document is not released as a practice direction but as an aid that may be used to assist practitioners and their clients. Download Standardised bail conditions document here (07 December 2018). The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, The Hon. Yvette D'Ath MP, has advised that the Governor in Council, with the consent of the Rules Committee, made the Uniform Civil Procedure (Corporations Proceedings) Amendment Rule 2018 (Amendment Rule), which commenced on the 23 November 2018. The Amendment Rule harmonises the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Schedules 1A and 1B) with the Federal Court (Corporations) Rules 2000 (Cth) (FCCR), at the recommendation of the Council of Chief Justices’ Rules Harmonisation Committee, with minor variations to ensure consistency of Queensland definitions, processes and powers of registrars.
Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council annual report
The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council 2017–18 Annual Report has been tabled in Parliament (05 December 2018)
CCC: Corruption in Queensland: perceptions and prevention
This short report is a Queensland-specific snapshot of corruption perceptions and experiences, based on the overall survey findings. Read more information about the 2018 Global Barometer Survey (Australia) (December 2018).
Barrister charged with perjury - 7 December 2018
The CCC has this morning issued a Notice to Appear in Court to a 51-year-old barrister to face two charges of perjury arising from Operation Stockade.
Custodial officer and two other men charged with trafficking drugs and other offences - 6 December 2018
Three people have been charged this afternoon with trafficking dangerous drugs and other serious criminal offences by CCC after an investigation into allegations staff from a Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) facility were involved in sourcing and supplying steroids.
Man charged for breaching bail - 27 November 2018
A 47-year-old Tarragindi man was charged this afternoon by the CCC with breaching a bail condition contrary to section 29 of the Bail Act 1980.
Human Services’ Compliance Strategies
ANAO Report No 15: 06 December 2018
The objective of this audit was to assess whether Human Services has an effective high-level compliance strategy for administered payments made under the Centrelink and Medicare programs. More...
What is the profile of child exploitation material offenders?
Rick Brown, Samantha Bricknell; Australian Institute of Criminology: 07 December 2018
Child exploitation material (CEM) is sexually abusive images of children that are typically disseminated via the internet. This paper reviews recent literature to establish a profile of those who view or collect CEM. More...
Trust and democracy in Australia: democratic decline and renewal
Gerry Stoker, Mark Evans, Max Halupka; Democracy 2025: 05 December 2018
Over the past four years UC-IGPA and MoAD have conducted a range of quantitative surveys with the Social Research Institute at Ipsos on the relationship between trust in the political system and attitudes towards democracy. More...
Australian government Information Security Manual
Australian Cyber Security Centre, Australian Signals Directorate: 04 December 2018
These guidelines are intended for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs), Chief Information Officers (CIOs), cyber security professionals and information technology managers. As such, these guidelines discuss both governance and technical concepts in order to support the protection of organisations’ information and systems. More...
End of term self-assessment report for Australia’s first Open Government National Action Plan 2016-18
Open Government Partnership (Australia); Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Australia): 03 December 2018
While there are still a small number of commitments delayed in this first National Action Plan, Australia has taken great strides to improve transparency, accountability and public engagement over the course of this action plan cycle, with the majority of the plan’s commitments either on track or now completed. More...
Policy and process to limit and reduce red tape: final report
Parliament of Australia: 3 December 2018
This report provides information on the establishment and conduct of the policy and process inquiry, and key objectives of the Deregulation Agenda. It also examines some of the information presented to the committee, before presenting the committee's findings and recommendations. More...
Australians’ attitudes to violence against women and gender equality
Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety: 30 November 2018
This report documents findings from the National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS) and considers them in the context of other related research. It has been written for an audience interested in greater detail about the concepts measured in the survey, survey findings and implications for policy, program development and practice. More...
Disability Support Pension — follow-on audit
Australian National Audit Office: 29 November 2018
The objective of this audit was to examine if Social Services and Human Services drive improvements in the Disability Support Pension program using data and information from multiple sources, including agreed Auditor-General and parliamentary committee recommendations. More...
Election funding and disclosure in Australian states and territories: a quick guide - November 2018 update
Damon Muller; Parliamentary Library (Australia): 28 November 2018
This guide summarises the often complex funding and disclosure laws federally, and in each Australian state and territory. These laws regulate who can make and receive political donations, how and when those donations must be disclosed, how much money political parties can spend on election campaigns, and the amount of public money they receive to fund their campaigns and operations. More...
Legislative exemptions that allow faith-based educational institutions to discriminate against students, teachers and staff
Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee; Parliament of Australia: 26 November 2018
The recent public debate on the matters being considered in this inquiry has been prompted, in the most immediate sense, by the disclosure of certain recommendations in a review on religious freedom commissioned by the federal government. More...
'PM' and Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (Freedom of information)  AICmr 70
Freedom of Information — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative purpose — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of an agency — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982, ss 11A(5), 47C and 47E(d) - potential National Radioactive Waste Management Facility at Kimba.
Brisbane City Council v Carmody  QMC 16
Constitutional Matter – no case submission – s.78B Judiciary Act 1903 – public land and council assets local law 2014 – Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act (Constitution).
Baker v Department of Natural Resources & Mines  QCAT 375
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – where applicant had been convicted of a vegetation clearing offence – where the applicant was consequently issued with a restoration notice and new Property Map of Assessable Vegetation (PMAV) by an authorised delegate of the Chief Executive of the Department of Natural Resources and Mines pursuant to the Vegetation Management Act (VMA) – where applicant applied for internal review of that decision and was unsuccessful – where applicant applied to the Tribunal for external review of that decision – where interim application filed to address jurisdictional matters – where the applicant contends the Tribunal does not have jurisdiction on the basis that s 54B of the VMA required the Respondent to ‘reasonably believe’ a person has committed a vegetation clearing offence which does not extend to actual knowledge of a criminal conviction – where the applicant contends the Tribunal does not have jurisdiction on the basis that the Respondent’s decision to issue a new PMAV was defective as it should have been made under only one subsection of s 20B of the VMA.
Wyatt & Anor v Queensland Building and Construction Commission  QCAT 396
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – General administrative review – where the review application specified a particular decision by date but particulars implied reference to another earlier decision- whether a decision to allow a claim on the statutory insurance scheme is reviewable – whether a decision to accept a tender is reviewable – jurisdiction to review a scope of works decision out of time – whether scope of works unreasonable unnecessary or excessive.
Cornonero v Bright Moon Buddhist Society  VSC 737
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Judicial review – Relief in the nature of certiorari – Whether adjudication determination is vitiated by jurisdictional error – Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2015 (Vic), r 56.
BUILDING CONTRACTS – Review adjudications – Application for review by respondent – Requirement for respondent to pay adjudicated amount other than alleged excluded amounts to claimant – Where respondent transfers funds before making review application – Where funds clear after making review application – Requirement for respondent to pay alleged excluded amounts into designated trust account – Where respondent pays undisputed amounts to claimant instead of into trust – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) s 28B(5), s 28B(6).
STATUTORY INTERPRETATION – Legislative intention – Statutory precondition to review application – Where respondent took partial steps of compliance – Need for strict compliance – Meaning of ‘paid’ – Electronic funds transfer – Whether ‘paid’ requires clearance of funds in recipient’s bank account.
Intelligence Services Amendment Bill 2018
Finally passed both Houses 05/12/2018
The Bill will improve and modernise the legislative framework that governs the use of force by the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) to address key operational challenges and issues.
Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018
Finally passed both Houses 06/12/2018
Amends the: Telecommunications Act 1997 to: establish frameworks for voluntary and mandatory industry assistance to law enforcement and intelligence agencies in relation to encryption technologies via the issuing of technical assistance requests, technical assistance notices and technical capability notices; and make amendments contingent on the commencement of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Act 2018;
Sex Discrimination Amendment (Removing Discrimination Against Students) Bill 2018
Senate Second reading debate 03/12/2018
Amends the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 to remove the capacity of bodies established for religious purposes that provide education to directly discriminate against students on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.
International Human Rights and Corruption (Magnitsky Sanctions) Bill 2018
HR Second reading moved 03/12 2018
The purpose of the Bill is to make provisions enabling sanctions to be imposed, at the discretion of the Minister, for the purposes of compliance with United Nations obligations or other international obligations; or for the purposes of preventing or responding to gross human rights abuse or violations; or acts of significant corruption
National Integrity (Parliamentary Standards) Bill 2018
HR Second reading moved 03/12 2018
This bill is part of a package of bills to promote public trust and confidence in the integrity of Parliament, the public sector and the system of Government. This package is about creating a culture of integrity, a pro-active and solutions focused approach to preventing corruption.
Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2018
Senate Second reading moved 03/12 2018
Introduced with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2018, the bill: amends the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 to establish the Family Law Appeal Division in the Federal Court of Australia; and provide the Family Law Appeal Division appellate jurisdiction in relation to family law appeals from the Federal Circuit and Family Court (FCFC) as well as some appeals from the Family Court of Western Australia; amends the Family Law Act 1975 to largely remove the appellate function of the Family Court of Australia; and ensure that the Act continues to operate in the context of the FCFC; makes consequential amendments to 123 Acts and 25 court-related regulations and rules; amends various Acts contingent on the commencement of 21 proposed Acts;
Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2018
Senate Second reading moved 03/12 2018
Introduced with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2018, the bill unifies the administrative structure of the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, which will be known as the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia comprised of Division 1 (which will be a continuation of the Family Court) and Division 2 (which will be a continuation of the Federal Circuit Court).
Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Act 2018
04/12/2018 Act No. 147 of 2018
Evidence Regulations 2018
07/12/2018 - These regulations (the Regulations) remake the Evidence Regulations 1995 (the Principle Regulations) with minor amendments to ensure the Regulations remain fit for purpose and meet the needs of the community. The Regulations remove a section in the Principal Regulations which referred to a repealed section of the Act; add the Evidence Act 2011 (ACT) to section 9 of the Regulations as a prescribed Act for the purpose of self-incrimination certificates; amend Forms 2 and 3 in Schedule 1 to the Regulations to align with current practice in relation to fingerprint evidence; and repeal the Principal Regulations (Schedule 2).
Marriage (Celebrant Professional Development) Amendment Statement 2018
04/12/2018 - This instrument amends the Marriage (Celebrant Professional Development) Statement 2018 to include three additional activities and repeals and replaces item 185 and inserts new items 186-188 to improve efficiencies in administration of the ongoing professional development (OPD) reporting process.
Family Law Amendment (Costs) Rules 2018
04/12/2018 - These Rules amend the Family Law Rules 2004 to increase by 2.1% the costs allowable for work done and services rendered by lawyers and itemised in the scale of costs in Schedule 3.
Freedom of Information (Disclosure Log – Exempt Documents) Determination 2018
30/11/2018 - This determination repeals the Disclosure Log Determination No. 2013-1 (Exempt Documents) and prescribes two categories of information that an agency or Minister is not required to make available to members of the public as part of a disclosure log.
Charter of the United Nations (UN Sanction Enforcement Law) Amendment Declaration 2018 (No. 2)
27/11/2018 – This instrument amends Schedule 1 of the Charter of the United Nations (UN Sanction Enforcement Law) Declaration 2008 to add sections 5 and 6 of the Charter of the United Nations (Sanctions—Mali) Regulations 2018. This has the effect that sections 5 and 6 are declared as ‘UN sanction enforcement laws’, meaning that contravening these prohibitions may, pursuant to section 27 of the Charter of the United Nations Act 1945, result in a penalty of imprisonment.
Copyright (International Protection) Amendment Regulations 2018
26/11/2018 - These regulations amend the Copyright (International Protection) Regulations 1969 to update the protection provided to foreign countries. This update is made in accordance with Australia’s treaty obligations and commitment to protecting international sound recordings and encoded broadcasts.
Marriage (Recognised Denominations) Proclamation 2018
26/11/2018 - This instrument replaces the Marriage (Recognised Denominations) Proclamation 2007 (due to sunset on 1 April 2019) on substantially the same terms, subject to the removal of four recognised denominations and changes to the names of three recognised denominations.
Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Official Secretary to the Governor-General) Regulations 2018
26/11/2018 - These regulations amend the Electoral and Referendum Regulation 2016 to include the Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General as a prescribed authority, and sets out a prescribed purpose for giving electoral Roll information to this prescribed authority.
Subordinate legislation – 07 December 2018
No 210 Public Records Amendment Regulation 2018
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