Government concedes COVIDSafe app 'rarely used' in overdue report
The federal government has finally released its first official report into the COVIDSafe app, conceding the app is "rarely" used but attributing that to low community transmission rates and strong manual contact tracing (30 July 2021). More...
Federal Court will not release details of ABC's defence in Christian Porter defamation case
The ABC's defence from the now-settled case brought by former federal attorney-general Christian Porter will not be made public after a Federal Court ruling. The order is made on the grounds that it is necessary to prevent prejudice to the proper administration of justice," Justice Jagot told the court (30 July 2021). More...
Australian court finds AI systems can be recognised under patent law
An artificial intelligence system is capable of being an “inventor” under Australian patent law, the federal court has ruled, in a decision that could have wider intellectual property implications (30 July 2021). More...
Countdown to commencement of new Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia
The new Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia will officially commence operations on 1 September 2021 following the passing of legislation to amalgamate the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the Family Court of Australia (30 July 2021). More...
Three new magistrates appointed to Queensland Courts
Three new magistrates have been appointed to courts in Brisbane, Charleville and Innisfail with one also to undertake the role of Brisbane Coroner (30 July 2021). More...
Police officer charged with more than 30 criminal offences
A 25-year-old Queensland Police Service (QPS) Constable has been charged with 38 criminal offences following a cooperative investigation between the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) and the QPS Ethical Standards Command (30 July 2021). More...
Gender studies to drive PS equality
The Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector has published a collection of case studies on gender impact assessments. In a statement, the Commission said “(The Act) requires defined entities to do gender impact assessments of all new policies, programs and services that directly and significantly impact the public, as well as those up for review.” (29 July 2021). More...
ACSC shares 30 cyber failings to avoid
The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has issued a joint advisory with its counterparts in the United States and United Kingdom, setting out the top 30 cyber-security vulnerabilities exploited by malicious cyber actors since 2020 (29 July 2021). More...
The Australian Bar Association calls on the Commonwealth to reconsider the prosecution of Bernard Collaery
The ABA shows concerns in relation to the prosecution of barrister and former Deputy Chief Minister of the ACT and ACT Attorney-General, Bernard Collaery. The prosecution has largely taken place in secret, with much of the evidence suppressed, which impedes the ability of the legal profession and the public to scrutinise the administration of justice in this important case. (28 July 2021). More...
Why Australian needs a federal independent commission against corruption – with teeth
Over the past 20 years, governments have eroded many of the conventions that were part of the fabric of Australian government. Those conventions generally existed for good reason, and so governance got worse. And poor governance is leading to the failure to adopt good policy (28 July 2021). More...
Crackdown on illegal financial services marketing continues with formal warnings
The ACMA is continuing its clampdown on illegal marketing in the financial services sector with formal warnings issued to five companies for breaches of spam and telemarketing laws (28 July 2021). More...
New plan to tackle gambling harm in Queensland
A four-year plan to prevent and minimise gambling harm to Queenslanders, families, and local communities has been released by the Palaszczuk Government during Responsible Gambling Awareness Week (RGAW) 2021 (28 July 2021). More...
Audit of Publication of Returns of Interest demonstrates low level of compliance by councils
The IPC has completed a proactive audit into the compliance of councils with publishing returns of interest of councillors, designated staff and delegates in accordance with the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) and has published a compliance report on its website (27 July 2021). More...
HRLC: Children continue to be jailed in year since Attorneys-General failed to raise the age
On 27th July 2021, marks one year since Australia’s top legal officers failed to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14, despite being handed an expert report overwhelmingly recommending that all states and territories and the federal government change laws to keep children out of prison (27 July 2021). More...
Protect children from data surveillance
Parents who use pregnancy apps or share ultrasounds on social media can expect information about their children to be collected and sold to advertisers for profit. This data powers digital advertising that capitalises on information about peoples’ lives, habits and interests (27 July 2021). More...
Audits alone won't solve govt cyber woes: ANAO
National auditor-general Grant Hehir has questioned a proposal that would see his office review the cyber security of federal government agencies on an annual basis while internal assurance mechanisms and incentives are missing (27 July 2021). More...
New mobile phone/seatbelt cameras rollout
Roadside cameras that detect drivers illegally using mobile phones and not wearing a seatbelt will start appearing on Queensland roads (26 July 2021). More...
Police deploy cameras to detect phone use – fines to start 1 November
Roadside cameras that detect drivers illegally using mobile phones and not wearing a seatbelt will start appearing on Queensland roads. However, people caught breaking the law will not face fines before 1 November (26 July 2021). More...
Politicians' harassment complaints body will have limited scope
An independent complaints body for federal politicians and staffers is set to be up and running by September, but won’t look at sexual misconduct allegations from previous parliamentary terms (26 July 2021). More...
Excellent appointments to the Federal Court and Federal Circuit Court of Australia
The Law Council of Australia congratulates Ms Kylie Elizabeth Downes QC on her appointment as a justice of the Federal Court of Australia and Ms Meredith Dickson QC, Ms Patricia Cope, Mr Jonathan Forbes and Ms Catherine Symons on their appointments as judges of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia; all commence, 26 July 2021. The Law Council has long called for the timely replacement of retiring judicial officers (25 July 2021). More...
Uber found to have interfered with privacy
Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk has determined that Uber Technologies, Inc. and Uber B.V. interfered with the privacy of an estimated 1.2 million Australians. Rather than disclosing the breach responsibly, Uber paid the attackers a reward through a bug bounty program for identifying a security vulnerability (23 July 2021). More...
Announcement of new Judge Advocate General for the ADF
The Law Council of Australia congratulates Rear Admiral the Hon Jack Rush RFD QC RAN on his appointment to the position of Judge Advocate General of the Australian Defence Force (JAG) and Commodore James Renwick CSC SC RAN to the position of Deputy Judge Advocate General (Navy). “Military discipline in the armed services is vital both in Australia and on operational service overseas (23 July 2021). More...
LIV supports the Law Council of Australia’s concerns regarding the operation of proposed Federal Family Violence Orders
The LIV is pleased to note that the LCA’s position closely aligns with the submission provided to the LCA by members of the LIV Family Law Section. The Bill is intended to provide increased protection for victim-survivors of family violence through the introduction of a Federal Family Violence Order (‘FFVO’) (20 July 2021). More...
Appointment to the Federal Court of Australia
Ms Kylie Elizabeth Downes QC has been appointed as a judge of the Federal Court of Australia and will commence on 2 August 2021.
Appointment to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia
Ms Patricia Cope, Ms Meredith Dickson QC, Ms Catherine Symons and Mr Jonathan Forbes have been appointed as judges of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (FCC).
CDPP Undertakings (Indemnity from Prosecution) and Offers of Assistance
The purpose of this National Legal Direction (NLD) is to provide guidance to prosecutors when dealing with persons involved in criminal activity who indicate a willingness to co-operate with authorities and give evidence against others (22 July 2021). More...
Strengthening Australia’s cyber security regulations and incentives: Discussion paper
Interested stakeholders are invited to provide a submission to the discussion paper, Strengthening Australia’s cyber security regulations and incentives. Submissions on the discussion paper can be made via our submission form before 27 August 2021. Quick summary can be accessed here. More...
Proposed amendments to the Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules 2015
The Australian Bar Association invites comments and submissions on a proposal to amend Rules 123 and 125 of the Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules Submissions should be sent to the Australian Bar Association on or before 2 August 2021. More...
ACMA Consultation: Consumer vulnerability: expectations for the telco industry - consultation 27/2021
We want to create a statement of expectations for the telco industry to improve outcomes for vulnerable consumers. Closing date 08 September 2021. More...
ACMA Consultation: Proposal to amend Do Not Call Register (Access Fees) Determination 2017 - consultation 29/2021
We invite your comments on the Do Not Call Register cost-recovery arrangements. Closing date 20 August 2021. More...
Law Council update
23 July 2021
The Law Council produces a fortnightly newsletter which highlights the Law Council's important activities and advocacy, along with any relevant media and events stakeholders would be interested in.
Law Council of Australia submissions
21 July 2021— Law Council
Discussion Papers – Approach to Liability and Governance Issues
21 July 2021— Law Council
A new decision-making framework for property matters in family law
The AAT Bulletin is a weekly publication containing a list of recent AAT decisions and information relating to appeals against AAT decisions
Issue No. 15/2021, 26 July 2021. More...
OAIC: Our FOI disclosure log
The information described in our disclosure log has been released by the OAIC under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act): updated May 2021. More...
Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee
Constitution Alteration (Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Press) 2019
Status: Accepting Submissions Date Referred: 17 June 2021 Submissions Close: 20 August 2021
Reporting Date: 31 December 2021
Courts and Tribunals Legislation Amendment (2021 Measures No. 1) Bill 2021
Reporting Date: 13 August 2021
Select Committee on Foreign Interference through Social Media
Select Committee on Foreign Interference through Social Media to inquire into and report on the risk posed to Australia’s democracy by foreign interference through social media. The committee is to present its final report on or before the second sitting day of May 2022 The closing date for submissions is 31 October 2021. More...
Strengthening Australia’s cyber security regulations and incentives
On 13 July 2021, the Australian Government opened consultation on options for regulatory reforms and voluntary incentives to strengthen the cyber security of Australia’s digital economy. Interested stakeholders are invited to provide a submission to the discussion paper, Strengthening Australia’s cyber security regulations and incentives. Submissions on the discussion paper can be made via our submission form before 27 August 2021. More...
Enabling digital learning
QAO Report No 1 2021-22: 20 July 2021
The objective of this audit brief is to present key facts about how the Department of Education is reliably connecting learners and staff of state schools to digital resources and online content. More...
QAO: Financial reporting requirements (FRRs) and the new accounting standards 2021
Published: 7 July 2021 - Queensland Treasury’s Financial Reporting Requirements for Queensland Government Agencies (FRRs) for 2020–21 are available on Treasury’s website. More...
Department of Justice and Attorney-General - Recording & Transcription Services
The Department of Justice and Attorney-General is moving to a new way of delivering recording and transcription services across Queensland Courts and Tribunals. For information on the changes, due to be implemented by the end of 2021, please refer here.
Reminder: Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
The scheme aims to overcome communication barriers and create a more accessible justice system by providing intermediaries to assist witnesses with communication needs to give their best evidence. The scheme will commence in Brisbane and Cairns in July 2021 and will operate as a two-year pilot program.
Final Report – Evaluation of the Operation and Effectiveness of COVIDSafe and the National COVIDSafe Datastore
Department of Health: 22 July 2021
A heavily redacted version of a report evaluating the effectiveness of its COVIDSafe contact tracing app after failing to produce the report itself. View the independent report here.
Review of the parliamentary workplace: responding to serious incidents
Stephanie Foster, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Australia): 26 July 2021
This review found that current procedures and processes are not designed or able to respond appropriately to serious incidents in the Australian parliamentary workplace, particularly with regard to sexual assault. The most significant gap is the absence of readily accessible, timely, independent, trauma-informed services. More...
Audiovisual link technologies in Australian criminal courts: practical and legal considerations
Russell G. Smith, Rebecca Savage,Catherine Emami; Australian Institute of Criminology: 27 July 2021)
This report assesses the practical and legal considerations that need to be taken into account when adopting audio-visual link (AVL) technologies in the criminal courts, and concludes by identifying best practice initiatives for the adoption of AVL technologies in Australia. More...
Gridlock: removing barriers to policy reform
John Daley, Grattan Institute: 25 July 2021
Australia’s governance is going backwards. Without change, there is little prospect for many substantial policy reforms that would increase Australian prosperity. More...
An Evaluation of the youth Bail Assistance Line
Ilya Klauzner; Crime and Justice Bulletin No. CJB237 22 July 2021
Bail / Remand; Children, juveniles and young people; Evaluation reports; Policing. More...
ABA National Brief - July 2021
In this month’s National Brief, President of the ABA, Matthew Howard SC, responds to the continued disruption of the pandemic on the administration of justice and updates members of the National Bar on the activities of the ABA, including preparations for the ABA 2021 National Conference. The National Brief is here.
Independent Review into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces: progress update 2021
Australian Human Rights Commission: 19 July 2021
The Independent Review into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces was established in March 2021. This progress update outlines the work of the review to date, including the methodology. More...
Knight and Commonwealth Ombudsman (Freedom of information)  AATA 2504
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION — review of decisions of Australian Information Commissioner that parts of documents are exempt — documents conditionally exempt under section 47F and section 47E(d) of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 — access would involve unreasonable disclosure of personal information — No obligation under section 27A to consult with persons concerned when access denied — public interest met by current extent of disclosure — decisions under review affirmed
Commissioner Initiated Investigation into Uber Technologies, Inc. & Uber B.V. (Privacy)  AICmr 34
Privacy — Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) — Australian Privacy Principles — APP 11.1 — APP 11.2 — APP 1.2 — Extraterritorial jurisdiction —Unauthorised access to personal information by third party — Whether reasonable steps taken to protect personal information from unauthorised access — Whether reasonable steps taken to delete or de-identify personal information — Whether reasonable steps taken to implement practices, procedures and systems to ensure compliance with the APPs — Breaches substantiated – Requirement to prepare compliant Policies and Programs — Independent review of Policies and Programs. Updated 23 July 2021
Bonser v Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation  FCA 847
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – application for judicial review of a decision of the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) – invalidity classification – where parties have jointly promoted that the Court make a declaration that the decision of the CSC was invalid and of no effect – where grant of relief requires the exercise of judicial discretion – where evidence supports the joint submissions – orders made in terms sought
DEFENCE AND WAR – military superannuation and invalidity benefits – Military Superannuation and Benefits Act 1991 (Cth) – application for judicial review of a decision of the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) – invalidity classification – where parties have jointly promoted that the Court make a declaration that the decision of the CSC was invalid and of no effect – where grant of relief requires the exercise of judicial discretion – where evidence supports the joint submissions – orders made in terms sought
Military Superannuation and Benefits Act 1991 (Cth); Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) ss 37N, 43
Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth) s 39B
Rana v Registrar Cridland  FCA 848
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – application for judicial review of a Registrar’s decision to reject documents for filing pursuant to r 2.26 of the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) – consideration of s 5(2)(b) of the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth) – whether the Registrar failed to take into account a relevant consideration – whether a viable cause of action enlivening the jurisdiction of the Court apparent on the face of the documents – application upheld.
Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth) s 5; Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth) s 39B
Jurisdiction of Courts (Cross‑Vesting) Act 1987 (Cth) s 9(3); Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) ss 36, 37, 89-94
Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) r 2.26; Defamation Act 2005 (NSW) s 23; Defamation Act 2005 (SA) s 21
Campaigntrack Pty Ltd v Real Estate Tool Box Pty Ltd  FCA 809
COPYRIGHT – alleged infringement of copyright in a cloud-based real estate marketing software – whether copyright subsisted in the source code, database, database tables, menu and PDF files of the software – whether the applicant owned the copyright – whether respondents infringed copyright – held the third respondent infringed copyright in some of the alleged works
EQUITY – alleged misuse of confidential information –held third respondent misused confidential information to the extent the claims in copyright were made out against him
CONTRACTS – alleged breach of contract – held fourth and fifth respondents breached the terms of the contract requiring passwords to be provided on payment of purchase price and that the software would not be modified after it was transferred to the applicant – alleged breach of undertakings – breach of undertakings not made out
Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) ss 10, 13, 14, 22, 31, 32, 36, 101, 115
Darnell v Stonehealth Pty Ltd (No 4)  FCA 823
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – application under s 5 of the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth) and s 39B(1A) of the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth) to quash the decisions of the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority and the Secretary to the Department of Health to approve the first respondent’s application under the National Health Act 1953 (Cth) to supply pharmaceutical benefits at a particular premises – where first respondent’s application had been made at 12.04am on 20 March 2020 – where item 130(b) of the National Health (Australian Community Pharmacy Authority Rules) Determination 2018 (Cth) (the Rules) required a “supermarket” within 500m from the proposed premises of the pharmacy on the day of application was made – where the relevant Coles supermarket had a “soft opening” the night of 20 March 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – where the Coles supermarket had publicly advertised an opening celebration on 21 March 2020 – whether the Authority could be satisfied that a “supermarket” had commenced trading on 20 March 2020 – where definition of “supermarket” was considered by the Full Court in Stonehealth Pty Ltd v ZAA Ventures Pty Ltd as Trustee for the ZAA Investment Trust  FCAFC 188 – where the Authority requested further information from the parties – where the Authority received a statutory declaration from a manager of Coles stating that the supermarket opened on 20 March 2020 – whether the Authority could consider a letter from that Coles manager pursuant to rule 9 of the Rules – where the letter was sent by a third party and the rule inapplicable – whether the decision of the Authority had been affected by the fraud of the first respondent and Coles – where the “soft opening” was alleged to be a “sham” by the applicant – where permissible to adopt “stratagems” and “clever tactics” in dealing with the Authority – where on a consideration of the evidence before the Court the applicant failed to prove allegation of fraud – application dismissed
Schneider v Queensland Building and Construction Commission  QCA 155
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – STATUTORY APPEALS FROM ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITIES TO COURTS – where the applicants entered into a standard form BSA New Home Construction Contract for a dwelling to be built on land – where a certificate of insurance under the statutory insurance scheme instituted under s 67X of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (Qld) was issued – where the applicants received invoices and fraudulent photographs purporting that certain work had been done but had not in fact been completed – where the applicants made payment believing that the work had been completed – whether the payments were prepayments
Madritsch KG & Anor v Thales Australia Ltd  QSC 170
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY – CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION – USE OF INFORMATION – where the components of the Madritsch Solution were examined by representatives of the defendant – where in examining the Madritsch Solution the defendant discovered the AFL spring was in the form of a double torsion spring with significantly lower torque – where one of the persons that examined the Madritsch Solution later supervised the defendant’s own project (HMA1 V6) to solve the bolt unlocking problem – where HMA1 V6 involved a double torsion AFL spring with significantly lower torque – whether the defendant used the information contained in the Madritsch Solution to develop HMA1 V6
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY – CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION – OBLIGATION OF CONFIDENTIALITY – where the plaintiffs submit the information contained in the Madritsch Solution attracted an obligation of confidentiality under the terms of the NDA – where to maintain an obligation of confidentiality the information must be necessarily confidential – where the Madritsch Solution was provided to personnel of the Austrian Armed Forces to test for the purpose of deciding whether to adopt the solution – where the defendant contends that any confidentiality of the Madritsch Solution was lost as a consequence – where the court heard expert evidence on a piece of Austrian federal legislation that binds public servants to a duty of confidentiality in respect of information received in an official capacity – whether the Madritsch Solution was brought into the public domain and thereby lost its necessary quality of confidence
Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (International Production Orders) Bill 2020 Assent
Act no: 78 Year: 2021 23 July 2021
Amends the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 to: provide a framework for Australian agencies to obtain independently-authorised international production orders for interception, stored communications and telecommunications data directly to designated communications providers in foreign countries with which Australia has a designated international agreement; make amendments contingent on the commencement of the proposed Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Act 2020; and remove the ability for nominated Administrative Appeals Tribunal members to issue certain warrants
Online Safety (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Bill 2021
Assent Act no: 77 Year: 2021 23 July 2021
Introduced with the Online Safety Bill 2021, the bill: repeals the Enhancing Online Safety Act 2015; makes consequential amendments to 10 Acts; amends the Crimes Act 1914, Export Market Development Grants Act 1997 and Online Safety Act 2021, when enacted, to make amendments contingent on the commencement of certain other Acts; and contains transitional and application provisions. More...
Online Safety Bill 2021
Assent Act no: 76 Year: 2021 23 July 2021 - Introduced with the Online Safety (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Bill 2021, the bill: retains and replicates certain provisions in the Enhancing Online Safety Act 2015, including the non-consensual sharing of intimate images scheme; specifies basic online safety expectations; establishes an online content scheme for the removal of certain material; creates a complaints-based removal notice scheme for cyber-abuse being perpetrated against an Australian adult; broadens the cyber-bullying scheme to capture harms occurring on services other than social media; reduces the timeframe for service providers to respond to a removal notice from the eSafety Commissioner; brings providers of app distribution services and internet search engine services into the remit of the new online content scheme; and establishes a power for the eSafety Commissioner to request or require internet service providers to disable access to material depicting, promoting, inciting or instructing in abhorrent violent conduct for time-limited periods in crisis situations. More...
Age Discrimination Act 2004
27 July 2021 - Act No. 68 of 2004 as amended
Civil Dispute Resolution Regulations 2021
27/07/2021 - This instrument ensures that three types of proceedings in the Federal Court and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) remain excluded from the operation of the Civil Dispute Resolution Act 2011.
Information Amendment (Vaccination Reporting) Principles 2021
26/07/2021 - This instrument amends the Information Principles 2014 to authorise the Secretary to publish vaccination information received from approved providers under section 30C and 30D of the Accountability Principles 2014.
Academic Integrity Rule 2021
19/07/2021 - This rule defines the academic integrity principle, with the object of the instrument being to ensure that the principle is respected and observed at the Australian National University.
The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this newsletter is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.