Upcoming event: Holding Redlich Brisbane's 2018 Government Lawyer Day

On 1 March, Holding Redlich's Brisbane office is holding a range of sessions designed exclusively for lawyers in the public sector, that will assist you in gaining CPD points before the end of the CPD year. These sessions will be practical presentations given by industry leaders and will cover the three mandatory core areas: ethics, practice management and professional skills. Register here.

In the media

LIV: Why mandatory sentencing fails
The LIV has long held that independent, qualified and experienced judicial officers are best placed to impose an appropriate sentence, taking into account all the circumstances of the case. Standardised sentencing forces judges to depart from the “intuitive synthesis” model and take into account a fixed term that may be inappropriate in the circumstances (01 February 2018).  More...

Extent of donations to Australia’s political parties revealed
The Australian Electoral Commission’s annual returns, published on Thursday morning, reveal the extent of the cash poured into the political process – more than $207 million in total. Thursday’s returns are likely to put the spotlight back on foreign donations and come as the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters examines legislation aimed at banning overseas cash from the Australian political process (01 February 2018).  More...

Government’s over-the-top secrecy laws will create more problems than they will fix
The Australian Government’s proposed legislation to overhaul Australia’s secrecy laws is excessive, poorly designed and does not heed the Australian Law Reform Commission’s recommendations, the Human Rights Law Centre told a parliamentary committee today (30 January 2018).  More...

National Integrity Committee welcomes Labor’s federal corruption watchdog policy
The National Integrity Committee, hosted by The Australia Institute, today welcomed the announcement by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten that a Labor government will legislate to establish a federal corruption watchdog (30 January 2018).  More...

Queensland's approach to tackling violence ranked best in the country
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath has welcomed news that Queensland’s approach to tackling alcohol-fuelled violence has been ranked the best in Australia (30 January 2018).  More...

QLS says youth justice reforms long time coming but necessary
Queensland’s peak legal group has praised the state government for new youth justice laws that will finally see 17-year-old offenders treated as children rather than adults. Queensland is the last Australian state or territory to unfairly dispatch 17-year-old offenders to be dealt with by the harsher penalties handed out to adult criminals (30 January 2018).  More...

Update on response to bullying young Queenslanders
Cabinet approves new measures to boost anti-bullying efforts with stakeholder roundtable meets for input for national plan Bullying on the agenda for COAG meeting on 9 February (29 January 2018).  More...

Queensland juvenile justice reforms announced last year will commence on 12 February
Queensland will treat 17 year-olds under Youth Justice laws instead of as adults from 12 February, delivering on a Palaszczuk Government promise and bringing the state into line with legislation in all other Australian jurisdictions (29 January 2018).  More...

Scam victims to pocket refunds
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) has urged people falling victim to a scam involving money transfers through US company Western Union to check whether they are eligible for a refund. Chief Executive of ACIC, Michael Phelan said a successful court action in the United States included possible payments to victims in other countries around the world (30 January 2018).  More...

Auditor ticks off Electoral Commission
A report by the Auditor-General into contracting practices at the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) in the lead-up to the 2016 Federal Election has found the Commission failed to ensure it received value for money (30 January 2018).  More...

Government’s over-the-top secrecy laws will create more problems than they will fix
The Australian Government’s proposed legislation to overhaul Australia’s secrecy laws is excessive, poorly designed and does not heed the Australian Law Reform Commission’s recommendations, the Human Rights Law Centre told a parliamentary committee today (30 January 2018).  More...

PC Report on Government Services – Justice
The Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services (RoGS) also covers Justice – Police, Courts and Corrective Services. Total government expenditure for the justice services measured in RoGS was almost $16 billion in 2016-17, around 7.2 percent of total government expenditure on services (25 January 2018).  More...

Foreign interference laws could see journalists 'jailed for doing their jobs'
Australia's largest media organisations warn the Federal Government its foreign interference laws could undermine freedom of the press and see journalists thrown in jail (23 January 2018).  More...

Police sharpen focus on public videos
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has moved to make it easier for members of the public to provide their recordings of events to the police for possible use in tracking down criminals (23 January 2018).  More...

LCA: Secrecy of information, treason, espionage and sabotage target of new Bill
The Law Council considers many of the offence provisions are broadly drafted to capture a range of benign conduct that may not necessarily amount to harm or prejudice Australia’s interests and as such, considers the Bill should not proceed as currently drafted (23 January 2018).  More...

Inmates facing charges after South Coast CCTV reviewed
Up to 27 inmates from South Coast Correctional Centre are being investigated over their involvement in a disturbance at the Nowra facility on 3 January. Commissioner Peter Severin said this type of behaviour is unacceptable and our staff are working hard to ensure the inmates responsible are charged over their involvement in the incident, which put officers and other inmates at risk (23 January 2018).  More...

In practice and courts

OAIC: Freedom of information regulatory action policy
The OAIC is seeking public comment on an exposure draft of the Freedom of information regulatory action policy. The closing date for comments is 16 February 2018. Below are links to the draft Freedom of information regulatory action policy and the consultation information.
Consultation information: Freedom of information regulatory action policy
Consultation draft: Freedom of information regulatory action policy

OAIC: Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme
Data breach notification will become mandatory as of February 2018 for all Australian entities required to comply with the Privacy Act 1988. When Federal Parliament passed the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017 last year, it started a process that means from 22 February 2018, all entities covered by the Australian Privacy Principles will have clear obligations to report eligible data breaches within 30 days.  More...

OAIC: IC review procedure direction
The Australian Information Commissioner has issued a written direction under s 55(2)(e)(i) of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 as to certain procedures to be followed in Information Commissioner (IC) reviews. The Direction applies to agencies and ministers during IC reviews and preliminary inquiries prior to the commencement of an IC review. The Direction has been published on the OAIC’s website and takes effect from 26 February 2018.

LCA Submissions

01 January 2018 - Law Council: 2018-19 Pre-Budget Submission

25 January 2018 - Law Council: Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017

22 January 2018 - Law Council: Home Affairs and Integrity Agencies Legislation Amendment Bill 2017

Human Rights Law Commission Submissions

Submission: Realising the right to equality
This submission responds to the Modernisation of the Anti-Discrimination Act Discussion Paper (Discussion Paper) 1 released by the Department of the Attorney-General and Justice in September 2017 regarding the modernisation of the Anti-Discrimination Act (the Act) (31 January 2018).  More...

Submission: Secrecy offences: The wrong approach to necessary reform
The Human Rights Law Centre has told a parliamentary committee about the serious concerns raised by the new criminal offences for handling government information, concluding that the proposed regime has no place in a healthy democracy, in which open government and the freedom to scrutinise government must be maintained (23 January 2018).  More...

AAT Bulletin
The AAT Bulletin is a weekly publication containing a list of recent AAT decisions and information relating to appeals against AAT decisions:
Issue No. 3/2018,   29 January 2018
Issue No. 2/2018,   22 January 2018

Current Inquiries

Judiciary Amendment (Commonwealth Model Litigant Obligations) Bill 2017
On 7 December 2017 the Senate referred the Judiciary Amendment (Commonwealth Model Litigant Obligations) Bill 2017 to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 8 May 2018. The deadline for submissions to the inquiry is 28 February 2018.  More...

The adequacy of existing offences in the Commonwealth Criminal Code and of state and territory criminal laws to capture cyberbullying
On 7 September 2017 the Senate referred the below matter to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 29 November 2017. On 19 October 2017 the Senate extended the committee's reporting date to the last sitting day in March 2018, which is 28 March 2018.  More...

Forces of Change – Defining Future Justice Conference 2018
The Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration is pleased to announce the Forces of Change – Defining Future Justice Conference will be held at the Stamford Plaza Brisbane, Queensland from 24 – 26 May 2018.  More...

Queensland

CCC: Communiqué: CCC Chairperson and Directors-General to collaborate on corruption prevention in Queensland
On 8 December 2017, Alan MacSporran QC, Chairperson of the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC), Directors-General and Deputy-Directors General from across the Queensland public sector, and senior executives from the CCC met to discuss integrity and corruption prevention. The key issues discussed and actions agreed are outlined here (29 January 2018).  More...

QAO Audits in Progress – expected tabling date February 2018
Enforcement and recovery of unpaid fines
Fraud risk management
Use of confidentiality provisions in government contracts

Queensland Law Reform Commission releases a consultation paper inviting submissions on Queensland's laws relating to the termination of pregnancy
The Queensland Law Reform Commission has been asked to conduct a review into modernising Queensland's laws relating to the termination of pregnancy. The Commission has released a Consultation Paper (WP No 76) inviting written submissions in response to the questions posed in the paper. Consultation closes on 13 February 2018.  More...

OAIC Queensland: Have your say about Ipswich City Council
The Queensland Office of the Information Commissioner is currently auditing Ipswich City Council to assess its approach to right to information and information privacy. As part of the audit, we are interested in your experiences about obtaining information from the Council (02 February 2018).  More...

Queensland Courts: draft Guidelines for expert evidence in the Land Court
The draft Guidelines for expert evidence in the Land Court are available for consultation. The Guidelines outline both current and proposed procedures for expert evidence in the Land Court of Queensland. The Court invites constructive feedback on any aspect of its expert evidence procedures whether current or proposed by 5 February 2018.  More...

QLS: Court of Appeal two-monthly sitting system
The Court of Appeal has proposed to adopt a system of two-monthly sittings. Call-overs for the first of these sittings will be held in November, with the first of the two-monthly sittings in February and March 2018.  More...

Changes coming to youth justice
A historic and long awaited change to the youth criminal justice system is to commence. On 12 February 2018, 17-year-olds will be treated as children in the youth justice system and transition out of the adult criminal justice system. Register today to be reminded 10 minutes before we are live on Facebook. Please note that you will need a Facebook account to join this session.

Cybercrime and additional caution re EFTs
A number of law practices have been the subject of cybercrime frauds in recent months. The frauds have resulted in trust funds being incorrectly disbursed from law practice trust accounts. There have also been a number of instances in which client funds have failed to be received by law practices.  More....

Practice Direction 1 of 2018 – Referral to the Drug and Alcohol Court – Drug and Alcohol Treatment Order (Treatment Order)
The Practice Direction was issued by the Chief Magistrate on Thursday 25 January 2018 and applies to all matters heard after the commencement of Part 8A Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 on Monday 29 January 2018.

Published – articles, papers, reports

The new Senate voting system and the 2016 election
Damon Muller; Parliamentary Library (Australia): 25 January 2018
This research paper outlines the recent history of Senate electoral reform in federal elections, including examining the reasons for the most recent changes to the Senate voting system.  More...

Freedom of speech and political communication in Australia
Gideon Rozner; Institute of Public Affairs: 30 January 2018
Freedom of speech is fundamental to a free society. Political communication is obviously an important mode of speech and accordingly, the laws and regulations that seek to restrict it are inherently concerning.  More...

Report on government services 2018: Justice
Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision; Productivity Commission: 25 January 2018
The justice sector services aim to contribute to a safe and secure community and promote a law abiding way of life.  More...

Australian Electoral Commission’s procurement of services for the conduct of the 2016 federal election
Australian National Audit Office: 22 January 2018
This audit was conducted to assess whether the Australian Electoral Commission appropriately established and managed the contracts for the transportation of completed ballot papers and the Senate scanning solution for the 2016 federal election.  More...

OAICnet 02 February 2018
In this issue: Welcome to 2018; IC review procedure direction; FOI regulatory action policy – exposure draft; Upcoming events; Key dates; OAIC careers; IC review decisions; Safer Internet Day; Notice about a representative complaint.  More...

Cases

'NV' and Department of Human Services (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 14
Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of an agency — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A(5) and 47E(d).  

Australian Associated Press Pty Ltd and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 13
Freedom of Information — Charges — Request for waiver of charge — Whether giving access to documents is in the general public interest or in the interest of a substantial section of the public — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 29, 55D.

'NJ' and Department of Home Affairs (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 12
Freedom of Information — Whether work involved in processing the request would substantially and unreasonably divert the resources of the agency from its other operations — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 24, 24AA, 24AB.  

'NT' and Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 11
Freedom of Information — Whether documents subject to legal professional privilege — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of an agency — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982, ss 11A(5), 42 and 47E(d).

'NS' and Department of Human Services (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 10
Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents — (CTH) — Freedom of Information Act 1982 s 24A.

William Summers and Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 9
Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure could cause damage to the international relations of the Commonwealth — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative process — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A(5), 33(a)(iii) and 47C.  

'NR' and Department of Home Affairs (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 8
Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would prejudice lawful methods or procedures — Whether disclosure would disclose commercially valuable information — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 37(2)(b) and 47(1)(b).

Andrew Leigh and Australian Federal Police (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 7
Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A(5) and 47F.

Eisele v Commonwealth of Australia [2018] FCA 15
DISCRIMINATION – disability discrimination – alleged discrimination against person with associate with disability – reasonable adjustments – where aggrieved person was applicant for a Subclass 457 visa under the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) – where associate with a disability had applied for approval as a business sponsor – whether primary judge erred in dismissing application – appeal dismissed.
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – subpoenas – applicable principles – where subpoenas addressed to two witnesses were set aside on basis that the evidence proposed to be adduced would be irrelevant – whether primary judge erred in setting aside subpoenas - Constitution, s 75(v).

Bailey v Broadsword Marine Contractors Pty Ltd [2017] FCAFC 219
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – whether the appellant had suffered an “injury” under the Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1992 (Cth) – distinction between “disease” and “injury” in its primary sense considered – effect of “sudden” or “dramatic” change considered – exclusionary effect of s 10(7) of the Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1992 (Cth) considered.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – whether the appellant had suffered an “injury” under the Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1992 (Cth) – whether the adjustment disorders were the same disease – whether the appellant made a “wilful” and “false” representation.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – construction of reasons of Tribunal – whether Tribunal turned its mind to the central issue in contention – effect of reading reasons as a whole.
Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth) ss 33, 43, 44; Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth) s 4; Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1992 (Cth) ss 3, 10, 10(7), 26, 78; Workers’ Compensation Act 1951 (ACT) s 7.

Cain v Seven Network (Operations) Limited [2018] QDC 002
LIMITATION OF ACTIONS – EXTENSION OR POSTPONEMENT OF LIMITATION PERIODS – OTHER CAUSES OF ACTION AND MATTERS – where s10AA of the Limitations of Actions Act 1974 (Qld) provides that an action for defamation must not be brought after the end of one year from the date of publication of the material complained of – whether it was not reasonable in the circumstances for the plaintiff to have commenced an action within one year from the publication date – whether the limitation period should be extended pursuant to s 32A.

Legislation

Queensland

Subordinate Legislation

SL No 2 of 2018: Proclamation - Child Protection Reform Amendment Act 2017 – 26/01/2018
As referred to in its explanatory notes, the objective of the Proclamation is to commence sections 68(3), 69(2), 71 and 72 of the Child Protection Reform Amendment Act 2017 on 29 January 2018. The Amendment Act implements priority legislative reforms in response to a comprehensive review of the Child Protection Act 1999, recommended by the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry.  More...

SL No 3 of 2018: Youth Justice (Transitional) Regulation 2018 – 29/01/2018
This regulation commences immediately after the commencement of the Youth Justice and Other Legislation (Inclusion of 17-year-old Persons) Amendment Act 2016, section 5. This regulation is a transitional regulation, relating to proceedings for offences by 17-year-olds.  More...


Contacts:

Paul Venus, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0613
E: paul.venus@holdingredlich.com

Stephen Burton, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0604
E: stephen.burton@holdingredlich.com

Suzy Cairney, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0684
E: suzy.cairney@holdingredlich.com

Trent Taylor, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0668
E: trent.taylor@holdingredlich.com


Disclaimer

The information contained in this document has been compiled and supplied by LegalBiz. 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 publication is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. We are not responsible for the information of any source to which a link is provided or reference is made and exclude all liability in connection with use of these sources.

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