In the media

Construction union faces 11 more Queensland lawsuits 
The construction union is facing a further 11 lawsuits in Queensland including for coercion, after receiving a $300,000 fine for unlawful strikes (04 August 2017).  More...

eSubpoenas make access to Justice easier 
The online eSubpoena service is now available for the return of subpoenaed documents to registries across the NSW Supreme, District, Local and Land and Environment Courts for civil matters. Once legal practitioners file a subpoena form online, respondents can upload the requested documents electronically (04 August 2017).  More...

ICAC finds former Department of Justice officer corrupt
The ICAC has found that a former Department of Justice officer engaged in serious corrupt conduct by accepting cash and benefits from an approved supplier, including assisting in the installation of a swimming pool at his home, in return for recommending that the supplier’s companies be allocated work (03 August 2017).  More...

Civil courts should move online, Justice Michael Kirby says
The former High Court justice says Australia's legal system is too expensive and has been out of reach for many people for decades (03 August 2017).  More...

160,000 people turned away: How the justice system is failing vulnerable Australians Opinion 
All Australians have the right under the law to seek justice. But community legal centres are turning away 160,000 people a year and funding cuts are making the problem worse, writes Law Council of Australia president Fiona McLeod (03 August 2017).  More...

Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale facing more charges 
Former Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale is charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice while on bail on three separate offences, including extortion (03 August 2017).  More...

Body Worn Cameras seeing results across Queensland 
Body Worn Cameras for police are seeing a reduction in allegations of excessive force against officers and ensuring more offenders are being brought to justice, Police Minister Mark Ryan said today (03 August 2017).  More...

Palaszczuk Government tackles cyberbullying and sexting
The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath has announced the Palaszczuk Government is developing a Sexting and Cyber Bullying program in partnership with Bond University Psychology Clinic on the Gold Coast (03 August 2017).  More...

Police given more power to protect victims of domestic and family violence
The number of Police-issued orders to protect women and children from Domestic and Family Violence has almost tripled (03 August 2017).  More...

Gold Coast woman charged with fraudulent falsification of records 
A 45-year-old woman was today served with a Notice to Appear in court on one charge relating to the fraudulent falsification of records. The woman was served a Notice to Appear in court and the CCC alleges that she fraudulently falsified records to apply for a $170,000 bank loan contrary to section 430(e) of the Criminal Code (02 August 2017).  More...

Fewer sex abuse convictions despite doubling in court cases: Justice McClellan
The head of the child sex abuse royal commission will call for legal changes to ensure victims are given the best chance of receiving justice, saying in a speech to be delivered today that conviction rates have fallen despite an increase in the number of cases before the courts (02 August 2017).  More...

Australia needs clear and strong laws to address human rights abuses in corporate supply chains 
Australia should introduce strong laws to tackle modern slavery in the global supply chains of Australian businesses, the Human Rights Law Centre today told a parliamentary inquiry hearing (01 August 2017).  More...

Report shines a light on universities 
The Australian Human Rights Commission has released its landmark report on the nature and extent of sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian universities. The data in the Change the course report is based on a national survey (01 August 2017).  More...

No Body, No Parole Laws due for debate 
The Palaszczuk Government’s ‘No Body, No Parole’ legislation will be debated in State Parliament next week after the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee last week recommended the bill be passed (31 July 2017).  More...

Acting President of Australian Law Reform Commission 
Mr Cornall has been appointed for a period of three months, commencing 30 July 2017, while a recruitment process will be undertaken to fill the vacancy left by Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM. This process will be conducted in accordance with Merit and Transparency Guidelines issued by the Australian Public Service Commission (28 July 2017).  More...

HRLC: Australia takes important step towards more open government 
“Although Australia has, in many ways, a strong democracy, secrecy has noticeably increased across government. Australia’s commitment to the Open Government Forum is a step towards addressing some of the transparency issues that hold us back (27 July 2017).  More...

ICAC finds former City of Botany Bay Council CFO corrupt over $5.6 million in false invoices and credit card misuse 
The ICAC has found that former City of Botany Bay Council chief financial officer Gary Goodman engaged in serious corrupt conduct involving more than $5 million in false or inflated invoices and by incurring over $620,000 of personal expenditure on corporate credit cards issued in the name of the then general manager (26 July 2017).  More...

Political reformation 
A referendum on fixed terms will succeed only if other constitutional changes are made. Along with this, we must also abolish preferential voting which is massively manipulated by politicians and creates situations in which it can takes months to decide who won (27 July 2017).  More...

CCC: Former public servant's fraud conviction serves as a warning 
Following a Crime and Corruption (CCC) investigation a former Queensland public servant was sentenced in the Brisbane District Court to two years jail, which was wholly suspended. “Today’s court decision shows that public servants can face criminal prosecution if they do not fulfil their obligation to act with integrity and to serve the public interest (25 July 2017).  More...

Australia needs an effective complaints body to investigate corporate human rights abuses
Australia’s key complaints body for corporate human rights abuses is failing and in need of a major overhaul, the Human Rights Law Centre has told an independent review (24 July 2017).  More...

More MPs could be at risk as dual citizenship crisis threatens to widen
Constitutional experts were yesterday scrambling to consider the range of legal possibilities when the government asks the High Court of Australia to rule on Senator Canavan's eligibility to stand at the last election, now that it has emerged he was a dual Italian-Australian citizen at the time (26 July 2017).  More...

HRLC: Australia needs an effective complaints body to investigate corporate human rights abuses
Australia’s key complaints body for corporate human rights abuses is failing and in need of a major overhaul, the Human Rights Law Centre has told an independent review (24 July 2017).  More...

In practice and courts

LCA: Australia’s access to justice crisis laid bare: national Justice Project releases papers 
The Law Council of Australia has said that countless Australians are being denied access to justice as its national Justice Project moves into the consultation phase.  Consultation papers, overseen by a Steering Committee of eminent lawyers, academics and jurists including former High Court Chief Justice, the Hon. Robert French AC, have been released for feedback. Submissions close on 30 September 2017.  More...

OAIC: Updated privacy policy
The OAIC has updated its privacy policy. The update includes the following changes outlined here (27 July 2017).  More...

OAIC: Independent review of the Privacy (Credit Reporting) Code 2014
The OAIC has completed the tender process, and contracted PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to conduct an independent review of the Privacy (Credit Reporting) Code 2014 (Version 1.2). More information will be provided as the review progresses. For more information about the CR Code and credit reporting under the Privacy Act see the Credit Reporting page (26 July 2017).  More...

Accountability and the Law 2017 Conference
The conference will be held on 17 August in Canberra by the Australia Institute.  More...

Law Council of Australia Submissions 26 July 2017 
Response to Consultation Paper OPCAT in Australia 

Law Council of Australia Submissions 25 July 2017 
Australian National Contact Point 2017 Review

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. 31/2017, 31 July 2017 
Issue No. 30/2017, 24 July 2017 

AIJA Court Media Officers’ Conference
The Conference will be held 31 August and Friday 1 September 2017 in Sydney.  More...

COAT National Registrars & Executive Officers Conference
Save the date! 20 October 2017 in Adelaide.  More...

Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference (APSACC) 2017
The Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman is proud to partner with the Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference (APSACC) 2017. The conference will run from 14–16 November 2017 at The Westin, Sydney.  More...

Commonwealth Consultations
October 2017 - Closing date for comments to the FCA on the General Practice Notes.  More...

AHRC: e-bulletin, 26 July 2017
The Australian Human Rights Commission e-bulletin. Published monthly, this e-bulletin keeps you up-to-date with our programs, projects and news.  More...


OIC Queensland:  Have your say on the development of uniform metrics on the use of FOI laws in Australia
Australian Information Commissioners and Ombudsmen, within the remit of each of their jurisdictions and led by NSW, have agreed on six proposed metrics on Public Use of Freedom of Information Access Rights: Type of applicant, Application rates per capita, Release rates, Timeliness and Review rates. Access more information about the metrics here.  Give your views on the proposed metrics by completing a short survey, available here.  The survey closes on 9 August 2017.

OIC Queensland: New privacy case notes
Our case notes provide a summary of some of the privacy complaints considered by our Office. They provide guidance on the interpretation of the privacy principles in the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld) and also illustrate the remedies that can resolve complaints (26 July 2017).  More...

Incarceration Rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (DP 84) 
Discussion paper released by the Australian Law Reform Commission.  More...

QAO: Use of confidentiality provisions in government contracts
The objective of this audit is to determine the extent and appropriateness of the use of confidentiality provisions in Queensland Government contracts. Table date December 2017.  More...

Queensland Courts
Magistrates Courts of Queensland - Practice Direction 3 of 2017 (amended) - Management of controlled items in court precincts.  More...

Councils welcome new complaints system
Local councils have welcomed the Palaszczuk Government’s plans to overhaul the system that manages complaints against sitting councillors but will insist the new proposals deserve careful scrutiny (21 July 2017).  More... 

Published – articles, papers, reports

Change the course: national report on sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian universities
Australian Human Rights Commission: 01 August 2017
At the request of Australia’s 39 universities, the Australian Human Rights Commission has conducted a national, independent survey of university students to gain greater insight into the nature, prevalence and reporting of sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian universities.  More...

Comparisons between the youth and adult justice systems: 2015–16
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: 28 July 2017
This fact sheet summarises some of the similarities and differences between young people and adults in the justice systems in Australia. In 2015–16, the most common principal offence among young people was theft, while among adults it was illicit drug offences.  More...

Are more first-time young offenders being recorded for serious crimes than in the past?
Victoria, Crime Statistics Agency: 20 July 2017
This paper examined the offences police recorded for 10 to 17 year old alleged offenders on the first day they were ever recorded for any offences, where that day was between 2012 and 2016.  More...

National cities performance framework: interim report
Government of Australia: 20 July 2017
Australia's success in the 21st Century economy depends on our cities, suburbs and regional centres. The Australian Government's Smart Cities Plan is committed to creating the foundations for success across all cities and regional centres.  More...

OAICnet - 01 August 2017
In this issue: Privacy policy update; Data + Privacy Asia Pacific Conference wrap up; 5 million+ Australians have a My Health Record; APS Privacy Governance Code consultation; FOI decisions; Commissioner statements.  More...


Civil Aviation Safety Authority v Bellamy [2017] FCA 829 
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – appeal from a decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal setting aside a decision of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to cancel a private pilot’s licence – whether the Tribunal erred by finding that reg 229(1) of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (Cth) does not apply to the private operation of an aircraft – whether the Tribunal erred by making factual findings that were inconsistent with a criminal conviction – whether the Tribunal erred by failing to give relevant consideration to the elements of the conviction. Appeal allowed.

'MA' and Department of Veterans' Affairs (Freedom of information) [2017] AICmr 72 
Freedom of Information — Whether document subject to legal professional privilege — Whether document contains deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative process — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the management or assessment of personnel — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of an agency — 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), 42, 47C, 47E(c), 47E(d), 47F, 55D.

The Australian and Department of Defence (Freedom of information) [2017] AICmr 71
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 disclosure of personal information unreasonable — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A(5), 47C, 47E(d) and 47F.  

'LZ' and Department of Human Services (Freedom of information) [2017] AICmr 70 
Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure of personal information unreasonable — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A(5) and 47F.  

Stryker Australia Pty Ltd and Department of Health (Freedom of information) [2017] AICmr 69 
Freedom of Information — Access grant — Whether disclosure would disclose commercially valuable information — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect an organisation in respect of its lawful business affairs — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 47(1) and 47G.

Construction, Forestry, Mining & Energy Union v MPR Scaffolding Pty Ltd & Ors [2017] FCCA 1593 
INDUSTRIAL LAW – Contravention proceedings brought pursuant to alleged breaches of obligations under an enterprise agreement – Respondents challenge the validity of the enterprise agreement and seek constitutional writs against the Fair Work Commission – previous challenge to the enterprise agreement failed and leave to appeal to the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission not granted – possible use of evidence from Trade Union Royal Commission – preliminary question regarding the jurisdiction of this Court to grant the relief sought – distinction between “jurisdiction” and “power” discussed – use of “power” to grant relief, which is not limited, under s.15 of this Court’s primary legislation conditional on the Court having relevant jurisdiction conferred on it in this case under the Fair Work Act – jurisdiction found to exist but the exercise of any relief against the Fair Work Commission should be determined by the Federal Court – matter transferred to the Federal Court of Australia.  Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), ss.50, 345, 535, 536, 566, 567, 568; Federal Circuit Court of Australia Act 1999 (Cth), ss.10, 10A, 14, 15; Royal Commissions Act 1902 (Cth).

Northern Territory of Australia v Griffiths [2017] FCAFC 106
NATIVE TITLE – invalid future acts – where buildings built on reliance of acts later deemed invalid – whether damages payable for invalid future acts – whether award of damages justified where future act is held to be invalid and native title rights and interests remain – whether claim for damages needed to be properly constituted as a representative proceeding – Held: claim for damages lacked clearly articulated basis – primary judge erred in awarding damages for invalid future acts. Constitution s 51 (xxxi).



Federal Circuit Court Amendment (Costs and Other Measures) Rule 2017
02/08/2017 – These Rules amend the Federal Circuit Court Rules 2001, with costs for family law proceedings and general federal law proceedings.


Subordinate legislation as made

No 131 Professional Standards Regulation 2017 Professional Standards Act 2004 – 04 August 2017 - The Professional Standards Regulation 2007 will automatically expire on 1 September 2017 pursuant to section 54 of the Statutory Instruments Act 1992. The Act provides for professional standards schemes, to be approved by the Professional Standards Council, which are designed to improve the professional standards of occupational associations for the benefit of consumers who engage their members’ services and to limit the civil liability of their members.


Paul Venus, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0613

Stephen Burton, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0604

Suzy Cairney, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0684

Trent Taylor, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0668


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