In the media

High Court case to defend laws that protect safe access to abortion clinics
Laws that protect the dignity, safety and privacy of women seeking reproductive healthcare should be upheld, the Human Rights Law Centre has argued in submissions accepted by the High Court (31 August 2018). More...

Tougher sentences for historical child sex crime
Any paedophile sentenced for historical child sexual abuse offences will be dealt with according to tougher contemporary sentencing standards. Institutions are also on notice to protect children from abuse, with the commencement of two new offences that put children's safety first (31 August 2018). More...

Mark Latham's 'extraordinary' defence in Osman Faruqi defamation case struck out
Mark Latham's defence against a defamation action brought by ABC online editor Osman Faruqi has been struck out in its entirety by a federal court judge, who labelled the 76-page document "extraordinary" (30 August 2018). More...

Most domestic violence offenders do not specialise in domestic violence
Domestic violence (DV) offenders commit almost 2.5 times as many non-DV offences as DV offences a new study by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) has found. The study examined all 100,668 offenders convicted of a DV offence in a NSW court between 2008 and 2017 (30 August 2018). More... More...

New gambling ad rules kick in for online content service providers
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has approved new rules restricting gambling advertising during live sport streamed online. This brings online services in line with television and radio broadcasting services. It creates a safe zone for children and families to watch live sport across a variety of platforms (29 August 2018). More...

Land and Environment Court says Colo property illegally cleared by fringe Islamic group
Two men who claimed their Islamic-influenced group was not subject to Australian law because it was a "basic religious charity" have been found to have illegally cleared a rural property north-west of Sydney by the NSW Land and Environment court (27 August 2018). More...

Law Council launches landmark Justice Project Final report
The Law Council officially launched the Justice Project's Final Report with a call for the urgent implementation of Justice Impact Tests among the 59 recommendations (24 August 2018). More... More...

National Human Trafficking and Slavery Roundtable
The Law Council had a seat at the roundtable where Business and Human Rights committee member, Vanessa Zimmerman, provided an update on the launch of the Justice Project that includes a chapter on people who have been trafficked and exploited. Ms Zimmerman also provided the roundtable with the Law Council's views to include compensation for victims of modern slavery (24 August 2018). More...

Justice Project Final Report released: 'Justice Impact Tests' among landmark recommendations
Justice Impact Tests, which would consider the downstream impact on the justice system of new laws and policies, are among the 59 recommendations in the Law Council's Justice Project Final Report released at Australian Parliament House (23 August 2018). More...

Melbourne student health records posted online in 'appalling' privacy breach
The Victoria Education Minister, James Merlino, says his department will launch an inquiry into the breach of hundreds of student health records. The personal records of hundreds of Melbourne high school students have been mistakenly published, sparking an investigation into an "appalling" privacy breach (22 August 2018). More...

Right to Information Day 2018 – Build trust with transparency
Right to Information Day (RTID) is on 28 September 2018. Celebrated annually and recognised internationally as Right to Know Day, Queensland marks this occasion by acknowledging the contribution of the Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) to facilitating greater and easier access to government-held information (21 August 2018). More...

Laws to criminalise revenge porn
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D'Ath will introduce the Criminal Code (Non-consensual Sharing of Intimate Images) Amendment Bill 2018, which would make revenge porn a criminal offence in Queensland (20 August 2018). More...

CCC welcomes initial results from the special Global Corruption Barometer survey (2018)
The Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) welcomes the first release of data from the special Global Corruption Barometer survey (2018) released by Griffith University and Transparency International Australia (20 August 2018). More...

Faith in Australian governments falls amid corruption concerns
Trust and confidence in all levels of Australian government is continuing to slide as calls intensify for the establishment of a national anti-corruption agency (20 August 2018). More...

In practice and courts

High Court Bulletin
High Court of Australia Bulletin [2018] HCAB 06 (23 August 2018)

AAT Corporate Plan 2018-19
The AAT's Corporate Plan 2018–19 is available here.

AAT Bulletins 2018
Issue No. 33/2018, 27 August 2018
Issue No. 32/2018, 20 August 2018

Attorney-General Reviews

Legal assistance review
In 2018, separate and concurrent reviews will be undertaken of the National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services 2015-2020 (NPA) and the Indigenous Legal Assistance Program (ILAP). The reviews will assess the effectiveness, efficiency and appropriateness of the NPA and the ILAP as mechanisms for achieving their respective objectives and outcomes within available resources, and identify best practice and opportunities for improvement. Submissions close on 28 September 2018.

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 15 November 2018. A national communications strategy will be implemented to explain the opt-out process. During the opt out period individuals who do not want a record will be able to opt out by visiting the My Health Record website.

Law Council of Australia Update
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. More...

Release of LCA Justice Project Final Report
The Law Council of Australia released the Justice Project Final Report. This is the culmination of a national, comprehensive review into the state of access to justice in Australia for people experiencing significant disadvantage. It is one of the most extensive reviews of its type in 40 years. The Final Report contains 59 constructive recommendations which can be accessed here.

ABA Submissions
ALRC Inquiry into Class Action Proceedings and Third-Party Litigation Funders 24 August 2018.


Practice directions
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland has issued the following practice directions:
Practice Direction 18 of 2018 – Efficient conduct of civil litigation

OIC Queensland Submission - New Australian Government Data Sharing and Release Legislation
Opening up government data is consistent with, and an important part of, Queensland's right to information 'push model'. OIC supports strategies and initiatives, such as Open Data, that maximise disclosure of government-held information to the community and provide appropriate protections for the community's personal information. More...

Court rules amendments: e-filing and changes to scales of costs
On 24 August 2018 the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 and the Criminal Practice Rules 1999 were amended by the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules and Other Legislation Amendment and Repeal Regulation (No.1) 2018. More...

Family Law Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2018
The Family Law Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2018 passed on 22 August. This legislation expands the family law jurisdiction of state and territory courts, including children's courts and allows courts of summary jurisdiction to hear family law property matters with an increased total property value, to be prescribed in regulation.

QLRC: Civil surveillance and privacy review; Workplace surveillance review
Employers use optical surveillance, data monitoring and tracking devices for a number of legitimate reasons, including to ensure employee health and safety, protect property from theft and damage, prevent fraud and monitor employee performance. The terms of reference can be found here and the QLRC will report back by 1 July 2019 (civil surveillance) and by 30 June 2020 (workplace surveillance).

QAO Consultation: Coronial services
The objective of this audit is to assess whether agencies are effective and efficient in supporting the coroner to investigate and help prevent deaths, from July-September 2018. More...

Published - articles, papers, reports

Operational Efficiency of the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity
ANAO: 28 August 2018
The objective of this audit was to examine the efficiency of the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI) in detecting, investigating and preventing corrupt conduct. More...

Rising inequality? A stocktake of the evidence: Commission research paper
This research paper was released on 28 August 2018 and its purpose is to contribute to an informed discussion in Australia by bringing together and taking stock of the latest and most complete evidence measuring the prevalence of, and trends in, inequality, economic mobility and disadvantage across Australian society. More...

Justice Project's Final Report
Law Council of Australia: 24 August 2018
Focusing on 13 priority groups identified as facing significant social and economic disadvantage, the final report shines a light on justice issues for these groups by uncovering systemic flaws and identifying service gaps. It also highlights what is working well and why. More...

Gender Equality Bill exposure draft: discussion paper
Department of Health and Human Services (Vic): 21 August 2018)
The Victorian Gender Equality Bill, an Australian first, aims to ensure that the public sector takes active steps to promote gender equality. This paper sets out the key reforms proposed by the Bill. More...

Administration of the Data Retention Industry Grants Program
ANAO: 21 August 2018
The audit objective was to assess the effectiveness of the Attorney-General's Department's design of the Data Retention Industry Grants program, including performance monitoring, reporting, evaluation and assurance arrangements. More...


Hutchinson v Comcare [2018] FCA 1235
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – application for judicial review under Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth) of decision of Comcare – where Comcare conceded its decision was affected by legal error – where Comcare conceded rules of natural justice breached – decision set aside and referred back to decision-maker to be dealt with according to law – where costs in dispute – where applicant self-represented – no costs order made.

Carlon v Roads and Maritime Services [2018] NSWCATOD 140
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - merits review – bus service operator – accreditation – safety critical components – public passenger vehicle maintenance plan - manufacturer standards – maintenance and repair.

Stanton v Queensland Building and Construction Commission [2018] QCAT 271
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – General Administrative Review – application by building contractor to review a decision by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) to allow a claim by building owner – whether the building owner validly terminated a building contract – where the building contractor also purported to terminate the contract – the rights of the building contractor and the building owner under contract and at law – where the tribunal reviews the decision of the QBCC about valid termination of the contract by the building owner and allowing a claim under the statutory scheme in favour of the building owner.




User Rights Amendment (Home Care Pricing) Principles 2018
No longer in force - This instrument requires approved providers of home care to provide the Secretary of the Department of Health written notice of their pricing information for the purpose of publication and to improve the transparency of home care pricing information for home care recipients (29 August 2018).

Broadcasting Services (Online Content Service Provider Rules) 2018
This instrument makes rules that apply to online content services that provide coverage of live sporting events (29 August 2018).


Office of National Intelligence Bill 2018
The Office of National Intelligence Bill 2018 (the Bill) implements the recommendation of the 2017 Independent Intelligence Review (the Review), as endorsed by Government, to establish an Office of National Intelligence (ONI) as an independent statutory agency within the Prime Minister's portfolio reporting directly to the Prime Minister. The Review recommended that the role, functions and staff of the Office of National Assessments (ONA) be subsumed into ONI (28 August 2018).

Australian Multicultural Bill 2018
The Bill establishes a federal multicultural commission, (to be named the Australian Multicultural Commission), which will provide advice to the Minister on issues pertinent to multicultural communities, acts as a single coordination point for integrated responses to community issues, undertakes wide ranging consultations with various bodies and develops and maintains relationships between community organisations (24 August 2018).

Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2018
The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2018 (the Bill) makes consequential amendments and provides transitional provisions necessary to support the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2018 (the FCFC Bill) (24 August 2018).

Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2018
The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2018 (the Bill) would bring the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (the Federal Circuit Court) and the Family Court of Australia (the Family Court) together into an overarching, unified administrative structure to be known as the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFC) (23 August 2018).

Freedom of Information Legislation Amendment (Improving Access and Transparency) Bill 2018
The purpose of this Bill is to introduce measures that make government more transparent and accountable, and assist citizens and the media to access information under the law. The Bill amends the Archives Act 1983, the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010, and the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

My Health Records Amendment (Strengthening Privacy) Bill 2018
House of Representatives Second reading moved 22 August 2018
The My Health Records Amendment (Strengthening Privacy) Bill 2018 will amend the My Health Records Act 2012 (MHR Act) to strengthen the privacy framework of the My Health Record system.

Acts Compilation
Crimes Legislation Amendment (Powers, Offences and Other Measures) Act 2018
Act No. 75 of 2018 as made – An Act to amend legislation relating to the criminal law and law enforcement.

Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Act (No. 1) 2018
Act No. 74 of 2018 as made - An Act to amend various Acts relating to counter-terrorism, including the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977


Bills Updated in the last week
Local Government (Dissolution of Ipswich City Council) Bill 2018
Stage reached: PASSED on 21/08/2018 Assent Date: 22/08/2018 Act No: 14 of 2018
Commences: by Proclamation

Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018
Stage reached: Referred to Committee on 22/08/2018

Criminal Code (Non-consensual Sharing of Intimate Images) Amendment Bill 2018
Stage reached: Referred to Committee on 22/08/2018

Subordinate legislation as made

No 122 Proclamation—Local Government (Dissolution of Ipswich City Council) Act 2018 (commencing remaining provisions) 22 August 2018
No 127 Uniform Civil Procedure Rules and Other Legislation Amendment and Repeal Regulation (No. 1) 2018 24 August 2018
No 128 Uniform Civil Procedure (Subpoenas) Amendment Rule 2018 24 August 2018
The Uniform Civil Procedure (Subpoenas) Amendment Rule 2018 harmonises chapter 11, part 4 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 with part 24 of the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) relating to subpoenas.
No 132 Recording of Evidence Regulation 2018 31 August 2018

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.