Australia: Reviewing the SEQ Regional Plan

HG Planning and Development Paper: 27 February 2014
Last Updated: 5 March 2014
Article by David Nicholls and Gemma Ayriss


The Queensland Government is currently reviewing the SEQ Regional Plan (SEQRP). A draft of the replacement plan is expected to be open for formal public submissions towards the middle of this year.

This paper discusses an important aspect of the SEQRP which ought to be considered for reform. It concerns the regulatory effect of the boundary between the Urban Footprint (UF) and the Regional Landscape and Rural Production (RLRP) areas. The issue is whether there should continue to be regulatory prohibition of development in the RLRP area or, alternatively, whether the designation should operate so as to trigger merit based assessment against the SEQRP's relevant desired regional outcomes.

Currently, most development outside the UF is effectively prohibited by the SEQRP Regulatory Provisions (Regulatory Provisions). Subject to some limited exceptions, there is an absolute prohibition of subdivision of land in the RLRP area. Making a material change of use (MCU) for urban purposes (with limited exceptions mainly relating to small commercial and tourism related projects) is subjected to a stringent "overriding need" test which will effectively preclude most development. The Regulatory Provisions are explained and analysed below.


Regional planning was initiated in Queensland in the 1990s. It existed firstly as a voluntary partnership between state and local governments with non-statutory regional plans. In 2004, regional plans were given a statutory basis through amendments made to the Integrated Planning Act 1997 (IPA) by the Integrated Planning and Other Legalisation Amendment Act 2004 (IPOLAA 2004).

The regional planning provisions introduced by IPOLAA were heralded by the Beattie Government as the most significant legislative reform to planning since the introduction of IPA in 1997. It was a State led policy (and statutory) response to the perceived threat of massive population growth to the lifestyle and landscape of South East Queensland.

In her second reading speech for the IPOLAA Bill, Desley Boyle (the then Minister for Local Government, Planning and Women) noted that, while there was a need to manage growth across all levels of government, issues generated by growth could not always be resolved by consensus and, in those circumstances, it was appropriate that the State had the ultimate control.

The intent was for regional plans to manage growth by creating a regional framework for land use and infrastructure planning, as well as providing regionally-specific policy direction to local governments about state interests. Regional plans were to:

  • have a spatial structure, including a land use component and the identification of key regional infrastructure;
  • identify critical regional resources and the way these would be preserved, maintained or developed. In particular, the regional plans were to identify priority areas for urban development, as well as regional landscape areas to be protected from incompatible development; and
  • include provisions with direct regulatory effect over development, that is, regulatory provisions.

The majority of the regional plan's outcomes were to be achieved through established planning mechanisms under the IPA. For instance, planning schemes were to be amended to reflect the statutory regional plans. Regional planning was given a role in development assessment, with the IPOLAA 2004 amendments introducing the regional plan as a prevailing consideration for assessment managers and concurrence agencies under the Integrated Development Assessment System process, unless the regional plan had been adequately reflected in the relevant planning scheme.

The regulatory provisions acted differently. While they were to provide "crucial support to these mechanisms by establishing clear boundaries and development requirements, such as for the proposed regional landscape areas"1 they were also "an independent and direct aspect of regulation in the region, separate from other planning instruments."2 However, the explanatory notes to IPOLAA 2004 indicated that the regulatory provisions were not intended to override the overall policy objectives set out in the regional plans:

"... it is anticipated the regulatory provisions will support, rather than supplant the other provisions of the regional plan, by, for example, providing certainty about development outcomes in proposed regional landscape areas under the regional plan."3

Despite this policy intent, the regulatory provisions were given "teeth" in a way not repeated for the remaining elements of the regional plans. The regulatory provisions could operate in two ways: first, by modifying the effect of a planning scheme until that scheme was amended to reflect the regional plan (in a manner similar to temporary local planning instruments); and second, by having a direct regulatory effect on development by stating what development could or could not occur in given localities.

In addition, IPOLAA 2004 amended the IPA to:

  • prevent development applications being made if the development the subject of the application would conflict with the regulatory provisions of the regional plan;
  • require that an assessment manager could not make a decision about a development application that would be contrary to the regulatory provisions of the regional plan; and
  • introduce a development offence for carrying out development contrary to the regulatory provisions of the regional plan.

At the time the IPOLA Bill was introduced into parliament, the Government recognised the potential for the regulatory provisions to greatly impact the rights of development proponents. While not forming part of the amending legislation itself, the Regulatory Provisions were subject to Parliamentary scrutiny. The new section 2.5A.18 of the IPA required the regulatory provisions to be ratified by Parliament. Parliamentary scrutiny was particularly important as regulatory provisions operated even while the SEQRP was in draft form. The intent was to prevent the outcomes of the SEQRP being compromised through "speculative development applications" made before the SEQRP came into effect.

At the time the first draft SEQRP was released for public comment in October 2004, the Planning Institute of Australia advised the State government to adopt a performance based approach to development assessment against the SEQRP consistent with the underpinning philosophy of the IPA under which prohibition of development had been proscribed.4 Unfortunately that advice was not heeded. It was the correct advice then and remains correct today.

Being discreet statutory instruments, regulatory provisions have operated as independent development control mechanisms both before and after relevant regional policies were incorporated in local plans. That will continue to be the position if regulatory provisions are retained in the new SEQRP. In that sense, they will operate as a "top down" development control mechanism which local Governments, and the Planning & Environment Court, must apply regardless of whether relevant regional policies have been taken into account and incorporated, where appropriate, in local planning schemes.

The operation of the Regulatory Provisions today

The Regulatory Provisions limit subdivision and material change of use in the RLRP Area.

Subdivision in the RLRP Area

Section 3.1(1) of the Regulatory Provisions provides that subdivision of land in the RLRP area is contrary to the Regulatory Provisions and may not occur if identified in column 2 of Table 3A. Column 2 identifies all development not identified in column 1. Column 1 indentifies some limited subdivisions, for example, where the subdivision results in lot sizes of 100 hectares or greater, areas designated for rural residential purposes where the application was made before 6 December 2010, lots created for specified public infrastructure, and subdivision that is consistent with certain prior extant development approvals. Outside of those exemptions subdivision is prohibited.

Material Charge of Use within the RLRP Area

MCU in the RLRP area which does not require assessment by the referral agency against the Regulatory Provisions is limited to small scale indoor recreation, single dwellings on existing lots and small scale industrial, commercial sporting, community and tourism developments. Other MCU must comply with the following assessment criteria:

  1. the locational requirements or environmental impacts of the development necessitate its location outside the UF; and
  2. there is an overriding need for the development in the public interest.

Schedule 3 of the Regulatory Provisions contains a definition of overriding need which prescribes rigorous assessment criteria including the following:

"(b) that the community would experience significant adverse economic social or environmental impacts if the material change of use proposal were not to proceed."

These tests are stringent and make it almost impossible to undertake development within the RLRP area.

Application by the Courts

The operation of the Regulatory Provisions over the past ten years has generated a great deal of litigation and often resulted in hardship for affected land owners which has not been counter-balanced by any obvious social, environmental or economic benefits, not otherwise able to be achieved through development assessment against SEQRP as policy.

The Regulatory Provisions in force in October 2004 imposed a complete embargo on making a development application for subdivision in the RLRP area. They had the effect of immediately removing rights to subdivide without compensation. It was said of those provisions, by a Justice of the High Court of Australia:

"Increasingly prescriptive, restrictive, intrusive and even wrong-headed planning and heritage legislation and instruments, which go far beyond what a modern law of nuisance, taking account of denser populations, closer settlements, burgeoning industries, and other contemporary conditions could possibly insist upon, should not, as I fear they oppressively are, be used as a cloak to reduce, or extinguish valuable rights of, or attaching to, property.
"Cloak" is an especially apt term here because, instead of plainly and openly, or legislatively declaring that the various changes to zoning and uses within the designated area or region, will not attract compensation, that result is achieved by the device, clumsy and obscurantist, of a "properly made application" and the fiction of an application which is not to be treated as an application in fact and in law. If it were at all possible sensibly and properly to read the legislation as conferring a right to compensation upon the appellants I would be glad to do so. I cannot do that, but I can surely at least commend to the legislature the restoration to the appellants, and others similarly affected, of the right to compensation to which historically and morally they are entitled."5

The State government should consider these judicial comments in weighing up policy considerations relating to the possible retention of the Regulatory Provisions.

Applicants in the Planning and Environment Court went to great lengths to avoid the operation of the Regulatory Provisions for land located outside the UF. The majority of case law deals with the "properly made application" requirements under IPA, and the requirement that development could not be contrary to the regulatory provisions, or draft regulatory provisions6 as well as the transitional provisions and the availability of exemptions.

In the case decided by the High Court of Australia referenced above,7 the appellants had lodged a development application with the respondent Council on 3 December 2004, seeking to reconfigure land at Blenhiem in South East Queensland from one lot into five lots. The application post-dated the IPOLAA amendments to the IPA and the draft regulatory provisions under the draft SEQRP had come into effect. The application contradicted the draft regulatory provisions as each of the resulting lots would have an area less than the prescribed minimum area of 100ha. The Council decided it could not accept the application because the proposed development would be contrary to the draft Regulatory Provisions.

The Planning and Environment Court concluded that the local government decision was correct and that the application was not properly made. The defect could not be cured using the excusatory powers in the IPA and no compensation was available. The Court of Appeal refused the appellants' application for leave to appeal. By special leave, the appellants then appealed to the High Court. The full bench of the High Court agreed that the appeal should be dismissed, with the joint judgment of the majority (Hayne, Heydon and Crennan JJ) identifying that the IPA operated so that an application could not be properly made if it was contrary to a State regulatory provision and, in those circumstances, the assessment manager was deprived of the usual power to create a properly made application by receipt and acceptance of it. Notably, Kirby J and Callinan J agreed with the conclusion of the majority but criticised the unfairness of the drafting technique, which destroyed the appellant's potential right to compensation.

The Tolocorp decision8 (which preceded the High Court's decision in Chang) related to an application to subdivide a parcel of land located between Cooroy and Tewantin. The Council refused to accept the application on the ground that it was not properly made in that it was not consistent with the Regulatory Provisions in the SEQRP. Tolocorp relied on a regulatory exception to the prohibition against subdivision, arguing that the reconfiguration was for rural residential purposes on land zoned for such purposes. Tolocorp successfully commenced proceedings for declaratory relief in the Planning and Environment Court, obtaining a declaration that its application was properly made meaning the Council could not refuse to receive it. The Council's appeal to the Court of Appeal was refused.

The case of Metricon Innisfail Pty Ltd v Cassowary Coast Regional Council9 concerned the interpretation of the transitional provisions in the Draft Regulatory Provisions for the Far North Queensland Regional Plan. The key transitional provision stated that the draft Regulatory Provisions did not apply to development carried out under a development approval for a development application that was made before the day the draft document took effect. The draft document took effect on 9 May 2008. The issue was that, although Metricon's application was lodged with the council on 1 April 2008, it did not become properly made until October 2008 (the deficiency being a lack of evidence of State resource entitlement amongst other things).

Metricon commenced proceedings in the Planning and Environment Court, where it unsuccessfully sought to establish that the draft Regulatory Provisions did not apply in relation to its proposed development. The decision of the Planning and Environment Court was upheld on appeal, with Fraser JA (who delivered the main judgment) holding that the exemption from the application of the draft regulatory provisions did not depend merely upon an application being delivered to the appropriate assessment manger under the IPA before the relevant day, but rather upon development being carried out under a development approval for a development application "made" before the relevant day. That required the delivery of a development application under the IPA that was capable of progressing towards a development approval.10

More recently, the Planning and Environment Court has considered the application of the SEQRP to land within the UF in the cases of Shardlow & Ors v Moretonn Bay Regional Council11 and Stockland v Sunshine Coast Regional Council & Ors12.

In Shardlow, the appellants lodged an application seeking a preliminary approval to override the Pine Rivers Planning Scheme 2006 to facilitate the development of land located within Samford Village for a residential estate. The appellants appealed Council's deemed refusal of the application.

The Court considered the SEQRP (as the Pine Rivers Planning Scheme had not been amended in response to it) and noted that the SEQRP may constitute a basis for ignoring compromise of desired environmental outcomes in the Planning Scheme.

The relevant land fell within the UF. However, the judge noted that the SEQRP does not require, or necessarily expect, that urban development (particularly residential development) would occur everywhere within the UF and that it was left to local government to establish and refine desired uses of land within the UF through their planning schemes.13

The Planning and Environment Court judge then analysed provisions in the SEQRP relating to Rural Communities, in particular, the principle in section 5.3 to "ensure rural communities benefit from regional growth, and participate fully in the planning and development of the region" and policy 5.2.3, which refers to accommodating the required growth of rural villages through the planning scheme revision process.

The judge considered that, if Samford was considered a "rural village", the policy may have suggested it had a part to play in accommodating population growth in South East Queensland, however, he ultimately thought that there was no sensible way to make use of the provisions in the appeal. The judge ultimately concluded that:

"The appellants' proposal is consistent with the Regional Plan, which counts as a positive. However, there is nothing about the Regional Plan, in my view, which justifies overriding the Pine Rivers Plan, whether to respond to "conflict" with that Plan or otherwise. I reject any suggestion that the Regional Plan's listed reasons why land in the urban footprint may be unsuitable for urban development is intended to be complete or exclusive."14

The more recent Stockland case involved a large site located north of the Maroochy River. The Council had refused the developer's application for a preliminary approval overriding the planning scheme, to facilitate the development of the site for urban residential purposes.

The land was located within the UF and the developer relied upon that fact to demonstrate the planning scheme had been overtaken by events (given the SEQRP prevails to the extent of any inconsistency with a planning scheme). However, the judge noted that the SEQRP did not go so far as to state that all land within the UF would be suitable for, or given over to, urban development or would be so developed within the planning horizon of the SEQRP. Instead, those matters were left to the planning scheme.

The judge noted that while the inclusion of the land in the UF in the SEQRP was a relevant consideration it did not, of itself, necessarily establish a point of inconsistency between the Planning Scheme and the SEQRP. He went on:

"That is not to say that the Urban Footprint designation is meaningless or that the SEQRP is, as a planning document, subservient to the Planning Scheme. Rather, it simply acknowledges the limitations on the significance of the urban footprint designation, as provided for in the SEQRP itself."

On balance, the noted cases demonstrate that the Regulatory Provisions have generated technical, legal disputes in relation to land located outside the UF. For land within the UF, the policies in the SEQRP, designed to accommodate further growth, have not assisted applicants in overcoming conflicts with a planning scheme (even when the planning scheme has not been updated to reflect the SEQRP). The cases emphasise the stark contrast between the negative effect of the SEQRP and Regulatory Provisions upon development outside the UF and the absence of any positive effect upon urban development within the UF.

The current environment

In recently adopting the new generation of regional plans for other regions, the State Government has not considered it necessary to replicate or introduce new regulatory provisions. It can be surmised that the State's decision in that regard was influenced by its desire to eschew broad scale "top down" development control and to return planning responsibility to local Governments, while ensuring that relevant State interests are properly considered and implemented. Whether this approach will be adopted for South-East Queensland remains unclear.

The table below summarises the current status of the various regional plans throughout Queensland, and the associated regulatory provisions:15

Regional Plan Date Gazetted Regulatory Provisions Status
South East 17 October 2005 Yes Repealed
South East 31 July 2009 Yes Under review
North West 10 August 2010 No In effect
Central West 18 September 2009 No In effect
South West 13 August 2009 No In effect
Central 18 October 2013 No In effect
Cape York 20 November 2013 No Draft Stage
Far North 13 February 2009 No – repealed 26 October 2012 In effect
Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday 8 February 2012 No – repealed 11 July 2012 In effect
Wide Bay Burnett 30 September 2011 No – repealed 16 May 2012 In effect
Maranoa Balonne 22 September 2009 No In effect
Darling Downs 14 October 2013 No In effect

Are the Regulatory Restrictions Necessary?

Can regional policies be effectively implemented through development assessment or is prohibition required to achieve the SEQRP's purpose? With the move to performance based planning under the IPA in 1997 the prohibition of development under planning schemes was proscribed and today it remains strictly controlled under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA). Only development identified in the Queensland Planning Provisions may be prohibited by a planning scheme. What elements or principles of regional planning create the need for prohibition of development?

Local Government areas have become larger and more regional in themselves since the wide scale amalgamations of local governments in 2008. Intuitively, if fine grained local planning cannot utilise prohibition to achieve its planning objectives it seems less likely to be required at the broader regional scale.

The policies behind the introduction of the SEQRP's regulatory provisions were centred around preventing "urban sprawl,"16 protecting agricultural land and inter-urban open spaces, strengthening existing communities and making more efficient use of infrastructure. These are all worthy objectives if applied in a balanced and moderate way. Problems arise however when each objective becomes an end in itself, disconnected from the others.

As Steve Reynolds and Matthew Schneider point out in their paper "The Sustainable Planning Bill 2009: An introduction to Queensland's new planning legislation"17 although prohibition was sought principally by local government during the reform process, too often, prohibition is a coarse tool that is outside the control of local governments.

Implementation of regional planning policies through an absolute or hard regulatory boundary has the following disadvantages:

  • it is a broad scale and indiscriminate mechanism;
  • it involves no, or very limited, site specific assessment;
  • it contains inherent bias against development rather than objective balancing of relevant factors;
  • it is inconsistent with a performance based approach to achieving ecological sustainability which involves balancing ecological, social and economic factors;
  • it precludes the application of locally appropriate solutions; and
  • it is inconsistent with the philosophy that State interests have to be considered in both regional and local contexts and balanced and applied appropriately.

Conversely, moving to performance based merits assessment is preferable because:

  • it recognises that regional planning involves high level and necessarily broad scale strategic objectives that are to be implemented over long timeframes during which there will be social demographic and economic changes;
  • it allows for the fact that strategic policies will need to change over time to adapt to a range of factors;
  • it permits adaption and tailoring of the policies to local circumstances;
  • it allows potential economic, social and environmental opportunities to be properly considered rather than not considered at all;
  • it is consistent with modern notions of performance/solutions based development assessment;
  • it assists in promoting innovation over slavish conformance; and
  • it achieves all of these things while at the same time allowing the relevant regional planning policies to be given weight, possibly decisive weight, in deciding development applications.

Development applications can be assessed against clearly expressed regional planning policies in the same way as they would be assessed against local planning policies. However, regional policies that are clearly applicable ought to attract greater weight to the extent that they have not yet been incorporated into the relevant local plan.18

Consider the following scenario. Assume that urban development, say a specialised industrial facility, is proposed outside the UF and that the development and its surroundings have the following attributes:

  • the development adjoins and is mostly surrounded by land that is in the UF;
  • the development achieves efficient use of existing public infrastructure, for example major roads;
  • the development does not involve fragmentation of good quality agricultural land;
  • the development does not involve clearing any vegetation;
  • the land is mapped as part of an inter-urban break but does not exhibit features of any particular regional scenic significence;
  • the proposed development is not intrusive in terms of any view shed of regional importance;
  • the design of the development manages and imporves the quality of water discharging into local waterways; and
  • the proposed facility satisfies strong economic demand and community need in terms of employment generated and the supply of specialized products, but there is not an overriding need, as defined in the Regulatory Provisions, for the development.

MCU for this hypothetical development would not be approved unless the public would suffer adverse economic, environmental or social consequences without the development and the development could not be located within the UF. Even if, on the basis of a standard economic demand and community need assessments, the community would be better off with the proposed development than without it, the Regulatory Provisions, by reversing the test, impose a significantly higher threshold that probably could not be satisfied in the hypothetical scenario.

Plainly rejection of the development would be without any regional planning policy justification. The non-compliance is with Regulatory Provision rather than the SEQRP's plocies.

There is no public benefit in effectively prohibiting development in circumstances where it satisfies all desired regional outcomes and, on balance, meets other relevant other relevant planning criteria, just because it is on the wrong side of a line on a map.

Local and regional planning both need to be able to adapt to demographic, social and technological changes as well associety's social and economic needs. In that context, prohibition, or what is in practice akin to prohibition, is the very antithesis of ground truthing which is the essence of performance based development.

Some local governments may prefer to be able to rely upon State level prohibition to avoid having to undertake assessment of development outside the UF. That mindest is at odds with the State government's commitment to devolving planning power back to local governments while at the same time requiring those powers to be exercised responsibily in the public interest.

Assessment of development against desired regional outcomes can easily be undertaken by local government assessment managers in tandem with assessing development against the planning scheme. This will only be required where the relevant regional policies have not been incorporated in the planning scheme.19 In those circumstances, thregional policies, to the extent they are relevant, may prevail over the planning scheme and therefore be entitlafforded significant weight.20 However, as the Stockland judgment21 amply demonstrates, regional policies that are expressed broadly and are subject to implementation by the local government having regard to relevant local circumstances, such as the existence of appropriately zoned land and the timing of future development, will not always be entitled to determinative weight. As the Court's judgment in that in that case shows, the exercise of applying regional planning policies is evaluative and requires the balancing of many factors.

Therefore, it is preferable that the SEQRP is applied as State level planning policy to which appropriate weight is given indevelopment assessment, where the regional plan has not been reflected in the planning scheme, rather than the current approach which involves an economic dis-benefit test wich is almost impossible to satisfy. Why should such a restrictive economic test be applied in circumstances where all the other relevant regional policies are, on balance, satisfied?


The Regulatory Provisions are a blunt regulatory instrument which will hinder the State's economic progress and are ate odds with the government's stated interest in delivering a better planning system, which the State Planning Plicy says:

"must enable decision-making that is based on the best available knowledge to objectively address the needs of today and the future. It must always focus on delivering balanced outcomes, not tying up investment in unnecessary processes which impede the delivery of the right development in the right locations".

Therefore, when the SEQRP is eventually replaced the Regulatory Provisions should be repealed and not replaced, thus allowing the SEQRP to operate as a regional planning policy that is entitled to appropriate weight, depending on the circumstances, until incorporated into planning schemes.


1Second reading speech, page 1847
2Explanatory notes to the IPOLA Bill
3Explanatory notes to the IPOLAS Bill
4Submission in response to the draft SEQ Regional Plan PIA Queensland Division 28 February 2005 noted in Development Control and the SEQ Regional Plan by Emeritus Professor Alan Fogg
5Chang v Laidley Shire Council [2007] HCA 37 per Callinan J at [124] and [125].
6Custance v Gatton Shire Council [2007] QPEC 081, Cophurst Pty Ltd v Maroochy Shire Council [206] 023, Brown & Ors v Moreton Bay Regional Council [2011] QPEC 71, Metricon Innisfail Pty Ltd v Cassowary Coast Regional Council & Anor [2009] QPEC 11, [2009] QPELR 581; Barro Group Pty Ltd v Redland Shire Council and Others [2009] QPEC 9; Hartridge v Caboolture Shire Council & Anor [2009] QDC 126
7[2007] HCA 37
8Tolocorp Pty Ltd v Noosa Shire Council [2007] QCA 33
9[2009] QCA 400
10[2009] QCA 400 at [36]
11[2012] QPEC 82
12[2013] QPEC 79
13[2013] QPEC 79 at [17]
14[2012] QPEC 82 at [19]
15There is also a regional plan for the Gulf region, however, it is not a statutory regional plan and does not contain any regulatory provisions.
16An unfortunately pejorative term which tends to deflect rational analysis of the effects of restricting land supply on the affordability of housing – see Henry Ergas "Our metropolises must evolve but let's preserve their strengths" – Weekend Australia in January 25-26 2014.
17Sustainable Planning Bill 2009, QELA Seminar, 6 July 2009, 1 at 2-3
18Because they must prevail over any inconsistent provision of a local plan – SPA section 36(2)
19SPA Section 313(2)(b) and see Zurela v Atherson SC [2008] QPEC 105; Celleoloni v Johnstone SC [2008] QPEC 104; Sibi Girgenti Holdings Pty Ltd v Atherton SC [2008] QPEC 108
20SPA Section 36(4)
21Stockland v Sunshine Coast Regional Council [2013] QPEC 79

© HopgoodGanim Lawyers

Award-winning law firm HopgoodGanim offers commercially-focused advice, coupled with reliable and responsive service, to clients throughout Australia and across international borders.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

David Nicholls
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.