On 12 May 2016, the Inspector of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) issued a report to the Premier in relation to his review of the ICAC (Report).
The Report is concerned with the terms of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 (NSW) (the ICAC Act), the structure, culture and procedures of the ICAC and the role of the Inspector.
The Report included the following recommendations:
- That ICAC examinations should be conducted in private so that disproportionate reputational damage is eradicated;
- If public inquiries are retained, then ICAC should in determining whether or not the public interest is served, have regard to and specify the elements of the public interest, and consider whether it is more appropriate to refer the matter to the DPP or another public authority;
- That only in exceptional circumstances should a person not be informed of the nature of the allegation or complaint being investigated; and
- That a notice to produce under section 22 of the ICAC Act only
- by a Commissioner or Assistant Commissioner, where a particular investigation is nominated;
- where the document or thing may reasonably be regarded as leading to a chain of inquiry and advancing the nominated inquiry;
- where there is reasonable time to comply with the notice;
- where reasonable time to comply with the notice includes sufficient time to obtain legal advice or to commence procedures setting aside the subpoena.
The ICAC responded to the Report by a media release on 12 May 2016, noting amongst other things that the Inspector did not undertake any consultation with the ICAC.
In response to the Inspector's principal recommendation that the ICAC should conduct examinations in private, the ICAC stated:
[this] is contrary to the considered conclusions reached by the 2005 Independent Review of the ICAC conducted by Bruce McClintock SC and the more recent 2015 Independent Panel Review conducted by the Hon Murray Gleeson AC and Mr McClintock. The Commission agrees with the Independent Panel Review's assessment that public inquiries "...serve an important role in the disclosure of corrupt conduct [and] in disclosing the ICAC's investigative processes".
The ICAC's media release stated that it intended to make a detailed response to the Report to the Premier of NSW.
In the media
The IPC wants to hear from you
The Information and Privacy Commission (IPC) wants to hear about the best ways to engage with NSW government agencies on the formulation of agency policies and the exercise of agency functions (17 May 2016) More...
ICAC corruption prevention program to visit Orana and Far West
The ICAC will visit the Orana and Far West regions of NSW next week, as part of the Commission's program to bring anti-corruption initiatives and training to centres across the state (17 May 2016) More...
LCA: 45,000 people faced courts alone due to legal aid crisis
At least 45,000 Australians have been forced to represent themselves in court, often up against powerful and well-funded legal teams, due to the crisis in legal aid (16 May 2016) More...
High Court Finds WA Bell Group Act Invalid:  HCA 21
The High Court has unanimously declared that the Bell Group Companies (Finalisation of Matters and Distribution of Proceeds) Act 2015 (WA) is invalid in its entirety by the operation of s 109 of the Constitution because it is inconsistent with one or more provisions of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth) and the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) (together, "the Tax Acts") (16 May 2016) More...
Senate voting reform challenge thrown out by High Court
The High Court throws out a challenge to a new senate voting law targeting preference deals which helped micro parties and independents win senate seats (13 May 2016) More...
Nineteen new councils created in NSW today
NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Local Government Paul Toole said 19 new councils announced in NSW today will work harder for residents and deliver better services and community facilities (19 May 2016) More...
Reforms to strengthen council integrity
Dishonest councillors who use their position for personal benefit will be forced to hand over their ill-gotten gains under tough new laws to be introduced into NSW Parliament (12 May 2016) More...
NSW Government Introduces Bill Allowing Terrorism Suspects To Be Detained For Two Weeks Without Charge
On May 4, NSW Premier Mike Baird introduced the Terrorism (Police Powers) Amendment (Investigative Detention) Bill 2016 into NSW Parliament. The Bill would allow police to utilise new "investigative detention" powers to detain suspects for questioning without being charged with an with an offence, and would apply, with safeguards, to children between the ages of 14 and 17 (10 May 2016) More...
In practice and courts
20/05/2016 - Operation Greer witness list- Witness list for the remainder of the Operation Greer public inquiry into allegations concerning the Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council updated
17/05/2016 - Prosecution briefs with the DPP and outcomes - Briefs with the DPP and outcomes of ICAC-related prosecutions las updated 17 May 2016.
The Commission intends to make a detailed response to the Premier on the ICAC Inspector's report
NSW Information Commissioner launches consultation to promote public participation
The Information and Privacy Commission (IPC) wants to hear about the best ways to engage with NSW government agencies on the formulation of agency policies and the exercise of agency functions. See the Your Say IPC website. The consultation is open until 31 May 2016. More...
New judge appointed to District Court bench (13 May 2016)
NCSAT has published the NCAT Legal Bulletin Issue 2 of 2016 (10 May 2016)
NSW JUDCOM: Civil Trials Bench Book: Update 30
Update 30 released on 19 May 2016
NSW: This month in committees
Inquiries receiving submissions
Government responses due
Published – articles, papers, reports
Chief Justice Speech: State of the Australian
The Law Council of Australia (LCA) and the Australian Bar Association (ABA) have jointly made released a speech (29 April 2016) delivered by Chief Justice Robert French on the state of the Australian judicature
OAICicon eNews alerts for privacy contact officers in public sector organisations.
produced by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).
Bell Group N.V. (in liquidation) v Western Australia; W.A. Glendinning & Associates Pty Ltd v Western Australia; Maranoa Transport Pty Ltd (in liq) v Western Australia  HCA 21
The questions stated by the parties in the amended special case dated 29 February 2016 and referred for consideration by the Full Court be answered
Constitutional law – Inconsistency between Commonwealth and State laws – Bell Group Companies (Finalisation of Matters and Distribution of Proceeds) Act 2015 (WA) – Where rights and obligations arose and had accrued to Commonwealth under Commonwealth law prior to commencement of State law – Where State law purports to create scheme under which Commonwealth tax debts stripped of characteristics ascribed to them by Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth) and Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) – Whether State law invalid by reason of s 109 of Constitution – Whether State law alters, impairs or detracts from operation of Commonwealth law – Whether provisions can be read down or severed – Whether State law invalid in its entirety.
Constitutional law – Standing – Where Attorney-General of Commonwealth intervened generally in support of plaintiffs – Whether plaintiffs have standing in their own right to challenge validity of State law.
Words and phrases – "accrued rights", "alter, impair or detract from", "inconsistency", "justiciable controversy", "reading down", "severance", "standing". More...
Day v Australian Electoral Officer for the State of South Australia; Madden v Australian Electoral Officer for the State of Tasmania  HCA 20
Application dismissed. Constitutional law – Election of Senators – Validity of provisions of Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) as amended by Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Act 2016 (Cth) – Whether provisions for voting above or below dividing line on ballot paper prescribed more than one method of choosing Senators contrary to s 9 of Constitution – Whether indicating vote for party or group above dividing line contrary to requirement in s 7 of Constitution that Senators be "directly chosen by the people" – Whether prescription of "Droop quota" resulted in effective disenfranchisement – Whether instructions on ballot paper infringed implied freedom of political communication or system of representative government. More...
CLT v Department of Education and Communities  NSWCATAD 98
CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – PRIVACY – Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) – IPP 5 – Department lost medical certificate but information not disclosed – no breach of IPP 5 as safeguards reasonable More...
Shoebridge v Forestry Corporation of NSW  NSWCATAD 93
CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – Government Information (Public Access) Act – request by Member of Parliament for information about spraying of pesticides in forests – special benefit to the public generally in the application justifying 50% reduction in processing fees. More...
Daley v SAS Trustee Corporation  NSWCA 111
APPEAL – statutory appeal – District Court Act 1973 (NSW), s 142N – whether appellant aggrieved by award in point of law – whether primary judge determined appellant not an aggrieved person within meaning of s 21(1), Police Regulation (Superannuation) Act 1906 (NSW) STATUTORY INTERPRETATION – construing statute conferring jurisdiction on court – whether jurisdiction dependent on satisfaction of judge of court concerned – construing facultative provision WORDS AND PHRASES – "person aggrieved" – "decision" – "point of law" – "real merits and justice of the case" – Police Regulation (Superannuation) Act 1906 (NSW), s 21(1); District Court Act 1973 (NSW), s 142J, s 142N More...
Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Uniform Civil Procedure (Amendment No 76) Rule 2016 (2016-255) — published LW 20 May 2016
Bills introduced Government – 13 May 2016
Bills revised following amendment in Committee – 13 May 2016
Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament
Bills assented to
Terrorism (Police Powers) Amendment (Investigative Detention) Act 2016 No 17 — Assented to 16 May 2016
Fines Amendment Act 2016 No 13 — Assented to 11 May 2016
Crimes (Serious Crime Prevention Orders) Act 2016 No 15 — Assented to 11 May 2016
Criminal Legislation Amendment (Organised Crime and Public Safety) Act 2016 No 16 — Assented to 11 May 2016
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.