We wrote in October this year about a new development in New
South Wales Parliament being the introduction of a private members
"Civil Remedies for Serious Invasions of Privacy"
(the Bill). This week, the Bill lapsed in
accordance with New South Wales parliamentary standing orders,
which cause a Bill to be taken off the table when it does not
progress and maintain its relevance in parliament or when a new
Bill is being drafted.
We are unaware of any new Bill being drafted. Accordingly, in
order for the very important issues contained in this Bill to be
advanced it would need to be reintroduced into parliament in the
Given that the Bill implemented a number of proposals and
recommendations which were made by the New South Wales Standing
Committee on Law and Justice in its report in March 2016 to protect
individuals from serious invasions of privacy such as revenge porn,
this can only be considered a disappointment.
The aim of the Bill, to give individuals a statutory remedy for
serious invasions of privacy, covered ground breaking territory and
it will be interesting to see whether the Bill is reintroduced in
some modified form. According to the New South Wales parliamentary
website, since its introduction on 13 October 2016 there has been
no further discussion of it.
When the Bill was subject to review by the Legislation Review
Committee they made several comments, including that it trespassed
on personal rights and liberties by creating a cause of action that
was extinguished on death whereas generally other causes of action
survived death, and that it inappropriately delegated legislative
powers by ensuring that certain terms were prescribed by regulation
rather than contained in the principal legislation.
One would hope that if these defects could be remedied, a new
Bill covering this important subject matter for individuals in
society where such breaches are increasing rather than lessening
could be reintroduced.
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Being able to determine whether information is personal information is a critical threshold issue for privacy compliance.
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