Australia: Queensland Government Bulletin – 5 April 2017

In the media

Government passes major reform to Australian Human Rights Commission
The Government has today passed the most significant reforms to the Australian Human Rights Commission in almost 20 years. The Commission will now have the powers it needs to terminate unmeritorious complaints as soon as possible. It will also be required to act fairly and expeditiously in dealing with complaints, and to notify respondents about a complaint (31 March 2017). More...

Appointments to the Federal Court of Australia
The Attorney-General announces the appointments of Mr Roger Derrington QC and Mr Michael Lee SC as judges of the Federal Court of Australia (31 March 2017). More...

New President of the Court of Appeal named
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D'Ath has announced that Queensland's former Solicitor-General Walter Sofronoff QC will be the new President of the Court of Appeal (31 March 2017). More...

New Queensland Auditor-General appointed
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced that Mr Brendan Worrall has been appointed as the Queensland Auditor-General (23 March 2017). More...

Palaszczuk Government moves to strengthen CCC powers
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D'Ath has introduced legislation into Parliament to widen the definition of corruption and provide the Crime and Corruption Commission with broader investigative powers (23 March 2017). More...

Alleged domestic violence offenders must prove why they should get bail
?The private member's bill comes after the death of Teresa Bradford, who was killed by her estranged husband inside her Gold Coast home in January (23 March 2017). More...

Laws improve rights, treatment for domestic violence victims
Victims of domestic and family violence will be informed if their perpetrator is released on bail or from prison, under new Palaszczuk Government laws passed through State Parliament tonight (23 March 2017). More...

QLS backs new DV laws
Queensland Law Society has thrown its support behind new legislation designed to make it harder for serious alleged domestic violence offenders to get bail (23 March 2017). More...

QLS delayed judgments service
Queensland Law Society provides members with a delayed judgments inquiry service under which the Society approaches the relevant court to inquire about specific judgments which have been delayed for three months or more. For the financial year of 2016-17 up to 16 March, the total number of delayed judgment matters received and actioned was 76 (22 March 2017). More...

Palaszczuk Government ends "gay panic" defence*
The Queensland Parliament has passed legislation which removes the so-called "gay panic" defence from the Criminal Code. The Criminal Law Amendment Bill amended section 304 of the Code, removing unwanted sexual advance as a partial defence of provocation for murder (21 March 2017). More... More...

New laws force compulsory mediation before rural foreclosures
Banks will not be able to foreclose on Queensland farming properties without offering mediation from 01 July (22 March 2017). More...

In practice and courts – Queensland

Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry - State Penalties Enforcement Amendment Bill 2017
The Bill has been referred to the Parliamentary Finance and Administration Committee (the Committee) for inquiry and report by 28 April 2017. More...

QAO: Criminal justice data
The objective of this audit is to determine whether the state's criminal justice data is reliable and used cost effectively. The availability and reliability of crime and sentencing statistics is important to measure and monitor the effectiveness of Queensland's justice system. It can also be used to inform policy decisions. Tabling March 2017. More...

Queensland consultations
24 March 2017- Closing date for comments to the Parliamentary Finance and Administration Committee on the State Penalties Enforcement Amendment Bill 2017 (Qld).

CCC Investigations
Assessment of Director-General self-referral and update on the review of private emails - 22 March 2017
CCC to conduct a public hearing into 2016 local government elections – 21 March 2017
A 43-year-old Brisbane police officer charged with misusing a police database – 21 March 2017

OIC Queensland: Desktop audit report - Hospital and Health Services – 2016-17
The OIC has tabled the report in Parliament on how the Hospital and Health Services' websites provide clear pathways for the community to access information. The report examines whether the online publication schemes and disclosure logs meet the requirements and support access to government-held information (21 March 2017). More...

QSAC Sentencing Matters podcast series - episode 1 'What is sentencing?' now available
The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council (QSAC) has released its first podcast in the Sentencing Matters series. This podcast series informs, engages and advises on sentencing issues in Queensland, nationally and internationally (23 March 2017). More...

OIC Queensland: QCAT awards financial compensation for breach of privacy
The QCAT recently published a decision about a privacy complaint that concerned the disclosure of information about the employee's health to a number of other employees in the agency. QCAT found that a breach of Information Privacy Principle 10 – 'Limits on use of personal information' was substantiated (21 March 2017). More...

Cases

Bode v Queensland All Codes Racing Industry Board [2016] QCAT 529 ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW – principles applied – fresh hearing on the merits – racing – natural justice principles – rules of evidence – fresh evidence – allegations of misconduct, improper conduct and unseemly conduct – physical altercation between persons involved in the racing industry – whether defence of self-defence should be accepted – conflicting evidence – denial of natural justice – independent witness not made available for cross-examination – undue weight placed upon a written statement.

Leggett v BHP Coal Pty Ltd & Anor [2017] QCAT 077
HUMAN RIGHTS – DISCRIMINATION – GENERALLY – DIRECT DISCRIMINATION – GROUNDS OF DISCRIMINATION – where applicant was engaged in Trade Union Activity – Where applicant employed by BHP Coal Pty Ltd – where vicarious liability - whether discrimination on the basis of the attribute of Trade Union Activity.
HUMAN RIGHTS – DISCRIMINATION – GENERALLY – DIRECT DISCRIMINATION – GROUNDS OF DISCRIMINATION – where applicant was a parent – whether discrimination on the basis of the attribute of parental status.
HUMAN RIGHTS – DISCRIMINATION – DIRECT DISCRIMINATION – GROUNDS OF DISCRIMINATION – where applicant had family responsibilities – whether discrimination on the basis of the attribute of family responsibilities.
HUMAN RIGHTS – DISCRIMINATION – GROUNDS OF DISCRIMINATION – whether the applicant was victimised.

Legislation

Bills Updated

Criminal Law Amendment Bill 2016
Stage reached: Passed on 21/03/2017.

Victims of Crime Assistance and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016
Stage reached: Passed with amendment on 22/03/2017.

Bail (Domestic Violence) and Another Act Amendment Bill 2017
Stage reached: Passed with amendment on 22/03/2017.

Child Protection and Education Legislation (Reporting of Abuse) Amendment Bill 2017
Introduced on 21/03/2017 Stage reached: Referred to Committee on 21/03/2017. The objective of this Bill is to amend the Child Protection Act 1999 and the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 to impose the obligation of mandatory reporting of sexual abuse (real or suspected) on ministers of religion. This follows the widespread and worldwide revelations of childhood sexual abuse by clergy.

Court and Civil Legislation Amendment Bill 2017
Introduced on 23/03/2017
The objective of this Bill is to amend legislation within the justice portfolio to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the courts and agencies and clarify, strengthen and update that legislation.

Crime and Corruption and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2017
Introduced on 23/03/2017
The objective of this Bill is to give effect to the Government's election commitment to widen the definition of 'corrupt conduct'; and implement recommendations of the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee Report No. 97, Review of the Crime and Corruption Commission and Report No. 99, Report on a complaint by Mr Darren Hall.

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.

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