In the media
Espionage report a step in the right direction
The Law Council has welcomed the release of the PJCIS Advisory Report on the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2017. The lengthy report has accepted evidence that there is a need to ensure the Bill is proportionate and appropriately targeted to the threat, while strengthening and modernising current espionage and foreign interference laws (08 June 2018). More... More...
Turnbull Government encourages child sex abuse survivors
to contribute to National Apology
The Turnbull Government is encouraging people who suffered or were affected by institutional child sexual abuse, and their supporters, to contribute to the development of the National Apology (07 June 2018). More...
NSW Powers to prevent terrorist attacks to
Targeted powers to help police combat terrorism will remain in place with new safeguards to ensure the extraordinary measures continue to be used appropriately, Attorney General Mark Speakman has announced. The changes strike the right balance between keeping the community safe and providing safeguards to prevent the powers unnecessarily encroaching on liberties (07 June 2018). More...
NSW Review recommends defamation cyber-age reboot
NSW will lead a push to modernise defamation law across the country in response to a NSW review that found amendments should be considered to improve the way the justice system deals with digital media cases (07 June 2018). More...
Historic new NSW laws get tough on child sex abuse
One of the state's largest ever criminal justice reform packages will be introduced into NSW Parliament, heralding a milestone for survivors of child sex abuse and delivering tough laws to crack down on paedophiles (06 June 2018). More...
NSW first to harmonise with amended
Commonwealth Marriage Act in
NSW has become the first state or territory to harmonise comprehensively its laws with the amended Commonwealth Marriage Act 1961. The State Parliament has today passed legislation changing 53 NSW Acts and Regulations, bringing NSW laws into line with the amended Commonwealth Act (06 June 2018). More...
New laws improve victim support in NSW
New laws introduced will make it faster and easier for victims of crime and their families to access financial assistance and counselling, particularly those impacted by domestic violence and homicide. These changes will provide greater clarity and ensure more victims and families get the support they need to recover from the trauma of being victims of violent crimes (06 June 2018). More...
New laws to target incitement of violence
Individuals who incite or threaten violence against people based on their race, religion or sexuality will risk a three-year jail sentence under new laws to be introduced into NSW Parliament, Attorney General Mark Speakman has announced (05 June 2018). More...
LCA: Closing the Gap Refresh Discussion Paper
The Law Council provided a submission to the Council of Australian Government's Closing the Gap Refresh Discussion Paper on 4 May 2018. The Law Council's submission emphasised the importance of ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are central to the design and leadership of the Close the Gap strategy, and that future directions must allow for self-determination and community-led change (04 June 2018). More...
Discussion Paper 85 published by ALRC
The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has released a Discussion Paper, Class Action Proceedings and Third-Party Litigation Funders (DP 85), and is calling for comments and feedback on its questions and proposals for law and system reform. Following the release of the Discussion Paper, the ALRC will begin a second round of stakeholder consultations (31 May 2018). More...
LCA: Family Law Court amalgamation announced
The Attorney General declared a shake-up of both the Family and Federal Circuit Courts on Wednesday 30 May, announcing the two would be amalgamated to form a single new Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCA) (01 June 2018). More...
Government statement: Court Reforms to help families
save time and costs in family law disputes
Families will be helped to resolve their disputes more quickly as a result of Turnbull Government reforms to the handling of family law matters in the federal court system (30 May 2018). More...
Family and Federal Circuit Court reform details
The Law Council has noted Australian Government's plans to amalgamate the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the Family Court of Australia. The Council notes the increasing number of self-represented people appearing before the courts also contributes to the time that courts take to deal with matters and leads to unjust outcomes (30 May 2018). More...
Review of national intelligence legislation
The Turnbull Government will undertake the most significant review of intelligence legislation in more than 40 years. The Review will consider options for harmonising and modernising the legislative framework that governs the activities of our intelligence agencies to ensure they operate with clear, coherent and consistent powers, protections and oversight (30 May 2018). More...
Australian Government's national facial recognition
regime needs a serious rethink
New laws proposed by the Department of Home Affairs would authorise the creation of a "dragnet database", compiling images of innocent Australians – including children – from their drivers' licences, identification cards and passport photos (29 May 2018). More...
Concluding statement — Centrelink release of
Having carefully considered the specific public statements made by the Centrelink customer, and the specific information disclosed in response, the acting Australian Information Commissioner and acting Privacy Commissioner reached the conclusion that, in this instance, the disclosure personal information into the public domain was permitted by APP 6.2(a)(ii) (29 June 2018). More...
Appointments to the Federal Circuit Court of
The Attorney-General announced the appointment of two judges to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia: Mr Terry Betts to the Newcastle Registry and Mr Bruce Smith to the Sydney Registry (29 May 2018). More...
Commissioner delivers anti-racism message to media
Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane has highlighted the need to embrace cultural diversity and to recognise racism in a speech to executives from advertising, media and communications agencies (28 May 2018). More...
AAT appearance at Senate Estimates
On 24 May, the AAT appeared before the Budget Estimates hearings of the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee. The nature of the role of any court or tribunal means there will invariably be questions about particular decisions. In the case of the AAT, all decisions can be appealed to the Federal Circuit Court or Federal Court and be overturned if they are found to be affected by legal error (25 May 2018). More...
Abortion clinic safe access zones: High Court test
Laws that protect the dignity, safety and privacy of women seeking reproductive healthcare should be upheld the Human Rights Law Centre has argued in a submission to the High Court (25 May 2018). More...
In practice and courts
Open Government Forum Meeting - 14 June 2018
National Action Plan 2 - 2018 – 2020 - The Open Government Forum will meet on Thursday, 14 June 2018 in Sydney to discuss a number of matters, including refining the draft commitments for Australia's next Open Government National Action Plan. An agenda and papers for the meeting are available here (08 June 2018).
OAIC statement: Clarification to the OAIC's
2016–17 Digital Health Annual Report web page
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has amended the web version of its Annual report of the Australian Information Commissioner's activities in relation to digital health 2016–17 to address a formatting error in relation to several footnote references, which occurred during the HTML conversion of the tabled report. The PDF version of the tabled report published at the time did not contain the error. (07 June 2018). More...
OAIC statement: Statement on PageUp People Limited
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner is aware of an incident involving PageUp People Limited, a provider of human resources services for a number of Australian entities. PageUp has issued a statement on its website. The OAIC has published a number of resources for those affected by a data breach and action they can take here (06 June 2018). More...
Acting Australian Information Commissioner and acting
Privacy Commissioner approves variations to the
Privacy (Credit Reporting) Code
On 29 May 2018, the acting Australian Information Commissioner and acting Privacy Commissioner approved a variation of the registered Privacy (Credit Reporting) Code 2014 Version 1.2 (CR Code Version 1.2). The variations are proposed to commence on 1 July 2018. A new version of the Privacy (Credit Reporting) Code will be included on the OAIC's Codes Register (30 May 2018). More...
OAIC: Information Publication Scheme — 2018 Survey
of Australian Government agencies
The 2018 Information Publication Scheme (IPS) Survey of Australian Government agencies that are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) has commenced. If you have any questions or require further information about the IPS Survey, contact Mabel Dela Cruz of ORIMA Research. More...
JCA warns of judges in the crossfire of court
The Judicial Conference of Australia has issued a statement expressing concern that judges might be "in the crossfire of debate" over proposed restructure of the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court. Similar concerns have been expressed by the presidents of the West Australian, Queensland and New South Wales Bar Associations (04 June 2018).
Human rights and technology
New challenges to our basic rights and freedoms in an age of big data, artificial intelligence and social media, will be explored by leaders in industry, government and academia at a landmark event in Sydney. The Australian Human Rights Commission's Human Rights and Technology conference will take place on 24 July 2018, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney. More information about the project and the conference is available here.
Human Rights Law Centre Submissions
Submission: The dangers of unregulated biometrics use (30 May 2018)
The Human Rights Law Centre told a Parliamentary Committee that the federal government's proposed new powers to undertake facial recognition identification and surveillance are dangerously overbroad, and could dramatically alter the freedom of ordinary people going about their daily lives.
High Court Bulletin
ALRC Discussion Paper: Class Action Proceedings and
Third-Party Litigation Funders (DP 85)
The ALRC invites submissions in response to the proposals, questions and analysis in the Discussion Paper, which is available here. Submissions are due to the ALRC by 30 July, 2018.
Law Council of Australia Submissions
Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission Response Part 1 and Other Measures) Bill 2018 (Provisions) (01 June 2018).
Recent media coverage concerning the AAT
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) issues further corrections to address inaccurate media reporting. In neither case before the tribunals was criminal conduct or character a basis upon which the visa was refused by the then Department of Immigration (the Department) (01 June 2018). More...
Reminder: Mandatory data reporting update
A number of certifying authorities are already reporting data, and each of the three reporting options (API, SFTP and mobile app) are available and in use. Councils and certifiers should be preparing for the 1 July 2018 mandatory reporting date. The Board will have an education focus for the first six months after this date.
API and SFTP specifications: BPB's website will always have the latest version
April 2018 roadshow presentation
Certification data reporting and FAQs
Copyright modernisation consultation
Consultation paper submissions due by 04 July 2018.
Federal Circuit Court case management pilot
A case management pilot commenced in the Brisbane Registry of the Federal Circuit Court on 4 June 2018, which will run for approximately seven months. During the pilot, the current docket system will be replaced with a system under which three duty judges will have carriage of a matter from the first return date until trial. The remaining judges will hear trials only. More....
OAIC Key dates
Australian Government Agencies Privacy Code - Commences 1 July 2018.
NSW Privacy Commissioner: New Open Data online resource
promotes Open Data release during Information Awareness Month
NSW Information Commissioner and Open Data Advocate, Elizabeth Tydd, has launched a new Open Data e-learning resource in collaboration with the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI) during Information Awareness Month 2018 (IAM) (31 May 2018). More...
Defamation law reform
The NSW Attorney General has announced that NSW will "lead a push to modernise" Australia's defamation law and improve the justice system's engagement with digital media cases. The Attorney's announcement follows the release of a new report by the NSW Department of Justice containing 16 recommendations (08 June 2018). More...
ICAC: Operation Dasha public inquiry now to resume on
Thursday 14 June
The ICAC Operation Dasha public inquiry being held as part of its investigation into allegations concerning the former Canterbury City Council will now resume on Thursday 14 June at 9.30 am. Click here to view the witness list for the first week of this segment (08 June 2018).
ICAC: Prosecution briefs with the DPP and
Tables of prosecution briefs with the DPP and outcomes (01 June 2018).
ICAC: Corruption Matters stakeholder e-newsletter issue
51 now available
The latest edition of the ICAC's "Corruption Matters" stakeholder e-newsletter, packed with the latest news, is now available (28 May 2018). More...
BOSCAR Publication Releases
NSW Recorded Crime Statistics quarterly update March 2018 (06 June 2018)
In the 24 months to March 2018, two of the 17 major offences were increasing, three were trending downward and the remaining 12 offences were stable.
NSW Criminal Courts Statistics 2017 (29 May 2018).
Consent in relation to sexual assault offences:
The Attorney General has asked us to review s 61HA of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) which deals with consent in relation to sexual assault. The deadline for preliminary submissions is 29 June 2018. See the Terms of reference and make a preliminary submission.
Published – articles, papers, reports
Protection orders for domestic violence: a systematic
Christopher Dowling et al; Australian Institute of Criminology: 07 June 2018
This study systematically reviews research into the use and impact of protection orders, using the EMMIE framework (Effectiveness, Mechanisms, Moderators, Implementation and Economy). More...
Political influence of donations
Senate Select Committee into the Political Influence of Donations; Parliament of Australia: 06 June 2018
This inquiry focused upon the level of influence that political donations exert over the public policy decisions of political parties, Members of Parliament and government administration. More...
Exposure Draft—Copyright Amendment (Service
Providers) Regulations 2018: consultation paper
Department of Communications and the Arts (Australia): 05 June 2018
This consultation paper sets out some specific matters in relation to which stakeholder views are sought. However submissions are welcomed on any aspect of the Exposure Draft, and more generally, on whether the Exposure Draft is fit for purpose. More...
Disability support services: services provided under the
National Disability Agreement 2016–17
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: 01 June 2018
While the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is expected to largely replace the current provision of services to people with disability under the National Disability Agreement (NDA), many people were still receiving support under the NDA in 2016–17. More...
Organised crime research in Australia 2018
Russell G. Smith; Australian Institute of Criminology: 01 June 2018
This collection of papers, presented at the second national Organised Crime Research Forum, draws on the insights and experiences of organised crime researchers to contribute to the evidence base needed to adapt and develop ever more effective responses to the threat of organised crime. More...
Inquiry into class action proceedings and third-party
litigation funders: discussion paper
Australian Law Reform Commission: 31 May 2018
The ALRC invites submissions in response to the proposals, commentary, analysis and questions in this discussion paper, which examines the increased prevalence of class action proceedings; the importance that costs in these matters are appropriate and proportionate; and the need to protect the interest of plaintiffs and class members. More...
Serious Offenders Bill 2018
Alice Petrie; Parliamentary Library and Information Service (Vic): 30 May 2018
The Serious Offenders Bill 2018 was introduced to the Victorian Legislative Assembly on 8 May 2018. It seeks to establish a civil, protective scheme under which offenders who have served custodial sentences for certain serious sexual and/or violent offences, and who present an unacceptable risk of harm to the community, can be made subject to ongoing detention or supervision. More...
Identity crime and misuse in Australia: results of the
2016 online survey
Russell G. Smith, Penny Jorna; Australian Institute of Criminology: 24 May 2018
This report presents the results of the latest identity crime and misuse survey, undertaken by the AIC in May 2016. It updates information obtained in earlier surveys, undertaken in 2013 and 2014, and provides an indication of how the identity crime and misuse of personal information environment has changed in Australia since 2013. More...
'Sentencing advocacy: all your questions
Justice James D Henry, Judge Leanne Clare SC, and Judge Gregory Lynham
This paper was presented to the 2018 NQLA Conference in Cairns on 26 May 2018. More...
Svanda v Commissioner of Police, NSW Police
Force  NSWCATAP
APPEAL –– access to government information - role of Tribunal when reviewing an administratively reviewable decision – whether the Tribunal is reviewing a decision on the basis of the factual material before the administrator or on the basis of the factual material before the Tribunal – whether agency is obliged to give the Tribunal a copy of all the information to which the applicant has been given access.
Kaye v Health Care Complaints Commission
 NSWCATAP 146
APPEAL – question of law – whether the Tribunal exercised its discretion in a manner which was so unreasonable that the decision should be set aside – whether Tribunal breached the rules of procedural fairness .
Shoebridge v Office of Environment and
Heritage  NSWCATAP
GOVERNMENT INFORMATION - where agency decided not to determine an application for a discount to a processing charge until it was ready to make a decision on access to the information – whether that 'decision' was 'a decision to refuse a reduction in a processing charge' under s 80(k) of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 - whether decision was "a decision to refuse to deal with an access application" under s 80(c) – NCAT's administrative review jurisdiction – appeal from obiter dicta – advisory opinions.
Shoebridge v Commissioner of Police, NSW Police Force
(No. 3)  NSWCATAD
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 – Government Information – Access – Confidential information –Cabinet material – Position Minister has taken is taking will take is considering taking to Cabinet – Deliberative process – Process concluded – Weight of evidence when process concluded.
CME v The University of Technology Sydney
 NSWCATAD 113
Administrative Law – Privacy – publication of tribunal decision – collection - use – disclosure - the "open-court" principle - whether non-compliance is lawfully authorised or required - whether publication of a decision relates to the judicial function of tribunal.
Chapman v Safework NSW
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - High Risk Work Licence – Dogging – Forklift Trucks – Bridge and Gantry Crane – renewal documents not received by applicant - whether exceptional circumstances to allow late lodgement of renewal application.
Luk v Commissioner of Police, New South Wales Police
Force  NSWCATAD
STATUTORY INTERPRETATION – security industry licensing – mandatory licence revocation provisions – whether applicable - expressio unius. WORDS AND PHRASES – "intimidation" – "menacing"-"objective facts".
Summersford v Commissioner of Police
 NSWCA 115
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Police Act 1990 (NSW) Part 8A – obligation to accord procedural fairness to police officer the subject of an anonymous complaint under Part 8A – Police Act 1990 (NSW) s 173 – decision to take non-reviewable action against a police officer – content of procedural fairness where non-reviewable action taken – Police Act 1990 (NSW) s 169A – meaning of "complainant" – Police Regulation 2008 (NSW) cl 53 – Police Regulation 2015 (NSW) cl 54 – obligation of non-disclosure of the identity of complainants – whether procedural fairness required disclosure of the identity of complainants and investigation reports in the circumstances of the case COSTS – Uniform Civil Procedure Rules r 42.1 – where there has been a mixed result in proceedings.
Tomislav & Ranka Divljak (trading as DTR Ceilings)
v Workers Compensation Commission & Ors
 NSWSC 760
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW — judicial review — implied statutory obligation to give reasons — inadequate reasons — error of law on the face of the record. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW — judicial review — determination of Appeal Panel of Workers Compensation Commission — appeal from Medical Assessor — failure to respond to grounds of appeal — procedural fairness — constructive failure to exercise jurisdiction — determination quashed — matter remitted to fresh appeal panel.
Proclamations commencing Acts
Smoke-free Environment Amendment Act 2018 No 13 (2018-243) — published LW 8 June 2018
Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Amendment (Inmate Searches) Regulation 2018 (2018-245) — published LW 8 June 2018
Election Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures (Adjustable Amounts) Amendment Notice 2018 (2018-247) — published LW 8 June 2018
Bills introduced - Government (08 June 2018)
Crimes Amendment (Publicly Threatening and Inciting Violence) Bill 2018
Criminal Legislation Amendment (Child Sexual Abuse) Bill 2018
Victims Rights and Support Amendment (Statutory Review) Bill 2018
Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament (08 June
Miscellaneous Acts Amendment (Marriages) Bill 2018
Public Health Amendment (Safe Access to Reproductive Health Clinics) Bill 2018
Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2018
Proclamations commencing Acts
Child Protection (Working with Children) Amendment (Statutory Review) Act 2018 No 14 (2018-224) — published LW 1 June 2018
Bills assented to
Electoral Funding Act 2018 No 20 — Assented to 30 May 2018
Click here for the full text of Bills, and details on the passage of Bills.
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.