In the media
Why Chief Judge Kidd broadcast the Pell sentence
While handing down the six-year jail sentence for Cardinal George Pell, Chief Judge Peter Kidd of the County Court of Victoria explained that the live broadcasting of the sentencing hearing was done in accordance with “transparent and open justice” - something the Law Council of Australia has fully supported (15 March 2019). More...
Alleged terrorists should face ‘full force’
of Australian laws, says Law Council
The Law Council of Australia has issued a media release stating "Australians who have travelled overseas to support terrorist organisations should be allowed back to Australia to face the full force of our laws" (15 March 2019). More...
Australia Post rules out video performance
'monitoring' of staff amid union row
Australia Post has categorically ruled out the use of its extensive CCTV network to monitor the performance of its employees following a row with the powerful Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU) over how surveillance systems can be used in the workplace (14 March 2019). More...
Data breach reports soar under new laws
More than 800 data breaches were reported last year following introduction of the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme. Australian Information Commissioner Angelene Falk says the legislation has been a success, but she urges companies to continue making progress (11 March 2019). More...
In practice and courts
Current Senate Inquiries
National Integrity Commission Bill 2018 [Provisions],
National Integrity (Parliamentary Standards) Bill 2018
[Provisions], and National Integrity Commission Bill 2018 (No.
The Senate has referred both Bills to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 5 April 2019. More...
Resolution of disputes with financial service providers
within the justice system
On 14 February 2019, the Senate referred the resolution of disputes with financial service providers within the justice system matter to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 8 April 2019. More...
Review of Model Defamation Provisions: Discussion
The purpose of defamation law is to balance protection from reputational damage with freedom of speech, and the release of information that's considered public interest. Each state and territory enacted legislation to implement the provisions to ensure greater national consistency.
The Review of Model Defamation Provisions Discussion Paper, available here, includes specific questions about the Model Defamation Provisions for your consideration; however, you are invited to comment on any other matters related to the provisions. Submissions close on 30 April 2019. The Model Defamation Provisions are available on the Australasian Parliamentary Counsel's Committee website which can be found here.
Family Law Amendment (Family Violence and
Cross-examination of Parties) Act 2018
Commenced on 11 March 2019.
The amendments protect victims of family violence by banning personal cross-examination in certain circumstances in family law proceedings, and requiring instead that cross examination be conducted by a legal representative. More...
ACMA Scam project underway
An Australian Government project to reduce harmful scam activity has released its Terms of Reference. A discussion paper will be released by the ACMA in the coming weeks seeking views from consumers, industry and government (12 March 2019). More...
AAT: New procedures for small business taxation
There is a new division at the AAT, in operation from 1 March 2019. The Small Business Taxation Division (SBTD) applicants will have a case manager once they have applied to the AAT. They will pay a reduced application fee and, after the hearing process is concluded, decisions will be finalised within 28 days. See the new practice direction here and guide here for small business taxation decisions. Find out more about the new SBTD, including how to apply here.
AAT Bulletins 2019
The AAT Bulletin is a weekly publication containing a list of recent AAT decisions and information relating to appeals against AAT decisions
Issue No. 10/2019, 11 March 2019
Issue No. 9/2019, 4 March 2019
Combatting Child Sexual Exploitation Legislation
Amendment Bill 2019
On 14 February 2019, the Senate referred the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Removing Discrimination Against Students) Bill 2018 to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 22 March 2019. More...
2019 COAT National Conference
The 2019 Council of Australasian Tribunals (COAT) National Conference will be held 6 – 7 June in Melbourne. More...
Review of the Telecommunication and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018, Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. This review is in addition to two separate statutory reviews, amendments to include a review due to commence by April 2019. More...
Freedom of Speech Legislation Amendment (Censorship)
Bill 2018, Freedom of Speech Legislation Amendment (Insult and
Offend) Bill 2018, Freedom of Speech Legislation Amendment
(Security) Bill 2018
On 3 December 2018, the Senate extended the committee's reporting date to 8 March 2019. More...
Department of Justice Consultation
Review of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 2003 (Qld) – Discussion paper 2. Have your say on Discussion Paper 2 Registration of life events: Functions and powers of the Registrar and the use and disclosure of information. Submissions close 23 April 2019. More...
Corruption in focus: A guide to dealing with corrupt
conduct in the Queensland public sector
Corruption in focus has been updated to reflect some major changes to the Crime and Corruption Act 2001. Two key amendments relevant to UPAs are: a new section 40A, which includes an additional record-keeping requirement (which came into effect on 9 November 2018), and a new definition of corrupt conduct in section 15 (which will come into effect from 1 March 2019). More...
OIC Queensland: Current cases
No corruption or police misconduct in traffic infringement withdrawal - 1 March 2019.
QAO advice: How to prepare for a performance audit
Are you a public sector entity or local government about to participate in a performance audit? Read on to understand more about what a performance audit is and how to prepare for one (01 March 2019). More...
QAO advice: Beware fraudulent emails
Do you have internal controls in place to protect your entity or council against fraudulent email attempts? (14 March 2019). More...
QLS Practice Note
11 March 2019 - Guidance Statement No.12 – Conflicts of interest in criminal and Crime and Corruption Commission proceedings.
Published - articles, papers, reports
Image-based sexual abuse: Victims and perpetrators
Nicola Henry, Asher Flynn, Anastasia Powell; Australian Institute of Criminology: 07 March 2019
Image-based sexual abuse (IBSA) refers to the non-consensual creation, distribution or threatened distribution of nude or sexual images. This research examines the prevalence, nature and impacts of IBSA victimisation and perpetration in Australia. More...
The women’s health tech boom: How private is my
Norman Swan, Ariel Bogle, Olivia Willis; Health Report: 04 March 2019
Mobile and health devices are being used by women to collect sensitive information. This edition of the Health Report explores the industry health claims and questions about data security and privacy. More...
Report on Justice Legislation (Links to Terrorist
Activity) Amendment Bill 2018 (Qld)
Introduced by Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee, Report No. 30, March 2019. More...
Chief Justice Kiefel AC, 'Aspects of the
relationship between the law, economic development and social
change and the importance of stability'.
Delivered at 2019 Queensland Bar Association Conference, Brisbane, on 2 March 2019. More...
'QA' and Australian
Securities and Investments Commission (Freedom of
information)  AICmr 12
Freedom of Information — Whether documents subject to legal professional privilege — Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth), s 42.
'PZ' and Australian
Criminal Intelligence Commission (Freedom of
information)  AICmr 11
Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of an agency — Whether disclosure is contrary to the public interest — Whether material in documents irrelevant to the request — Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) ss 11A, 22 and 47E(d).
'PY' and Department of
Home Affairs (Freedom of information) 
Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of an agency — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth), ss 11A(5) and 47E(d).
Reece Walters and Great Barrier
Reef Marine Park Authority (Freedom of
information)  AICmr
Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure could cause damage to the international relations of the Commonwealth — Whether disclosure would divulge any information or matter communicated in confidence by a foreign government or an international organisation to the Commonwealth — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of an agency — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) ss 11A(5), 33(a)(iii), 33(b), 47E(d), 47F and 55D(1).
'PX' and Australian
Federal Police (Freedom of information)
 AICmr 8
Freedom of Information — Access to edited copy of document — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents — Whether material in documents irrelevant to the request — Whether disclosure would or could reasonably be expected to cause damage to Commonwealth-State relations — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the conduct of the operations of an agency — Whether disclosure of personal information unreasonable — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect an organisation in respect of its lawful business affairs — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth), ss 11A(5), 22, 24A, 47B, 47E, 47F and 47G.
Amanda Hay and Australian Bureau
of Statistics (Freedom of information) 
Freedom of Information — Whether material in documents irrelevant to the request — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative purpose — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the management or assessment of personnel — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether the ABS has discharged its onus — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) ss 11A(5), 22, 47C, 47E(c), 47F and 55D.
Federal Treasury Enterprise
(FKP) Sojuzplodoimport v Spirits International B.V. (No
6)  FCA 337
PRIVILEGE – application for production of unredacted documents – whether cross-claimants waived legal professional privilege over redacted portions of documents produced under notices to produce – where entire documents would otherwise attract legal professional privilege.
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – application for suppression and non-publication order – whether order necessary for proper administration of justice – where order sought over portions of documents originally redacted on claim of legal professional privilege – where order originally sought on interim basis. Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) ss 37AE, 37AF, 37AG, 37AI.
Crime and Corruption Commission
v Carless & Anor  QCAT
POLICE – INTERNAL ADMINISTRATION – DISCIPLINE AND DISMISSAL FOR MISCONDUCT – QUEENSLAND – where a sanction was imposed by an Acting Deputy Commissioner on a police officer for misconduct – where an application for review of the sanction was made by the Crime And Corruption Commission – where an off duty police officer was removed from licensed premises for harassing patrons, and struggled with security staff and police – whether the sanction was adequate – where the approach towards police discipline was discussed.
A v Central Queensland Network
Authorised Mental Health Service and Anor
 QSC 15
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – JUDICIAL REVIEW – APPLICATION FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW – where applicant seeks reasons for decisions relating to his detention under the Mental Health Act 2016 (Qld) - where applicant seeks an application for an order to comply under section 38 of the Judicial Review Act 1991 (Qld) – whether respondents made relevant decisions - whether decisions are reviewable - whether decisions were spent for decisions – whether applicant has been denied natural justice – where attorney-general’s certificate preventing disclosure was issued.
Electoral and Referendum Amendment
(Modernisation) Regulations 2019
07/03/2019 - These regulations amend the Electoral and Referendum Regulation 2016 to remove the voluntary qualification checklist provisions with respect to the candidate nomination form. The regulations also correct a number of minor formatting and footnote errors in the Senate ballot-paper Form E.
Electoral Legislation Amendment
(Modernisation and Other Measures) Bill
Amends the: Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to: make completion of a qualification checklist compulsory in relation to candidate nominations; enable candidates to lodge their nominations and certain other documents electronically; and allow a senior Australian Electoral Commission staff member rather than a senior Divisional Returning Officer to be on the Redistribution Committee for the Australian Capital Territory; and Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 and Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984 to amend various aspects of voting and scrutiny processes. Progress Assent Act no: 2 Year: 2019 01 March 2019.
Parliamentary Service Amendment
(Post-election Report) Bill 2018
Amends the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 to change the deadline for publishing the post-election report of election commitments, which is prepared and published by the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO), from before the end of 30 days after the end of the caretaker period for a general election to the later of either 30 days after the end of the caretaker period for the general election to which the report relates or 7 days before the first sitting day of either or both Houses of the Parliament after the general election to which the report relates.
Progress Assent Act no: 4 Year: 2019 01 March 2019.
Human Rights Bill 2018
Introduced by: Hon Y D'Ath MP on 31/10/2018
Stage reached: Passed on 27/02/2019 Assent Date: 7/03/2019
Act No: 5 of 2019
Commences: by Proclamation
See the Act here Human Rights Act 2019
Subordinate legislation as made – 15 March
No 22 National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Commonwealth Powers) Regulation 2019
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.