In the media

Criticising your local council online? You could end up in court
A council in regional Western Australia is the latest to join the list of local governments around the country to allow ratepayer money to fund defamation action against members of the public (28 August 2019). More...

Human element a key factor in data breaches
National figures on data breaches show about one in three data breaches last quarter were caused by compromised credentials, with log in and password information used to gain unauthorised access to personal information (27 August 2019). More...

Jail terms promised in crackdown on NSW farm trespass
The New South Wales Government has introduced 'right to farm' legislation which it says will create the toughest penalties for farm trespass in Australia (20 August 2019). More...

In practice and courts

Practice Directions - High Court of Australia, No 1 of 2019
Reminder: This Practice Direction takes effect in relation to matters set down for hearing after 1 October 2019. In consultation with the respondent and any interveners, the appellant must prepare a joint book of the authorities which reference will be made during the course of oral argument at the hearing of the appeal (August 2019). More...

Draft Religious Freedom Bills
The Australian Government invites submissions on a package of legislative reforms on religious freedom. These are the: Religious Discrimination Bill 2019; Religious Discrimination (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2019 and Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Freedom of Religion) Bill 2019. Submissions on the Bills close on 2 October 2019. More...

Whole of Australian Government Legal Services Panel
The Whole of Australian Government Legal Services Panel commenced on 15 August 2019. Alongside the panel, Commonwealth agencies can use AGS for any legal work at any time. Participating agencies must use the panel for new legal services procurements from 15 August 2019, subject to some exemptions. More...

AAT Bulletin
Issue No. 34/2019, 26 August 2019
The AAT Bulletin is a weekly publication containing a list of recent AAT decisions and information relating to appeals against AAT decisions, including immigration and citizenship. More...

OAIC Submissions
23 August 2019
Developing Standards for Artificial Intelligence: Hearing Australia's Voice — Submission to Standards Australia

Law Council of Australia Submissions
07 August 2019— Law Council - Inquiry into the Impact of the Exercise of Law Enforcement and Intelligence Powers on the Freedom of the Press

Current Senate Inquiries

Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee
The impact of changes to service delivery models on the administration and running of Government programs
Nationhood, national identity and democracy

Environment and Communications References Committee
Press Freedom

ANAO Performance audit in-progress: Defence's management of its public communications and media activities
Due to table: December, 2019. The objective of this audit is to assess the effectiveness and appropriateness of the Department of Defence's (Defence's) management of its public communications and media activities. More...

NSW IPC: Right to Know Day NSW
Right to Know Day is an international annual event held on 28 September that aims to increase awareness of individuals' right of access to government information and open, transparent governance. More...

Local Court Bench Book Update 132 published 21 August 2019.
Civil Trials Bench Book Update 39 19 August 2019.

Report of the Standing Committee on Law and Justice on the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Amendment (Double Jeopardy) Bill 2019
The Standing Committee on Law and Justice has released its report on the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Amendment (Double Jeopardy) Bill 2019 (30 August 2019). More...

Decisions of interest
August 22 2019 - Practice support - The NSW Court of Appeal has just published its latest Decisions of Interest Bulletin on the Court of Appeal website. More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Discussion paper: A model for positive human rights reform
Australian Human Rights Commission: 29 August 2019
This paper outlines what our current system of human rights protections looks like, how it is and isn't effective in ensuring that government respects, protects and fulfils our human rights, why reforming the current system is critical, and options for reform. More...

Australia's implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention
Cat Barker, Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security: 28 August 2019
The recommendations in the two reports provide a useful starting point for consideration of measures to further improve Australia's compliance with the Convention and its broader response to foreign bribery. More...

Young people returning to sentenced youth justice supervision 2017–18
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: 27 August 2019
This research finds that of young people aged 10–17, who were under youth justice supervision at some time from 2000–01 to 2017–18, 41 per cent returned to supervised sentence before turning 18. Of young people aged 10–16 in 2016–17 and released from sentenced community-based supervision, 24 per cent returned to sentenced supervision in 6 months, and 47 per cent within 12 months. More...

Government Advertising: June 2015 to April 2019
ANAO Report No 7: 26 August 2019
The objective of this audit is to assess the effectiveness of the Department of Finance's and selected entities' implementation of the Australian Government's campaign advertising framework. More...

OAIC Corporate Plan 2019–20
23 August 2019 - Our Corporate Plan for 2019–20 sets out our vision for increasing public trust and confidence in the protection of personal information and access to government-held information. More...

Jurors, social media and the right of an accused to a fair trial
Jemma Holt; Tasmania Law Reform Institute: 20 August 2019
Jurors' use of social media and other internet activity during criminal trials is the focus of research underway at the Tasmania Law Reform Institute. There has been limited research in this area in Australia and overseas. The prevalence of juror misconduct of this kind remains largely unknown. More...

Implementation of the 'Smith Review' and progress in strengthening protective security procedures, practices and culture: 12 month follow up review
Peter Vardos; Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Australia): 19 August 2019
This review considers progress to date in strengthening PM&C's protective security procedures, practices and culture protective security culture. It also includes recommendations to guide ongoing efforts to mature protective security culture across the department and broader Australian Public Service. More...


Choi v University of Technology Sydney [2019] NSWCATAD 176
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW — freedom of information — access to information – application for Tribunal to refuse to deal with review application under s 109 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 – application for summary dismissal of review application – Tribunal refused to deal with and dismissed review application.

Murrant v Building Professionals Board [2019] NSWCATOD 130
ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW – accredited certifier – findings of unsatisfactory professional conduct – disciplinary orders.

Harris v Mathieson (in his capacity as an authorised officer under the Water Management Act 2000 (NSW) [2019] NSWSC 1064
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ground of review other than procedural fairness – improper exercise of power – plaintiffs issued with notices from defendant on behalf of the National Resources Access Regulator – notices issued under s 338A Water Management Act 2000 (NSW) – notices required the provision of stipulated information and documents – notices said to be issued as part of an investigation by NRAR into the plaintiffs' water access and use at their two farms – notices said to be issued for the purpose of determining whether there had been compliance with or contravention of identified conditions of the access licence for each of the properties – whether the defendant was entitled to require the plaintiffs to furnish the stipulated information/documents – whether the information/documents were required for the purpose of ascertaining whether the plaintiffs had contravened identified conditions of the respective access licences – notices set aside.

Frost v State of New South Wales, Department of Communities and Justice [2019] NSWCATAD 165
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – principles applying to power to make confidentiality orders – whether Tribunal should dispense with a hearing PROCEDURAL FAIRNESS – apprehended or actual bias - whether Tribunal member should recuse herself.

Turner v Department of Planning and Environment [2019] NSWCATAD 166
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – freedom of information – preliminary draft expert report – whether release could reasonably be expected to prejudice the effective exercise of agency's functions – effect upon availability of experts to assist agency – consideration of broader circumstances where expert does not object to disclosure.

Zidar v NSW Department of Justice (Office of the General Counsel) [2019] NSWCATAD 164
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – access to information – whether respondent holds further information – reasonableness of searches.



Proclamations commencing Acts
Surveillance Devices Amendment (Statutory Review) Act 2018 No 90 (2019-421) — published LW 30 August 2019

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Administrative Arrangements (Administrative Changes—Transfer of EPA Staff) Order 2019 (2019-422) — published LW 30 August 2019
Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Amendment (Prescribed Form) Regulation 2019 (2019-424) — published LW 30 August 2019
Criminal Records Regulation 2019 (2019-425) — published LW 30 August 2019
Subordinate Legislation (Postponement of Repeal) Order (No 2) 2019 (2019-442) — published LW 30 August 2019
Contaminated Land Management (Adjustable Amounts) Notice 2019 (2019-404) — published LW 23 August 2019
Dust Diseases Tribunal Regulation 2019 (2019-405) — published LW 23 August 2019
Film and Television Industry (Advisory Committee) Regulation 2019 (2019-406) — published LW 23 August 2019

Bills introduced Government – 23 August 2019

Children's Guardian Bill 2019

Justice Legislation Amendment Bill 2019
The object of this Bill is to amend various Acts and regulations relating to courts, crimes and other Stronger Communities portfolio matters

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.