In the media

Health privacy gets its own guide
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has released a new guide to health privacy to help keep patients' personal information safe. The guide brings together a wide range of OAIC advice for all health service providers covered by the Privacy Act 1988 (10 October 2019). More...

'Robodebt' practices are flawed and causing harm, ALA tells senate committee
Centrelink's Automatic Debt Raising and Recovery System, known as 'robodebt', is flawed and is causing serious harm in the community, the Australian Lawyers Alliance told the Senate Community Affairs Committee inquiry into the Centrelink Compliance Program (09 October 2019). More...

Birth certificates changing lives
Nearly 1,000 people from vulnerable and Indigenous communities have benefited from free birth certificates in 2018-19, helping them to access potentially life changing services (08 October 2019). More...

HRLC: NSW anti-protest laws will damage democracy
NSW parliament should not pass a proposed law that would unfairly and unreasonably impact on peoples' freedom to peacefully protest (03 October 2019). More...

The NSW Information Commissioner Right to Know Week NSW 2019
The NSW Information Commissioner released the results of the NSW Community Attitudes research to Government Information and launches a Citizen Checklist in Right to Know Week NSW 2019 (02 October 2019). More...

HRLC: Attorney-General's announcement provides cold comfort on press freedom
Journalists and whistleblowers will continue to face prosecution and jail time for revealing government misconduct and abuse, despite the Attorney-General's announcement, warned the Human Rights Law Centre (01 October 2019). More...

In practice and courts

Administrative Law – Practice Support
The NSW Court of Appeal has published a new resource for practitioners on administrative law (October 2019). More...

NSW Fair Trading
The Building Professionals Board's website will permanently close from 2 October, and visitors will be redirected to the NSW Fair Trading website. You're encouraged to visit the certifier section of the NSW Fair Trading website and update any weblinks and bookmarks. The website closure is part of the Board's integration into NSW Fair Trading.

NSW IPC checklist: Tips for framing your information access application
The released checklist includes key information that is often overlooked by applicants and can potentially cause their application to be rejected specifically due to an unreasonable and substantial diversion of resources for the agency (02 October 2019). More...

Published - articles, papers, reports

Cabinet Handbook – 13th edition
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Australia): 08 October 2019
This handbook is designed to ensure that the Cabinet observes conventions and principles and fulfils its central purpose of informed decision-making. More...

The Australian Academy of the Humanities submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Reference
Committee Inquiry into Nationhood, National Identity and Democracy;
Australian Academy of the Humanities: 01 October 2019
This resource is the Australian Academy of the Humanities submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Reference Committee Inquiry into Nationhood, National Identity and Democracy. More...

DASSH response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Nationhood, National Identity and Democracy (2019)
Australasian Council of Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities: 30 September 2019
This response will focus on the role of HASS education in promoting, strengthening and securing the ongoing stability of democracy and democratic values in the Australian nation. More...

Legal framework for Defence administrative inquiries into a 'matter concerning the Defence Force': A quick guide
APH Law and Bills Digest Section: 02 October 2019
This paper sets out the four different methods of conducting a general administrative inquiry into 'a matter concerning the Defence Force'. The first two methods are internal inquiries used by, and subject to, the ordinary chain of command. The last two methods are independent inquiries external to the ordinary chain of command. More...


Paul Farrell and Department of Home Affairs (No 6) [2019] AICmr 66
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION – whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative purpose – Whether disclosure of personal information unreasonable – Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents – Freedom of Information Act 1982 (CTH) ss 11A(5), 47C and 47F

Paul Farrell and Department of Home Affairs (No 5) [2019] AICmr 65
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION – whether disclosure would disclose commercially valuable information – 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 unreasonable – Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents – Freedom of Information Act 1982(CTH) ss 11A, 47, 47E(d) and 47F

Taylor v Department of Health [2019] FCA 1588
HUMAN RIGHTS – application for interlocutory injunctive relief in relation to claims of disability discrimination and adverse actions arising from the Department of Health 's treatment of an application for registration in the Australian General Practice Training Program – objection to competency on the basis the Court does not have jurisdiction – claims brought under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) – no employment or prospective employment relationship – no termination of the disability discrimination complaint by the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission – whether jurisdiction under s 39B(1A)(c) of the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth) – objection to competency upheld

Burns v Gaynor (No. 2) [2019] NSWDC 552
TORT – defamation – remedies for Facebook publications – plaintiff brings proceedings for defamation (in the District Court) and for remedies under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) (in the NCAT) against a Facebook account holder the first defendant) and against the second defendant for his part of the publication on the first defendant's Facebook page – publication pleaded as being downloaded by four of the other participants in the Facebook debate – plaintiff obtains damages award in the NCAT and settles his claim in the defamation proceedings against the first defendant, who was the Facebook account holder – remaining defendant seeks dismissal of the claim as an abuse of process – plaintiff seeks summary dismissal of the defence – whether action liable to be dismissed as an abuse of process on the grounds of proportionality –whether multiple proceedings for different causes of action arising from the same publication may amount to abuse of process – whether the court resources required to determine the claim will be out of all proportion to the interest at stake – trial issues may include consideration of overlapping heads of damage and s 38 Defamation Act issues – likelihood that damages awarded would be very small – proceedings dismissed on the principles of proportionality

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council v Waite [2019] NSWLEC 146
CRIMINAL OFFENCES – voir dire as to the admissibility of a record of interview in criminal proceedings – whether evidence inadmissible by reason of a failure of the council to advise the accused of his privilege against self-incrimination as required under statute – whether accused required to answer questions or whether interview voluntary.
EVIDENCE – whether record of interview was illegally or improperly obtained – whether admissions contained in record of interview should be excluded on discretionary grounds.

La Valette v Chambers-Grundy [2019] NSWSC 1355
CIVIL PROCEDURE – issue of notice to produce documents recording communications with overseas medical practitioners – whether merely a fishing expedition
PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW – application for leave to serve subpoenas and accompanying letters of request in Bermuda, Nevada, Florida and California for production of medical records – whether jurisdiction pursuant to the Hague Evidence Convention or inherent jurisdiction of the court

Zoran Divis v Georgia Knight & Ors [2019] NSWSC 1344
Dismissal of proceedings, Judicial Immunity, Witness Immunity, Police Officers as Defendants

Commandeur v Building Professionals Board [2019] NSWCATOD 152
ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW – accredited certifier – findings of unsatisfactory professional conduct – disciplinary orders

Fisher v Commissioner of Police, NSW Police Force [2019] NSWCATAD 205
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Freedom of Information – access to information – scope of the application – personal information – sufficiency of searches – prejudice to future supply of information from informants – prejudice to prevention, detection or investigation of a contravention or enforcement of the law

DRO v South Coast Medical Aboriginal Corporation [2019] NSWCATAD 204
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – review under section 245 Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW) – child protection – care and protection of children – cancellation of authorisation as an authorised carer

Ekila v Commissioner of Police, NSW Police Force [2019] NSWCATOD 150
ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW – occupational licensing – security licence – revocation – whether applicant fit and proper person – whether contrary to public interest for applicant to hold a security licence


Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Administrative Arrangements (Administration of Acts—Amendment No 2) Order 2019 (2019-495) – published LW 11 October 2019
Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Amendment No 6) Rule 2019 (2019-496) – published LW 11 October 2019
Rule 42 Inspections of documents in Registry Insert "(other than a sound recording)" after "record" in paragraph (d) of the definition of public access document in rule 42(8)
Education Amendment (Non-Government Schools) Regulation 2019 (2019-497) – published LW 11 October 2019
Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Amendment (Custody Notification Service) Regulation 2019 (2019-500) – published LW 11 October 2019
Civil Liability (Non-economic Loss) Amendment Order 2019 (2019-485) – published LW 1 October 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.