In the media

Human factor dominates latest data breach statistics
Data breaches attributed to human error continue to increase according to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner's latest Notifiable Data Breaches Report. Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk said 38 per cent of all data breaches notified during the period were attributed to human error (28 January 2021). More...

Australia takes on Google advertising dominance in latest Big Tech fight
An Australian regulator is considering letting internet users choose what personal data companies like Google share with advertisers, as part of the country's attempts to shatter the dominance of tech titans. The ACCC also proposed limiting the internet giants' ability to access users' online histories to cross-sell products (28 January 2021). More...

Information Commissioner orders compensation payable by Home Affairs for breaching detainees' privacy
The Department of Home Affairs (formerly the Department of Immigration and Border Protection) has been found to have interfered with the privacy of 9,251 detainees in immigration detention by mistakenly releasing their personal information (27 January 2021). More...

Commission reports on PS productivity
The Productivity Commission has begun the release of its latest report on public services, providing a report card on the equity, effectiveness and efficiency of Government services across Australia (26 January 2021). More...

Law Council calls on government to Raise the Age
The call by 31 countries meeting at the United Nations Universal Periodic Review that Australia raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility, is a stark reminder that Australia is falling behind the rest of the world in dealing with juvenile offenders (21 January 2021). More...

Law Council welcomes appointment of Acting Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security
The Law Council of Australia welcomes Hon Dr Christopher Jessup QC commencement as Acting Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security to the role that is responsible with conducting independent operational oversight of the legality and propriety of agencies' activities (18 January 2021). More...

Privacy Commissioner calls for law changes
The Australian Information Commissioner is calling for changes to be made to Australia's privacy laws to ensure privacy protections are consistent with the nation's values. Ms Falk said the submission also recommended reforms to ensure it could take proportionate regulatory action through broadening the jurisdiction of the courts to hear privacy matters (18 January 2021). More...

Health sector targeted for cyber-crime
The Australian Cyber Security Centre has published a security snapshot of key cyber threats in the health sector, advising hospitals, research organisations and others on how to protect themselves from cyber security threats (11 February 2021). More...

New fund supports LGBTIQ+ sector in COVID-19 recovery
The Andrews Labor Government is giving businesses and organisations that cater to Victoria's LGBTIQ+ communities a funding boost to help them recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic (09 February 2021). More...

Energy suppliers to face tougher laws
Ms Savage said the new and stronger penalties were introduced provide greater incentives for businesses to comply with laws designed to protect Australian electricity and gas consumers. he new penalty regime aligns energy laws more closely with other regimes for consumer protection and market regulation, and provides a significant scaling up of the penalties available to the courts and the AER (08 February 2021). More...

Long overdue laws to decriminalise public drunkenness before Victorian Parliament
Reforms to decriminalise public drunkenness will be debated in the Victorian Parliament. Victoria is one of only two states in Australia yet to act on the recommendation of the Royal Commission (02 February 2021). More...

In practice and courts

AAT Bulletin
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
Issue No. 1/2021, 1 January 2021
Issue No. 3/2021, 8 February 2021

Federal Court of Australia – updates
The February Full Court and Appellate sitting period commenced on Monday, 1 February 2021.
Streaming pilot
The Court is preparing to roll out a streaming platform, to be piloted in some upcoming Full Court matters. The platform will enable the members of the public to live stream a hearing via a fixed link accessible on the Court list and the Court's website, avoiding the need to obtain access to a specific Teams link and reducing the complexity of admitting and managing numerous parties in a Teams meeting.

Commonwealth Integrity Commission: Consultation draft
The Australian Government has released an exposure draft of legislation to establish the new Commonwealth Integrity Commission (CIC) and make other consequences legislative amendments. A fact sheet about the key features of the CIC has also been released. The consultation page includes links to the draft legislation and further information about other issues under consideration. Closing date 12 February 2021


Library Bulletin
The Law Library of Victoria produces a fortnightly bulletin that summarises the latest legislation and cases for the Victorian jurisdiction, as well as High Court of Australia cases
Law Library Bulletin No 1 (fortnight ending 29 January 2021)
Law Library Bulletin No 2 (fortnight ending 12 February 2021)

Inquiry into the Use of Cannabis in Victoria – have your say
The reporting date for this inquiry has been extended to 1 June 2021. Once the report is tabled in Parliament, an electronic copy will be available for download from the Report page.

Inquiry into Management of Child Sex Offender Information – have your say
The reporting date for this inquiry has been extended to 30 August 2021. Once the report is tabled in Parliament, an electronic copy will be available for download from the Report page.

Inquiry into the Victorian Government's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic – have your say
See the schedule here for the COVID-19 Inquiry and 2020-21 Budget Estimates Inquiry hearings.
Following further public hearings, the committee will present another report to the Parliament by 29 January 2021

COVID: Magistrates' Court of Victoria – Practice Direction 9 – diversion on the Papers
The updated Practice Direction is available on the Court's website here. Also, the Chief Magistrate has extended the Modified Access and Procedure Order until 25 April 2021 pursuant to section 33D of the Open Courts Act 2013 (Vic). A copy of the MAP is available on the Court's website here.

Published – articles, papers, reports

Productivity Commission: Report on Government Services 2021
The annual Report on Government Services provides information on the equity, effectiveness and efficiency of government services in Australia
20 January 2021 – Part F Community services (includes aged care, disability, child protection and youth justice)
22 January 2021 – Part C Justice (includes police, courts and corrective services)
(January 2021). More...

Notifiable Data Breaches report
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC): 28 January 2021
The OAIC received 539 data breach notifications from July to December 2020, an increase of 5 per cent on the previous six months (512). 38 per cent of all data breaches notified during the period were attributed to human error. More...

2021 State of reconciliation in Australia report
Reconciliation Australia: 18 January 2021
This report assesses the current status of reconciliation and outlines some practical actions that need to be taken in order to continue to progress the reconciliation process. More...

Commonwealth Ombudsman reports
05/02/2021 A report on the Commonwealth Ombudsman's monitoring of agency access to stored communications and telecommunications data under Chapters 3 and 4 of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979
For the period: 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019


'WP' and Secretary to the Department of Home Affairs (Privacy) [2021] AICmr 2
Privacy – Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) – Information Privacy Principles – IPP 4 – data security failure – IPP 11 – unauthorised disclosure of personal information – breaches substantiated – compensation awarded – s 52(4)(a) – manner in which the amount of compensation payable to class members is to be calculated – s 52(5)(b) – process for determining any dispute regarding the entitlement of a class member to the payment.



Privacy Act 1988
20/01/2021 – Act No. 119 of 1988 as amended


Victorian legislation can be accessed here.

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.