In the media

No further delay for euthanasia laws as blueprint is finalised
The Queensland Law Reform Commission appears on track to deliver draft voluntary assisted dying laws next month. (09 April 2021). More...

Queensland Government orders review of sentencing for serious violent crimes
The Palaszczuk Government is maintaining a strong stance on violent crime, directing the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council (QSAC) to undertake a review and provide recommendations concerning how serious offenders are sentenced in Queensland (09 April 2021). More...

Council to review the serious violent offences scheme
The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council has been asked by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, for its advice on the serious violent offences scheme. The Terms of Reference ask the Council to consider a number of matters related to the serious violent offences (SVO) scheme in the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (09 April 2021). More...

LCA: Government recognises need for cultural change to sexual harassment laws
The Law Council of Australia welcomes the Federal Government's engagement with the important issue of sexual harassment as a matter for the national agenda. Recent events have emphasised that fresh and comprehensive responses are required to drive the necessary, and overdue, cultural change (08 April 2021). More...

Pollies, judges must fall into line under new sexual harassment laws
Politicians and judges will be subject to the same sexual harassment laws as the wider population under major workplace reforms (08 April 2021). More...

Australian Government's response to Respect @Work report
In 'A Roadmap for Respect: Preventing and Addressing Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces' (the Roadmap for Respect), the Government provides its response and sets out its long-term commitment to preventing and addressing sexual harassment (08 April 2021). More...

Commission welcomes response to Respect@Work Report
The AHRC welcomes the considered and constructive response to the 55 recommendations made in its 2020 Respect@Work Report on the National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces. The Report and the Federal Government's response, with whole of community buy in, paves the way for globally ground-breaking reform on workplace sexual harassment (08 April 2021). More...

DTA renews MOU with AIIA
The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has signed an ongoing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), aimed at maintaining collaboration between the public sector and the ICT industry to deliver world class citizen and Government digital services that benefits Australia's digital industry (08 April 2021). More...

Own Motion Investigation into Services Australia's Income Compliance Program: A report about Services Australia's implementation of changes to the program in 2019 and 2020
The Ombudsman investigated Services Australia's administration of the Income Compliance Program to seek assurance that Services Australia's processes for identifying and refunding debts raised using income averaging was, and continues to be, fair and transparent. (06 April 2021). More...

LCA: A national response to family, domestic and sexual violence is needed
LCA says many of the report's 88 recommendations aim to address the insidious and ubiquitous problem of family violence on a national level, but it is disappointing that the report did not consider or call for additional funding for the courts to adequately address family violence in the justice system (06 April 2021). More...

New Federation website goes National
A new source of information about the architecture of Australia's Federal relations has been launched by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Opening the new website '', PM&C said it provided the latest updates on the National Cabinet, the National Federation Reform Council and other intergovernmental bodies (05 April 2021). More...

Agencies unveil staff census numbers
The APSC has released the 2020 APS Employee Census reports collected by most APS Agencies as well as the combined APS-wide report. APS Commissioner congratulated the Agencies that chose to reveal their data, to demonstrate its commitment to transparency and accountability (05 April 2021). More...

Law reformers cut to the chase
The ALRC has adopted a new approach to consultation as a way of encouraging greater engagement with a wider cross-section of academics, legal professionals and the community. The ALRC will be seeking formal submissions in response to the new law reform proposals and consultation questions set out in the Consultation Paper to be released at the end of April. (05 April 2021). More...

Comcare guide to beat workplace harassment
Comcare has released a guidance resource to help employers, managers, supervisors and workers prevent and respond to sexual harassment in the workplace (05 April 2021). More...

Queensland's animal welfare laws under review
Queenslanders have been invited to have their say as the Palaszczuk Government initiates a major review of animal welfare laws to ensure Queensland laws keep pace with community expectations (04 April 2021). More...

533 million Facebook users' phone numbers and personal data have been leaked online
The personal data of over 500 million Facebook users has been posted online in a low-level hacking forum. The data includes phone numbers, full names, location, email address, and biographical information, and could be used by hackers to impersonate people and commit fraud (03 April 2021). More...

Appointment to the Family Court of Australia
Judge Paul Anthony Howard has been appointed as a judge of the Family Court of Australia. Judge Howard has been appointed to the Brisbane registry and will commence on 6 April 2021. The appointment of Judge Howard elevates him from his current position as a judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (FCC) (01 April 2021). More...

Reappointment of Sex Discrimination Commissioner and Age Discrimination Commissioner
Attorney-General Michaelia Cash congratulates Ms Kate Jenkins and the Hon Dr Kay Patterson AO on their reappointment as Commissioners of the Australian Human Rights Commission (01 April 2021). More...

Appointment to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia
Senior Registrar Colin Campbell, Ms Jennifer Howe and Mr Jonathan Davis QC have been appointed as judges of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, commencing 6 April 2021 (01 April 2021). More...

Mandated Check In Qld to aid contact tracing at pubs, restaurants and cafes
The Palaszczuk Government's new COVID-Safe check-in app will be mandated for most hospitality businesses across Queensland from 1 May to assist with contact tracing efforts (31 March 2021). More...

Latest sentencing research tells it as it is
Latest research by the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council shows that while fewer Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are committing offences overall, those who are, are more likely to receive a sentence of imprisonment (31 March 2021). More...

New regulatory technology could apply to communications and media sectors
An ACMA research paper has found advances in regulatory technology, such as artificial intelligence (Al) , have application in the Australian communications and media sectors in areas such as compliance, reporting and risk management outcomes (30 March 2021). More...

ALRC: New judicial impartiality background papers released
Two new background papers for the review into judicial impartiality have now been released (30 March 2021). More...

'New look' for ALRC consultation documents
The ALRC has instigated a new approach to consultation documentation to encourage greater engagement with a wider cross-section of academics, the legal profession, and the community (30 March 2021). More...

ICAC investigates alleged threats by state MP over family property
The corruption watchdog will investigate whether NSW MP John Sidoti made "threats" to councillors at Canada Bay Council to pursue his personal interests (29 March 2021). More...

In practice and courts

Law Council of Australia Submissions
31 March 2021— Law Council. More...

Law Council update
The Law Council produces a fortnighly newsletter which highlights the Law Council's important activities and advocacy. View the latest edition here.

AAT Bulletin
The AAT Bulletin is a weekly publication containing a list of recent AAT decisions and information relating to appeals against AAT decisions. Issue No. 7/2021, 6 April 2021. More...

AustLII cyber law on the map
AustLII has announced the upcoming launch of the Cyber Law Map, an annotated guide to Australian cyber-related legislation and case law which is intended to be an evolving wiki categorising cyber law and case information. The non-commercial venture is to be launched on 25 March and will be freely available. More...

AHRC: Independent review into Commonwealth parliamentary workplaces
The Commission will not be investigating nor making findings about individual allegations of bullying, sexual harassment or sexual assault as part of the Review. The Commission will report on its findings and recommendations in a report to be tabled in Parliament in November 2021. The Terms of Reference outline the scope of the Review in more detail. More...

OAIC: Independent review of the Credit Reporting Code
In April 2021, the Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner will tender for an independent review of the Privacy (Credit Reporting) Code 2014 (the CR Code). This review is an opportunity to explore how the CR Code is operating in practice. More...

OAIC submissions and reports
Digital Advertising Services Inquiry – Interim Report
1 April 2021 - Digital Advertising Services Inquiry – Interim Report. More...

OAIC: Independent review of the Credit Reporting Code
In April 2021, the Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner will tender for an independent review of the Privacy (Credit Reporting) Code 2014 (the CR Code). This review is an opportunity to explore how the CR Code is operating in practice. More...

OAIC: Our FOI disclosure log
The information described in our disclosure log has been released by the OAIC under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act): updated 08 April 2021. More...

ANAO Consultations
Due to table: April, 2021 Open for contribution Administration of the National Bushfire Recovery Agency The objective of this audit is to assess the effectiveness of the National Bushfire Recovery Agency and its administration of the National Bushfire Recovery Fund. Due to table: May, 2021 Open for contribution - Australian National University's Governance and Control Frameworks - The objective of this audit is to examine the effectiveness of the Australian National University's governance and control frameworks.

ACMA reminder, NBN consumer experience rules
ACMA has enhanced NBN consumer experience rules to protect Australians during the final phase of the NBN migration. The enhancements have been made to the following rules: Service Continuity Standard; Service Migration Determination; Consumer Information Standard; Complaints Handling Standard. The enhancements to the Service Continuity Standard and Service Migration Determination will start on 14 December 2020, while most enhancements to the Complaints Handling Standard and Consumer Information Standard will start on 1 April 2021. More...

LSC: Regulation of litigation funding schemes
The Legal Services Council has amended the Legal Profession Uniform General Rules 2015 with effect from 22 August 2020 so the prohibitions in s 258(1) and (3) of the Legal Profession Uniform Law do not apply in relation to litigation funding schemes now regulated as managed investment schemes. The new rule will operate for 12 months to allow for consultation. More...

Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee
Data Availability and Transparency Bill 2020 [Provisions] and Data Availability and Transparency (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2020 [Provisions] report by Thursday, 29 April 2021

Operation and management of the Department of Parliamentary Services On 22 February 2021, the reporting date was extended to 19 May 2021

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee
Judges' Pensions Amendment (Pension Not Payable for Misconduct) Bill 2020 report by 5 April 2021


Supreme Court - Queensland Courts are open and hearing cases 01 Apr 2021
Jury trials resume Tuesday 6 April 2021; Arrangements for the Magistrates Courts outlined in the Chief Magistrate's notice to the profession issued on 29 March 2021 will continue until 1 April 2021, save that registries and courthouses will be open to members of the public, Refer to the new Protocol for civil litigation in the Supreme Court from 6 April until further notice More...

Filing court documents, QEII Courts of Law 30 Mar 2021
Protocol for Applications in the Supreme Court commencing 30 March 2021 until further notice 29 Mar 202

QAO Publications

Risk of underpayment of payroll
Advice: 8 April 2021 - There has been an increase in entities across Australia facing payroll and remuneration compliance issues. Some have resulted in material underpayments to staff. More...

Responsibilities of ministers and public servants regarding grants
Advice: 01 April 2021
In our recent report on Awarding of sport grants. More...

Bills and papers
Queensland Law Reform Commission: A legal framework for voluntary assisted dying—Review update, February 2021 | Qld
Due to the size and complexity of the Commission's task, the reporting date was altered to 10 May 2021

Queensland Law Reform Commission Consultation Paper – a legal framework for voluntary assisted dying
The Queensland Law Reform Commission is seeking feedback on the Consultation Paper " A legal framework for voluntary assisted dying". The Consultation Paper explores a legal framework for voluntary assisted dying.. For more information please see the consultation page and the terms of reference. Note: The Commission continues to work hard on this review, and hopes to meet a reporting date of 10 May 2021. This document is intended to inform the public about the Commission's task and its processes, and how it hopes to complete the review by 10 May 2021.

Department of the Premier and Cabinet Consultation

Annual report 2019-20 feedback survey
By taking a minute to complete this survey, you will help us improve our annual reports so readers can use them more effectively. Open until 30 June 2021. More...

Published - articles, papers, reports

The University of Queensland Law Journal Vol. 40 No. 1 (2021):
Part of the Future': Family Law, Children's Interests and Remote Proceedings in Australia during COVID-19
Felicity Bell
Corrective Justice and Redress under Australia's Racial Vilification Laws - Bill Swannie
Judicial Activism and Constitutional (Mis)Interpretation: A Critical Appraisal
Johnny M Sakr and Augusto Zimmermann. More...

PGPA Newsletter 66
Published Date 01 April 2021. More...

New tech applications for regulatory outcomes: occasional paper
ACMA: 30 March 2021
The paper highlights research showing Australia is third in the world for the number of Regulatory Technology (RegTech) providers based in the country, only behind the USA and UK. More...

Own Motion Investigation into Services Australia's Income Compliance Program
Commonwealth Ombudsman: 06 April 2021
The report makes nine recommendations focusing on communication, remediation of debts, reviews of debts, and possible future activities. The report also makes seven additional comments where the issues raised no longer require action but provide lessons for the future. More...

Administration of Parliamentary Expenses by the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority
ANAO No 33: 29 March 2021
The objective of this audit was to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority's administration of parliamentary expenses. More...

What's really at stake with vaccine passports
Elizabeth Renieris, Centre for International Governance Innovation: 05 April 2021
In this article, the author suggests that rather than thinking about vaccine passports as temporary and isolated public health-related measures, we should view them as just one example of how the pandemic is accelerating the rollout of digital identity infrastructure across the world. More...

Criminal justice responses to child sexual abuse material offending: a systematic review and evidence and gap map
Australian Institute of Criminology: 08 April 2021
This report provides the world's first systematic review of criminal justice responses to child sexual abuse material (CSAM) offending. More...


Epic Games, Inc v Apple Inc (Stay Application) [2021] FCA 338
PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW – application for permanent stay of proceedings alleging contraventions of Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) ('CCA') Pt IV, Australian Consumer Law ('ACL') s 21 – where exclusive jurisdiction clause requires litigation relating to app developer agreement to occur in Northern District of California – where First Applicant has commenced proceedings against First Respondent in Northern District of California alleging contraventions of United States and Californian competition law – whether Australian proceedings 'relate to' agreement
PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW – discretionary non-exercise of jurisdiction – whether 'strong reasons' adduced against grant of stay, considering Akai Pty Ltd v People's Insurance Co Ltd [1996] HCA 39; (1996) 188 CLR 418 – whether CCA Pt IV, ACL s 21 mandatory laws of the forum – where parties agree courts in Northern District of California have jurisdiction to hear claims under CCA and ACL – whether court in Northern District of California would decline to exercise jurisdiction on discretionary grounds – whether Akai places onus on party arguing for stay to prove case will be heard by foreign court

Matson and Attorney-General's Department (Freedom of information) [2021] AATA 788
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – application for a confidentiality order – application for release of documents from implied undertaking – application for adjournment of interlocutory proceedings – where documents are exempt from production under s 33 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 – where Tribunal cannot disclose material which may ultimately be found to be an exempt document – where refusal to make confidentiality order would obviate the purpose of substantive application – confidentiality order granted – where release from implied undertaking would have no utility – release from implied undertaking refused – application for adjournment refused
Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975; Freedom of Information Act 1982

Duck v Airservices Australia (No 3) [2021] FCA 304
STATUTORY INTERPRETATION – application for costs against non-party funder in industrial class action – whether power to order costs against non-party – whether in the exercise of discretion costs orders should be made against funder – where the Court cannot make an ordinary costs order against a party under s 43 of the Federal Court Act 1976 (Cth) because of s 570 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) – held: s 570 does not prevent the Court from making a non-party costs order as provision only applies to a party to proceedings

Gardner Industries Pty Ltd as trustee for the S M Gardner Family Trust v Telstra Corporation Limited [2021] FCA 294
COPYRIGHT – consideration of an application under s 115A of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) for orders requiring the respondent carriage service providers to take steps to disable access to online locations outside Australia
Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), s 115A

Egan v North Goonyella Bodycorp Two [2021] QCAT 110
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – Dividing fence dispute – whether an existing fence is a "sufficient dividing fence" – relevant considerations in determining whether the existing fence is sufficient, so as to require contribution between adjoining owners
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 Qld s 7, 11, 12, 13, s 20(1), 35, 36; Dividing Fences Act 1861 Qld Preamble, s 5, s 13

The Star Entertainment Qld Limited v Yew Choy Wong [2021] QSC 67
PROCEDURE – STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS: JURISDICTION, POWERS AND GENERALLY – GENERALLY – where the defendant resides and has been served outside Australia – where the defendant seeks an order that the proceeding be dismissed or stayed or service be set aside pursuant to r 127 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld) – whether the claim has insufficient prospects of success to warrant putting the defendant to the time, expense and trouble of defending it
PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW – SERVICE OUT OF JURISDICTION – GENERALLY – where the plaintiff commenced proceedings in Singapore against the defendant in respect of the same damages claimed in this proceeding – where the Singapore action was dismissed by reason of a statutory bar – whether in light of the Singapore action the present proceeding is vexatious or oppressive
PROCEDURE – STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS: JURISDICTION, POWERS AND GENERALLY – INHERENT AND GENERAL STATUTORY POWERS – TO PREVENT ABUSE OF PROCESS – ATTEMPTS TO RELITIGATE – where the plaintiff discontinued proceedings in this court against the defendant before the defendant filed a defence

Ryle v Venables & Ors [2021] QSC 60
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - JUDICIAL REVIEW - STANDING TO INSTITUTE PROCEEDINGS - GENERALLY - where the applicant was employed by the Department of Justice and Attorney-General - where the applicant made a public interest disclosure in relation to a bail program being run by the applicant's colleague, W - - where the applicant made a complaint of reprisal contrary to the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 - where the applicant made a complaint of impairment discrimination contrary to the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 - where both complaints were made after the statutory time limit had expired - where the complaint of reprisal was accepted by the first respondent acting in her function as the delegate of the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner - where the complaint of impairment discrimination was rejected by the first respondent acting in her function as the delegate of the Human Rights Commissioner on the basis of it being out of time - where the applicant sought judicial review of the decision to reject the impairment discrimination complaint - whether the applicant has made out one of the grounds of review.
Acts Interpretation Act 1954 Qld s 14A, s 14B; Human Rights Act 2019 Qld s 3, s 118
Judicial Review Act 1991 Qld s 4, s 7, s 20, s 23; Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 Qld s 11, s 40, s 41, s 42, s 43, s 44



Regulatory Powers (Standardisation Reform) Act 2021
31/03/2021 - Act No. 32 of 2021 as made


Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Financial Reporting) Amendment (2021 Measures No. 1) Rules 2021
08/04/2021 - This instrument amends the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Financial Reporting) Rule 2015 to provide an inclusion of a reference to Division 4 of Part 2-3 of the PGPA Rule, which came into effect during May 2020 to address different scenarios that may arise following machinery of government changes, requirements to ensure consistency across Commonwealth

Taxation Administration Amendment (Updating the List of Exchange of Information Countries) Regulations 2021
01/04/2021 – This instrument amends the subsection 34(2) of the Taxation Administration Regulations 2017 to add nine jurisdictions and remove one jurisdiction from the list of foreign countries and foreign territories which are information exchange countries.

Telecommunications (Interception and Access) (Communications Access Co-ordinator) Amendment Instrument 2021 (No. 1)
31/03/2021 – This instrument amends the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) (Communications Access Co-ordinator) Instrument 2019 to reflect changes due to Departmental restructuring and a concurrent structural change.

High Court of Australia (Building and Precincts—Regulating the Conduct of Persons) Directions 2021
31/03/2021 - This instrument updates the Directions made in 2010 by the Chief Executive and Principal Registrar pursuant to subsection 19(2) of the High Court of Australia Act 1979. - Directions in addition to powers contained in Court Security Act 2013 (Cth) and Court Security Regulation 2013 (Cth)

Commonwealth Registers Rules 2021
30/03/2021 - These Rules prescribe additional functions for the Registrars to enable the Registrars to carry out various preparatory activities necessary for the transfer of registry functions from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to the Commonwealth Registrars.



Bills updated in the last week

Criminal Code (Consent and Mistake of Fact) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020
Stage reached: Passed with amendment on 25/03/2021 Assent Date: 7/04/2021
Act No: 7 of 2021 Commences: see Act for details The Bill aims to implement the recommendations made by the Queensland Law Reform Commission in its report 'Review of consent laws and the excuse of mistake of fact'. The amendments seek to codify existing case law into the Criminal Code itself

Child Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020
Stage reached: Passed on 23/03/2021 Assent Date: 7/04/2021 Act No: 6 of 2021 Commences: see Act for details
The objectives of the Bill are to: enhance the approach to permanency under the Child Protection Act 1999 and clarify the importance of and promote alternative permanency options for children subject to a child protection order granting long-term guardianship to the chief executive.The Bill also includes a technical amendment to the Adoption Act 2009 to allow the chief executive of the Department of Children, Youth justice and Multicultural Affairs to apply for final adoption orders for a small number of children from overseas.

Acts Commencement

Electoral and Other Legislation (Accountability, Integrity and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2020 (Qld)
The key policy objective of Chapter 2 is to improve the actual and perceived integrity and public accountability of State elections and ensure public confidence in State electoral and political processes
Commencement: (1)Chapter 2 commences as follows— Chapter 2 commences as follows— (b)section 22, to the extent it inserts new part 11, division 5, commences on 1 January 2022

Subordinate legislation reminder
No 144 Electoral Amendment Regulation 2020
5 Amendment of s 8 (Amount of policy development payment to which eligible registered political party is entitled—Act, s 240) (1) Section 5 commences on 1 January 2022

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.