In the media

Police stopping and photographing kids on the streets 'illegal', say civil libertarians
The Mount Isa operation, which has seen hundreds of children intercepted in three weeks, should be stopped, says Queensland's Civil Liberties Council. But politicians are suggesting the initiative could be expanded to other regional cities such as Cairns (18 January 2018). More...

Year of human rights achievements for HRLC
The launch of a campaign to end strip searching of women in prison is one of dozens documented by the Human Rights Legal Centre in its Annual Report. Other campaigns highlighted in the Annual Report 'On the Right Side of History' include against offshore detention, removing kids from adult prisons, ending Aboriginal deaths in custody, LGBTI rights, and the protection of the right to political protest (17 January 2018). More...

New second Parliamentary Counsel appointed
The Attorney-General announces the appointment of Mr Keith Byles PSM as Second Parliamentary Counsel to the Office of Parliamentary Counsel (OPC) for a seven year period (16 January 2018). More...

Legislative Activity for Queensland in 2017: Key Acts in Crime, Environment and Workplace Safety
In 2017, the Queensland Parliament passed a total of 44 Acts, with many of the key Acts focussing on criminal legislation reform, child protection, environmental issues and workplace issues (16 January 2018). More...

Vital the rule of law is upheld despite warring words
Ensuring the rule of law is respected and maintained is vital to the strength of Australia's legal system, the Law Council of Australia has reiterated. The national peak body, representing the legal profession, today backed colleagues at the Law Institute of Victoria in defending the rule of law, particularly the independence of the judiciary (15 January 2018). More...

Political attacks on the judiciary undermines the independence, integrity and impartiality of Australia's legal system
The Australian Bar Association (ABA) has the highest respect for the independence, integrity and impartiality of the judiciary across Australia and is very concerned by recent political attacks on the Victorian judiciary (13 January 2018). More...

Significant corruption revealed in Australian Public Service
Two new reports have highlighted the extent of corruption in the Australian Public Service (APS). One of the says that corrupt practices may cost the economy as much as $72 billion dollars since 2012 (12 January 2018). More...

'Creeping Stalinism': secrecy law could imprison whistleblowers and journalists
Proposed changes to Australia's official secrecy laws a threat to democracy, say human rights and media organisations. Government whistleblowers and journalists who report on leaked information could face 20 years' imprisonment if changes to Australia's official secrecy laws pass parliament (11 January 2018). More...

Man to face perjury charge after legal profession investigation
A 29-year-old Inala man was yesterday served with a Notice to Appear in Court to face one charge of perjury following a Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) investigation into suspected criminal activity within elements of the legal profession in Queensland (11 January 2018). More...

Vodafone breaches verification rules for prepaid mobiles
Vodafone Network Pty Limited will significantly improve its processes for verifying the identity of prepaid mobile customers under an enforceable undertaking accepted by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. This follows an ACMA investigation that found the company failed to verify the identity of at least 1,028 customers before activating their prepaid mobile services (11 January 2018). More...

Commissioner concludes investigation into Amazing Rentals data breach
The Commissioner is confident on the facts available that personal information was mishandled by Amazing Rentals. However, given the company is no longer trading the Commissioner is unable to enforce action against it (10 January 2018). More...

Open data – too much sharing, too little care
Who's reading your health information now? There can be benefits from sharing health and other personal information among health care professionals and researchers. But any such sharing must be based on an understanding of potential risks. It must occur only within an effective legal framework, with controls appropriate for those risks (09 January 2018). More...

Encouraging results in child protection pilot programs
An evaluation of an ambitious collaboration between Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) and two community legal centres (CLCs) has found priority clients have received more comprehensive legal assistance under the pilot program (08 January 2018). More...

Government move allowing security cleared lawyers in counter-terrorism control orders welcomed
The Law Council has commended the Australian Government for creating a 'special advocate' regime that would allow security-cleared lawyers to represent individuals that are subject to specific counter-terrorism control orders. The details of the special advocate regime are included in the National Security Information (Criminal and Civil Proceedings) Amendment Regulations 2017 made public today (21 December 2017). More...

Building a more diverse and inclusive legal profession
Law Council of Australia President, Fiona McLeod SC, said three new tools available on the Law Council website delivered national leadership on the issue of diversity and equity and would provide lawyers with important information to help them grasp the opportunities presented by changing times, expectations, and workplace laws (20 December 2017). More...

Australian Bar Association welcomes new Federal Attorney-General Christian Porter
The Australian Bar Association (ABA) welcomes the announcement today [19 December 2017] of the appointment of Christian Porter MP as the 37th Attorney-General for Australia (19 December 2017). More...

QFES employee and business owners charged with official corruption – 19 December 2017
Three additional people have been charged with serious criminal offences following a joint investigation led by the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC). The latest charges are linked to the previous arrest of a Queensland Fire Inspector who was charged with official corruption in November (19 December 2017). More...

In practice and courts

Privacy Changes
Data breach notification will become mandatory as of February 2018 for all Australian entities required to comply with the Privacy Act 1988. When Federal Parliament passed the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017 last year, it started a process that means from 22 February 2018, all entities covered by the Australian Privacy Principles will have clear obligations to report eligible data breaches within 30 days. If an eligible data breach is confirmed, entities must provide a statement to each of the individuals whose data was breached or who are at risk, and notify the OAIC. Privacy data breaches will also change in 2018.

OAIC: What the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme means for schools
The Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme comes into effect on 22 February 2018, and private schools and private tertiary educational institutions across Australia will be required to comply (06 December 2017). More...

OAIC: Retailers mandatory data breach reporting obligations from 2018
From 22 February 2018, retail businesses with an annual turnover of $3 million or more, or that trade in personal information, will be required to comply with the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme. It is important to understand your obligations under the NDB scheme before commencement on 22 February 2018 — find out more, and start preparing for the scheme, with our draft NDB resources. More...

OAIC: Review completed
The independent review of the Privacy (Credit Reporting) Code 2014 (Version 1.2) (the CR Code) conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been completed (13 December 2017). More...

High Court of Australia
High Court of Australia Bulletin [2017] HCAB 10 (21 December 2017). More...

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. 1/2018, 15 January 2018 More...

No changes to AAT reviews as Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) becomes part of Department of Home Affairs
The AAT's power to review decisions has not changed. The AAT is able to review decisions made by officers of the former DIBP as well as decisions made by officers of the new Department of Home Affairs. Forms and information products will be updated to reflect this change (23 December 2017). More...

Forces of Change – Defining Future Justice Conference 2018
The Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration is pleased to announce the Forces of Change – Defining Future Justice Conference will be held at the Stamford Plaza Brisbane, Queensland from 24 – 26 May 2018. More...


QAO Audits in Progress – expected tabling date February 2018
Enforcement and recovery of unpaid fines; Fraud risk management; Use of confidentiality provisions in government contracts. More...

Queensland Law Reform Commission releases a consultation paper inviting submissions on Queensland's laws relating to the termination of pregnancy
The Queensland Law Reform Commission has been asked to conduct a review into modernising Queensland's laws relating to the termination of pregnancy. The Commission has released a Consultation Paper (WP No 76) inviting written submissions in response to the questions posed in the paper. Consultation closes on 13 February 2018. More...

OAIC Queensland: Privacy Impact Assessment and Privacy Complaint Management training videos now available
Are you responsible for dealing with privacy related matters? Check out these two videos on Privacy Impact Assessments (PIA) and Privacy Complaint Management (PCM) (14 December 2017). More...

Queensland Courts: draft Guidelines for expert evidence in the Land Court
The draft Guidelines for expert evidence in the Land Court are available for consultation. The Guidelines outline both current and proposed procedures for expert evidence in the Land Court of Queensland. The Court invites constructive feedback on any aspect of its expert evidence procedures whether current or proposed by 5 February 2018. More...

QLS: Court of Appeal two-monthly sitting system
The Court of Appeal has proposed to adopt a system of two-monthly sittings. Call-overs for the first of these sittings will be held in November, with the first of the two-monthly sittings in February and March 2018. More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Legal rights audit 2017
Morgan Begg; Institute of Public Affairs: 27 December 2017
This report illustrates the ongoing erosion of legal rights that persists in Australia. This has been measured by an analysis of the content of all legislation passed by the federal parliament in 2017. More...

OAICnet 18 December 2017
In this issue: Notifiable Data Breaches scheme resources finalised; New Australian Government Agencies Privacy Code resources; Notifiable Date Breaches scheme webinar recording; Review of Privacy (Credit Reporting) Code 2014 completed; Australian participates in APEC CBPR System; Recent FOI decisions. More...

Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration Incorporated – December 2017. More...

Guide to judicial conduct: (third edition)
The Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration Incorporated.
Melbourne, Vic: Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration Incorporated, 2017. More...

IBAC Insights Issue 14
Release date: 22 December 2017. More...

Public Law Review update: Vol 28 Pt 4 [subscription access]
The latest Part of the Public Law Review includes the following content: Comments: "The Incorporation by Reference of Technical Standards in Legislation: A Developing Issue" – Stephen Argument; "Expanding the Entrenched Minimum Provision of Judicial Review? Graham v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection" – Lisa Burton Crawford; "Judicial Enforcement of New Zealand's Reserved Provisions" – Andrew Geddis; and the following Articles: "Unveiling the Public Interest: The Parameters of Executive Discretion in Australian Migration Legislation" – Gabrielle Appleby and Alexander Reilly; "An Impasse in New Zealand Administrative Law: How Did We Get Here?" – MB Rodriguez Ferrere; "Non-statutory Executive Power" – KM Hayne; and Developments.

Journal of Judicial Administration update: Vol 27 Pt 1 [subscription access]
The latest Part of the Journal of Judicial Administration includes the following articles: "Contempt and the Australian Constitution – Part I" – Anthony Gray; "Pleading Guilty: Issues and Practices – A Socio-Legal Research Case Study" – Kathy Mack, Sharyn Roach Anleu, Jordan Tutton; and "Sustainable Justice: A Guiding Principle for Courts" – Dr Andrew J Cannon AM.


The Australian and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 6
Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 24A, 55D.

Virginia Plowman and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 5
Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the management or assessment of personnel — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A(5), 24A and 47E(c).

'NQ' and Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 4
Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 s 24A.

'NP' and Bureau of Meteorology (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 3
Freedom of Information — Information as to the existence of certain documents — (Cth) Freedom of Information Act 1982 s 25.

'NO' and National Library of Australia (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 2
Freedom of Information — Whether documents subject to legal professional privilege — Whether disclosure would disclose commercially valuable information — Whether disclosure of personal information unreasonable — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect an organisation or undertaking in respect of its lawful business affairs — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A(5), 42, 47(1)(b), 47F and 47G(1)(a).

'NN' and Department of Human Services (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 1
Freedom of Information —Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the management or assessment of personnel — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A(5), 47E(c).

Giddings v Australian Information Commissioner [2017] FCAFC 225
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – freedom of information – where delegate of the Information Commissioner decided not to continue with review – where decision of the Information Commissioner set aside on review – no error exposed.
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – whether order should have been made for the proceedings to be held in camera pursuant to s 37AF of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) – where onus on appellant to establish that order should be made – whether such an order was "necessary" in the circumstances – apprehended bias – whether claim of apprehended bias "firmly established" – whether allegations of bias irresponsibly advanced.
TORTS – misfeasance in public office – elements of the tort of misfeasance in public officer – whether administrative decision-maker's action pursued with knowledge or reckless indifference as to whether it was in excess of power – whether administrative decision-maker's action pursued with malice. Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth) s 16; Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) ss 17, 37AF(1), 37AG, 50 (repealed); Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) ss 54W, 55K; Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) r 36.01(2)(c).

Gallo v Chief Executive, Department of Natural Resources and Mines [2017] QSC 331
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW — JUDICIAL REVIEW —REVIEWABLE DECISIONS AND CONDUCT — STATUTORY INTERPRETATION — Where applicant seeks statutory review of a decision regarding the applicant's water entitlement as licensees under the Water Act 2000 (Qld) — where applicant argued the decision-maker erred by failing to take a relevant consideration in to account — whether s 66(3)(a) Water Regulation 2002 (Qld) needed to be taken into account — whether a water entitlement of 0% bespeaks error — whether the decision maker should have taken the outcomes listed in the Water Resource (Barron) Plan 2002 (Qld) into account.

Bradshaw v Moreton Bay Regional Council (No 2) [2017] QCAT 455
ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – destruction order in respect of dangerous dog – where further risk of non-compliance identified.

Legislation - Commonwealth

Legislative Instruments

Administrative Appeals Tribunal (Code of Practice) Determination 2017
02/01/2018 - This instrument establishes the minimum standard of practice for notifying affected persons of reviewable decisions, including the content of the reviewable decision and outlines the affected persons' rights to review those decisions. Administrative Appeals Tribunal (Code of Practice) Determination 2017


Age Discrimination Act 2004 -
16/01/2018 - Act No. 68 of 2004 as amended.

Ministers of State Act 1952
15/01/2018 - Act No. 1 of 1952 as amended.

Freedom of Information Act 1982
12/01/2018 - Act No. 3 of 1982 as amended.

Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013
12/01/2018 - Act No. 133 of 2013 as amended.

Ombudsman Act 1976
10/01/2018 - Act No. 181 of 1976 as amended.

Federal Court of Australia Act 1976
03/01/2018 - C2018C00005 - Act No. 156 of 1976 as amended.

Court Security Act 2013
03/01/2018 - C2018C00004 - Act No. 128 of 2013 as amended.

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.