In the media
Urgent changes to ensure victim-survivors can speak
Attorney-General Jill Hennessy announced that reforms will be fast-tracked to streamline processes for victim-survivors who wish to speak out. This change will mean the majority of victims will no longer require a court order to tell their stories if they have given informed consent to being identified (28 August 2020). More...
Maroochydore licensee fined for obstructing
A 37-year-old female restaurant licensee was fined $3,000 for obstructing a compliance officer from the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) when asked to turn their music down. Ms Thomson said the magistrate outlined the licensee's behaviour was demeaning and humiliating to inspectors and completely unnecessary (27 August 2020). More...
New judges appointed to District Court
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D'Ath has announced the appointment of three new judges to the District Court (27 August 2020) More...
Identity crime and misuse in Australia, 2019
The estimated cost of identity crime in Australia in 2018–19 (including direct and indirect costs) was $3.1b—17 percent more than in 2015–16. The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) has released three new statistical reports examining identity crime and misuse in Australia (27 August 2020). More...
HRLC: Laws to protect public interest journalism must be
A long awaited report from a Parliamentary committee has recognised the need for significant legal changes to protect public interest journalism, however the recommendations don't go far enough to ensure journalists are not sent to prison for doing their job ( 27 August 2020 ). More...
Law Council welcomes recommendations for sweeping
changes to media freedom laws
The Law Council of Australia has welcomed key recommendations of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security in its review of press freedom, including the requirement for search warrants to be issued by senior judges and contested by public interest advocates (27 August 2020). More...
Boosting support for at risk families in the family law
The Morrison Government will establish a $13.5 million pilot program to better identify and support families who are entering the family law system and are at risk of domestic violence (26 August 2020). More...
New data shows Australians want accountable AI
New research released by the Australian Human Rights Commission shows 46% of people in Australia are not aware that the government makes important decisions about them using artificial intelligence (AI) (25 August 2020). More...
Palaszczuk Government welcomes Federal Court decision on
The Palaszczuk Government has welcomed the Federal Court decision on the effectiveness of hard border restrictions in the fight against coronavirus (25 August 2020). More...
COVIDSafe app updated and improved
The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has released an update of the COVIDSafe app, set to improve notifications and allow users to use the app in Turkish and Punjabi. The Agency said that since the app's launch a number of iterative enhancements had been made, focused on performance, privacy and accessibility (24 August 2020). More...
Further charges in Palm Island council
The Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) charged a former employee of Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council with further criminal offences resulting from a corruption investigation (24 August 2020). More...
ASIO Guidelines: room for further improvement
While the revised ASIO Guidelines contain several valuable improvements from the previous iteration, in the Law Council's view, there are concerns that must be addressed. These include that essential matters, such as guidance on the collection, use, disclosure, storage, destruction or retention of particularly sensitive information, and inadequate guidance on proportionality and how an ASIO officer would assess the level of intrusiveness when it comes to surveillance (20 August 2020). More...
ACMA proposes new rules for broadband service
The ACMA announced that it will soon consult on rules to assist consumers when their fixed broadband telco fails to meet retail service levels. The ACMA wants to provide flexibility for retail providers to offer different retail service levels and to innovate, but with an expectation of transparency so consumers can make informed decisions (20 August 2020). More...
Information Commissioner scans scam week
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has joined into Scams Awareness Week this week, highlighting the dangers of identity theft and the importance of protecting personal information (20 August 2020). More...
In practice and courts
Consultation on interest payable on fidelity fund
The Legal Services Council has issued a consultation paper proposing a new formula to calculate the interest payable on fidelity fund claims made under the Legal Profession Uniform Law. The interest rate is fixed at 5 per cent by s 243(2) of the Uniform Law in the absence of specific provision in the Uniform General Rules. More information is available on the Legal Services Council website.
Regulation of litigation funding schemes
Amendments to the Corporations Regulations 2001 (Cth) took effect on 22 August 2020, providing for the regulation of litigation funding schemes as managed investment 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. See the Legal Services Council website
An investigation into the effectiveness of ATO
communications of taxpayers' rights to review, investigate and
The Inspector-General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman (IGTO) is investigating how effectively the Australian Taxation Office communicates appropriate information on taxpayers' rights to review, complain and appeal decisions made and actions taken by the ATO. The closing date for submissions is 30 September 2020. More information is available on the IGTO website.
ACMA position paper: Misinformation and news quality on
digital platforms in Australia
A position paper to guide code development—includes a model code framework for consideration, including objectives and outcomes to be achieved for the benefit of Australian users of digital platforms. The ACMA anticipates to have in place a single, industry-wide code by December 2020. The position paper, Misinformation and news quality on digital platforms in Australia - A position paper to guide code development has been published on the ACMA website.
New Law Council of Australia Guidelines - Equitable
The Law Council's portal for the annual reporting by Equitable Briefing Policy adoptees (Policy adoptees) will soon open on 1 July 2020. To assist in this process, the Law Council has updated its Equitable Briefing Policy Reporting Template and Guidelines in response to feedback from previous reporting periods. Policy adoptees have until 30 September 2020 to provide their annual report, and will be updated once the portal is opened on 1 July 2020.
The AAT Bulletin is a weekly publication containing a list of recent AAT decisions and information relating to appeals against AAT decisions. Issue No. 21/2020, 10 August 2020. More...
LCA: The Criminal Justice System – Issues
The Law Council made a substantial submission to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (Royal Commission) in response to its Issues Paper: Criminal Justice System. The Law Council welcomes the Royal Commission's focus on this issue. Read more.
25 August 2020— Law Council
Review of 'declared areas' provisions of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)
25 August 2020— Law Council
Comments on the Minister's Guidelines to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
19 August 2020— Law Council
Responses to Questions on Notice – Inquiry into litigation funding and the regulation of the class action industry
Current APH Inquiries and Consultations
Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation
Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2019 [Provisions] and Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2019 [Provisions] Report by 20 November 2020
Legal and Constitutional Affairs References
Inquiry into domestic violence with particular regard to violence against women and their children
Nationhood, national identity and democracy
On 23 March 2020 the committee's reporting date was extended to 9 September 2020
LCA Current Inquiries and Consultations
Insurance Inquiry, Australia Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.
Inquiry into the human rights of women and girls in the Pacific, Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.
Litigation funding and the regulation of the class action industry, Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (supplementary submission).
News media bargaining code, Australian Competition & Consumer Commission.
Review of AFP Powers, Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.
Review of 'Declared Areas' Provisions, Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.
Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, Royal Commission.
An Investigation into the effectiveness of ATO communications of taxpayers' rights to complain, review and appeal, Inspector-General of Taxation.
Review into the Framework of Religious Exemptions in Anti-discrimination Legislation, Australian Law Reform Commission.
Intelligence and Security Legislation Amendment
(Implementing Independent Intelligence Review) Bill 2020
The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security is calling for submissions on the Intelligence and Security Legislation Amendment (Implementing Independent Intelligence Review) Bill 2020. Further information on the bill can be found here. On 23 March 2020 the Senate extended the committee's reporting date to 14 October 2020.
Australian Bushfires Disaster Emergency Declaration
— Understanding your privacy obligations
The Attorney-General has made the Privacy (Australian Bushfires Disaster) Emergency Declaration (No. 1) 2020 (the emergency declaration) under Part VIA of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act). The emergency declaration was made in response to bushfires in Australia resulting in death, injury and property damage occurring from August 2019 into 2020.The emergency declaration expires on 20 January 2021
OIC Qld: Search issues on internal review
We have updated those resources and hope they now provide a clearer and more consistent explanation of when an agency can deal with search issues as part of an internal review. The updated resources are:
How to Conduct an Internal Review
Search issues on external review
Explaining your review rights – a guide for applicants (25 August 2020)
QAO: Lessons learned: Project steering committees for
digital transformation projects
Advice: 24 August 2020 - Members of project steering committees for major digital transformation projects need to be appropriately qualified and experienced to help ensure a successful project. More...
QLS: Engaging in legal practice – the use of Air
The Society has recently been made aware that an app called Air Tasker may be being used by unqualified persons or persons without a practising certificate to provide legal services for an agreed fee. The services being performed include, among other things, drafting and reviewing contracts and letters of termination for employment. (20 August 2020). More...
27 August 2020 - New judges appointed to District Court
Supreme Court of Queensland - Protocol for Applications
A notice has been issued by The Honourable Justice Lyons in relation to the protocol for practitioners appearing in Applications. This protocol applies from 10 August 2020 until further notice.
QCAT Practice Directions No.7 and No.8
Practice Direction No.7 of 2020 replaces Practice Direction No.5 of 2020 and outlines arrangements for all non-urgent minor civil dispute (MCD) matters to 31 August 2020. This practice direction does not apply to MCD matters heard by magistrates.
Practice Direction No.8 of 2020 replaces Practice Direction No.4 of 2020, and outlines arrangements for all other matters other than guardianship and minor civil disputes to 31 August 2020.
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...
COVID-19 Update on Courts, Commissions, Tribunals
See current COVID-19 updates for the Courts, Commissions and Tribunals here.
Additionally, QLS also provides COVID-19 updates specifically relating to property law and criminal law.
Feedback closes for latest Terms of Reference: review of
penalties for assaults on police and other frontline emergency
service workers, corrective services officers and other public
Council would now be turning its attention to producing the final report which is due to the Attorney-General by 31 August 2020. Submissions will be made available prior to the final report being publicly released in September 2020. Preliminary submissions are available on the Council's website.
Published - articles, papers, reports
ANAO Audit Manual
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO): 28 August 2020
Audit Manual is issued under the authority of the Auditor-General and is comprised of three volumes. The three volumes (shared content, AASG specific and PASG specific) set ANAO policies and provide guidance applying to the audits and other assurance work performed by, or on behalf of, the Auditor-General, and consistent with ANAO Auditing Standards. More...
Postal Industry - Quarterly Update Four: 1 April to 30
Commonwealth Ombudsman: 27 August 2020
We received a 92.8 per cent increase in postal industry complaints during the 1 April to 30 June 2020 quarter compared to the same period last year. This was as a result of disruptions to the postal industry from the COVID-19 pandemic. More...
Identity crime and misuse in Australia 2019
Franks C & Smith R. Statistical Report no. 29. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology: 27 August 2020
The 2019 survey of identity crime and misuse found 25 percent of respondents had experienced misuse of their personal information at some time in their lives, nearly 12 percent within the previous year. More...
Report to the Minister for Home Affairs on agencies'
compliance with the Surveillance Devices Act 2004, for the period 1
July to December 2019
Commonwealth Ombudsman: 26 August 2020. More...
Sexual assault in Australia - in focus
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: 28 August 2020
Sexual assault is a major health and welfare issue in Australia. This report draws together a range of available data sources to provide a national summary of the extent, nature and impact of sexual assault. Data are presented separately for Australians aged 15 and over. More...
Biodata and biotechnology: opportunity and challenges
John Mattick; Australian Strategic Policy Institute:27 August 2020
This report canvasses the extraordinary recent developments in genome sequencing and genetic engineering. There are resourcing, privacy, vulnerabilities, sensitivities and national security issues to consider, protections to be put in place, and social licenses to be obtained. Big-data analysis skills need be taught in science and engineering, and built into research institutions as well as health, agricultural and environmental management enterprises and agencies.More...
Review of the national action plan to combat human
trafficking and slavery 2015–19
Samantha Lyneham, Isabella Voce; Australian Institute of Criminology: 25 August 2020
The Department of Home Affairs commissioned the Australian Institute of Criminology to undertake this review of the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery 2015–19. More...
Cancelled! How ideological cleansing threatens
Peter Kurti; Centre for Independent Studies: 17 August 2020
Like all modern societies, Australia has to understand, interpret and learn from its history. In this paper, Peter Kurti argues that we must be sure to protect our country, our communities and our citizens from the three dangers posed by cancel culture. More...
Building integrity during times of crisis or
Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC): 18 August 2020
These resources aim to help state and local government sectors review and strengthen integrity responses and improve capacity to prevent corrupt conduct during times of emergency and crisis. More...
The Institute's newsletter, AIJA News, is designed to keep members informed of the Institute's activities and also to bring its work to the attention of a wider national and international audience. More...
Palmer v State of Western Australia (No
3)  FCA
The Directions prohibit entry into Western Australia of persons other than those defined as "exempt travellers".
On 25 May 2020, the applicants, Clive Frederick Palmer and Mineralogy Pty Ltd (the Palmer parties), commenced proceedings in the High Court of Australia seeking a declaration that the Emergency Management Act and/or the Directions are invalid, in whole or in part, on the basis that they contravene s 92 of the Constitution.
Section 92 of the Constitution provides that, "trade, commerce, and intercourse among the States...shall be absolutely free".
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – issue remitted from High Court of Australia – whether intervener requires leave to withdraw – leave to withdraw not required – whether respondents would be prejudiced by withdrawal – where respondents seek rehearing of evidence – rehearing refused
Constitution s 92; Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth) ss 44 and 78A
Prodata Solutions Pty Ltd v South Australian Fire and
Emergency Services Commission (No
3)  FCA
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – application by respondents for dismissal of proceedings pursuant to r 5.23(b)(i) the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) or s 37P(5) of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) – where the applicant is in default within the meaning of r 5.22 of the Rules – where applicant failed to file lay affidavits within ordered timeframe – where applicant failed to prosecute the proceeding with due diligence – where applicant failed to make a timely application to vary orders progressing the matter to trial – where applicant failed to apply for variation of the trial dates –where applicant's default caused the trial dates to be vacated – where applicant has provided no satisfactory explanation for its default – applicant's conduct having the effect of delaying the progress of the matter to trial in circumstances where orders for delay could not have been secured on the merits –whether the overarching purpose in s 37M of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) would be "best promoted" by the dismissal of the originating application – originating application dismissed
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – application by corporate applicant for dispensation with the requirement in r 4.01(2) of the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) – corporate applicant seeking to be represented in the proceedings by its managing director – where applicant previously terminated the retainer of four successive lawyers in the proceedings – consideration of factors relevant to the exercise of the discretion to dispense with the usual rule – whether respondents' applications for dismissal should be assessed on the assumption that the corporate applicant would be represented by a lawyer in the event that the proceedings were to remain on foot
Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) ss 37M, 37N, 37P
Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)
Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) rr 1.34, 4.01, 4.04, 5.22, 5.23, 11.02, 30.01
Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic) ss 7, 9
Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2015 (Vic) r 63.03
Gould v Jordan  FCA
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – interlocutory application for the separate hearing and determination of issues in defamation proceedings – trial of defences of jurisdictional and contextual truth under ss 28 and 29 of the Uniform Defamation Act likely to be substantial – certain matters indicating that separate hearings may not result in prolongation of the litigation – whether the Respondent has shown there should be departure from the usual course. Held: application granted. Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) s 43(1) ; Uniform Defamation Act ss 18, 25, 26, 28, 29; Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) rr 16.07(2), 30.01
N & M Martin Holdings Pty Ltd v Commissioner of
Taxation  FCA
TAXATION – notices of appeal against appealable objection decisions under s. 14ZZ of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth.)
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – application for judicial review under s. 39B of the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth.) and the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth.) – where judicial review sought in respect of decision by the Commissioner not to remit shortfall interest charge under s. 280-160 of Sch. 1 of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth.) in respect of the beneficiary for the 2014 year of income – whether Commissioner had asked wrong statutory question and had thereby erred at law – whether Commissioner applied test as expressed in s. 8AAG for remission of general interest charge as opposed to test under s. 280-160 for remission of shortfall interest charge. Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth.)
'VH' and Australian Taxation Office (Freedom of
information)  AICmr
Freedom of Information — Whether documents subject to legal professional privilege — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the management of personnel — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A(5), 42 and 47E(c)
'VG' and Department of the Prime Minister and
Cabinet (Freedom of information) 
Freedom of Information — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative purpose — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of an agency — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A(5), 47C and 47E
'VE' and Independent Parliamentary Expenses
Authority (Freedom of
information)  AICmr
Freedom of Information — Access grant — Personal privacy — whether disclosure would be unreasonable — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 s 47F
Rex Patrick and Department of Defence (No 2) (Freedom of
information)  AICmr
Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would disclose trade secrets or commercially valuable information — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative process — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect an organisation in respect of its lawful business affairs — Whether disclosure would prejudice the future supply of information to the Commonwealth — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 47(1)(a), 47(1)(b), 47C, 47G(1)(a) and 47G(1)(b)
'SY' and Services Australia (Freedom of
information)  AICmr
Freedom of Information — Whether the request satisfies the identification of documents requirement— (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 4(1), 15, 55D
'SX' and Australian Federal Police (Freedom of
information)  AICmr
Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the management or assessment of personnel — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A(5) and 47E(c)
v Department of Education and
Training  QCAT
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – ENDING PROCEEDINGS EARLY – SUMMARY DISPOSAL – GENERALLY – where case does not comply with technical rules of pleading – where much material unrelated to orders that Tribunal could make – where threshold to dismiss application is high – where material facts can be gleaned from reading of contentions and material as a whole – where Tribunal is not jurisdiction where parties expected to exchange particularised pleadings – where findings in other jurisdictions not determinative of issues before Tribunal – where questions of fact properly considered at full hearing and not dealt with summarily – where seeking orders outside jurisdiction is not ground to summarily dismiss application – where summarily dismissing application for failing to properly plead outcomes would effectively impose unnecessary technical requirement on person with impairment, contrary to Tribunal's statutory obligations – where Tribunal not satisfied that applicant understood risk of complaint being dismissed if he did not confine outcomes to those within Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld); Information Privacy Act 2009 Qld s176, s178, Schedule 3; Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 Qld s 3, s 28, s 29, s 47, s 48, s 95, s 97, s 98, s 99
Law Amendment (Risk Screening Protections) Bill
Introduced Senate 26 August 2020 - The Bill will amend the Family Law Act 1975 to establish protections for sensitive information generated through, and confer immunity on court workers involved in, family safety risk screening in the federal family law courts.
Integrity Australia Amendment (World Anti-Doping Code Review) Bill
Introduced Senate 26 Aug 2020 - Aligns Australia's anti-doping legislation with the revised World Anti-Doping Code (Code) and International Standards (Standards) that come into force on 1 January 2021. The Code provides the framework for the operation of global harmonised rules and regulations.
Gambling Amendment (Prohibition on Credit Card Use) Bill
Introduced Senate 25 August 2020
The Interactive Gambling Amendment (Prohibition on Credit Card Use) Bill 2020 aims to minimise the scope for problem gambling among Australians betting online by amending the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (the IGA) to implement a ban on the use of credit cards for betting using certain regulated interactive gambling services.
and Referendum Amendment (Prescribed Authorities) Regulations
26/08/2020 - This instrument amends the Electoral and Referendum Regulation 2016 to include the statutory agency called the National Disability Insurance Scheme Launch Transition Agency, commonly known as the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to the list of prescribed authorities for the purposes of the Electoral Act.
Corporations (Litigation Funding Schemes) Instrument
21/08/2020 - This instrument provides exemptions to responsible entities of litigation funding schemes from certain provisions in Chapter 7 and Chapter 5C of the Corporations Act 2001 to facilitate the implementation of the regulatory framework for litigation funding schemes commencing on 22 August 2020. This instrument provides relief from the obligation to give Product Disclosure Statements to some members of an open class action; limited exemptions from the content requirements of product disclosure statements; modifications to withdrawal procedures for illiquid schemes in relation to litigation funding scheme members; an exemption from the general licensee duty to maintain a register of members; and an exemption from the obligations in relation to the valuation of scheme property.
Crime and Corruption Amendment Bill 2020
Stage reached: 2nd reading to be moved on 21/08/2020
Subordinate legislation as made – 28 August
No 158 Proclamation No. 1—Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 (commencing certain provisions)
No 159 Proclamation: Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017
No 160 Statutory Instruments (Exemptions from Expiry) Amendment Regulation 2020
No 165 Criminal Proceeds Confiscation (Corresponding Laws and Serious Criminal Offences) Amendment Regulation 2020
No 166 Peace and Good Behaviour Regulation 2020
No 168 Proclamation—Transport Legislation (Disability Parking and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2020 (commencing remaining provisions)
No 177 Gaming Tax Notice (No. 2) 2020
Subordinate legislation as made – 21 August
No 156 Local Government Legislation (Integrity) Amendment Regulation 2020
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.