In the media

Brutally honest review of national environment laws leads to calls for urgent reforms
Australia's peak marine conservation organisation has described the final review of national environment laws as a brutally honest assessment of the failure of the law to act to protect our oceans (29 January 2021). More...

JobKeeper payments for prisoners, the dead and other fraud cases probed by ATO
Employers claiming JobKeeper on behalf of fictitious employees are being pursued by an ATO investigation. FOI documents show the ATO was investigating 5,974 cases of "inflated employees" as at September (29 January 2021). More...

Recommendations following investigation into FOI processing by Home Affairs
The OAIC has made recommendations to ensure the Department of Home Affairs is able to meet the statutory processing periods specified under the FOI Act (29 January 2021). More...

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 (OAIC) latest Notifiable Data Breaches Report. Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk said 38% of all data breaches notified during the period were attributed to human error (28 January 2021). More...

Department to pay for privacy breach
The Department of Home Affairs has been ordered to pay compensation for breaching the privacy of 9,251 detainees in immigration detention. The representative complaint followed the publication of a detention report on the Department's website in error (28 January 2021). More...

New CSIRO tool to boost data security
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has developed a new data privacy tool to help ensure key datasets — such as those tracking COVID-19 — can be publicly shared with an extra layer of security for sensitive personal information (28 January 2021). More...

Data privacy 2021: What should be front and centre for the CMO right now
As the world recognises Data Privacy Day, CMO speaks to marketing and industry thought leaders about the consumer data priorities, concerns and work they believe marketing teams should be focused on right now (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...

eSafety call to tighten online identities
The eSafety Commission has highlighted the need for more rigorous, consistent and transparent verification of online social media accounts in its latest position paper on anonymity and identity shielding online (26 January 2021). More...

Australia fronts UN on human rights record
The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) prepared an assessment of the nation's human rights for presentation to the United Nation's Human Rights Council last week (22 January). The AHRC said the Commission is concerned about Australia's inadequate legal framework for implementing human rights obligations and monitoring progress (26 January 2021). More...

Law Council calls on government to raise the age
"Last night's 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...

New eSafety guide to dodge unsafe IT
The Australian eSafety Commissioner has released a new investment checklist for the purchasers of IT platforms and services to ensure the products they buy are safe for users (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 (IGIS) 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...

PS Integrity Commission expands its powers
The Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI) has had its powers expanded to include four Australian Government law enforcement Agencies for the first time, to make it more difficult for corruption to occur or remain undetected in the Australian Government law enforcement Agencies which it oversaw. (18 January 2021). More...

In practice and courts

ACMA and eSafety child safety policy
This policy informs our leaders and staff about their obligation to act legally and ethically towards children and young people, 20 January 2021. More...

CDPP publications
Partner Agency Engagement Strategy - 18 January 2021
NLD - Prosecution Services - Partner Agencies - 18 January 2021

OAIC: Commissioner-initiated investigation into the Department of Home Affairs
Report finalised: 11 December 2020
Department's response: 6 January 2021
Report published: 29 January 2021. More...

Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia–expansion of the COVID-19 List
The Joint Practice Direction 1 of 2021–the COVID-19 List was issued by the Chief Justice Monday 18 January. The expansion of the COVID-19 List is a result of its success throughout 2020 in handling the increase in urgent applications filed as a result of the pandemic. More...

Current Consultations

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee
Regulatory Powers (Standardisation Reform) Bill 2020 [Provisions]
Judges' Pensions Amendment (Pension Not Payable for Misconduct) Bill 2020

Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee
Nationhood, national identity and democracy

Select Committee on Foreign Interference through Social Media
Foreign Interference through Social Media

Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation
Exemption of delegated legislation from parliamentary oversight

Finance and Public Administration References Committee
The current capability of the Australian Public Service (APS)

CDPP alert: Hoax CDPP emails
The Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is warning members of the community to beware of scammers claiming to be from the CDPP(15 January 2021). 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, including immigration and citizenship
Issue No. 1/2021, 1 January 2021. More...

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.

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...


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

Queensland students receive new lessons on sentencing laws
The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council has released four Judge for Yourself education workbooks to help teachers educate students about criminal sentencing and the justice system. An extension of the highly popular Judge for Yourself online tool, each workbook focuses on one of the Council's four interactive court cases based on real-life events from the Queensland Magistrates, District, Supreme and Childrens Courts (20 January 2021).

QSAC launches new online sentencing trends tool
The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council has launched its first online Sentencing Trends tool. A useful resource for practitioners and community alike, the tool aims to improve public understanding and accessibility to sentencing trends within the Courts. More...

QAO Report 9: 2020–21: Water 2020
Audit objective: This report summarises the financial audit results of the six state-owned entities in Queensland's water sector for 2019?–?20, including Liabilities from the 2011 South East Queensland floods class action. Tabled 28 January 2021. More...

QAO Advice: How to treat immaterial adjustments identified during your audit
As our 31 December year-end clients finalise their financial statements, it's a timely reminder to not make immaterial changes (22 January 2021). More...

OIC Qld: Data Privacy Day helps to build greater awareness and trust: 28 January 2021
This underlines a large part of the OIC's work, which aims to build trust through transparency, so Queenslanders and Queensland government agencies are aware of their privacy rights and responsibilities. In the lead up to the day, the OIC will be sharing privacy tips on Twitter and LinkedIn. More...

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

Productivity Commission: Report on Government Services 2021
The annual Report on Government Services (RoGS) 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...

Anonymity and identity shielding position paper
eSafety Commission: January 2021
They have highlighted the need for more rigorous, consistent and transparent verification of online social media accounts in its latest position paper on anonymity and identity shielding online. More...

Australia's Third Universal Periodic Review (UPR)
AHRC: January 2021
The submission to the third cycle review welcomes positive developments since the last cycle in 2015 and highlights the ongoing substantial weaknesses in Australia's human rights protections and new challenges that are arising, including the COVID-19 pandemic. 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% on the previous six months (512). 38% 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...


'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

Department of Home Affairs privacy determination
This matter is the first representative action where we have found compensation for non-economic loss payable to individuals affected by a data breach. t recognises that a loss of privacy or disclosure of personal information may impact individuals and depending on the circumstances, cause loss or damage. The full determination can be found here.

Crime and Corruption Commission v Acting Deputy Commissioner Wright & Anor [2021] QCAT 18
POLICE – INTERNAL ADMINISTRATION – DISCIPLINE AND DISMISSAL FOR MISCONDUCT – QUEENSLAND – where confidential databases accessed – whether accessed by the subject officer – whether accessed for an official purpose Police Service Administration Act 1990 Qld s 1.4

Young t/as LK & HM Young v Queensland Building and Construction Commission [2021] QCAT 8
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – where direction to rectify issued – circumstance of fresh evidence showing responsibility of another building contractor for performance of defective building work the subject of the direction – consideration of Tribunal's review jurisdiction generally – meaning of 'building work' and 'defective building work'.
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 Qld s 20, s 24; Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 Qld s 71l, s 72, s 72A, s 86, s 87



Copyright Act 1968
28/01/2021 - Act No. 63 of 1968 as amended

Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977
27/01/2021 - Act No. 59 of 1977 as amended

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1986
22/01/2021 - Act No. 101 of 1986 as amended

Foreign Evidence Act 1994
20/01/2021 - Act No. 59 of 1994 as amended

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


Regulatory Powers (Standardisation Reform) Bill 2020 [Provisions]
On 10 December 2020 the Senate referred the provisions of the Regulatory Powers (Standardisation Reform) Bill 2020 to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 19 February 2021. The deadline for submissions to the inquiry is 13 January 2021.


Subordinate legislation – 29 January 2021
No 1 Public Trustee (Interest Rate) Amendment Regulation 2021
No 2 Disability Services and Other Legislation (Worker Screening) Amendment Regulation 2021
No 3 Disability Services (Transitional) Regulation 2021

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.