In the media

The Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia takes a vital step towards reform and engages the Honourable Dr Chris Jessup QC to oversee development of unified family law processes
The legal profession and the community have called for changes to the family law system. In response, the Courts are taking a major step to improve family law in Australia. This includes establishing, for the first time, a common set of rules, forms and case management in the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia (11 April 2019).  More...  

Complaints prompt new social media guidelines for councillors
Comprehensive social media guidelines are now available for Queensland councillors to help manage their online presence following a spate of social media related complaints, ahead of the 2020 council elections (11 April 2019).  More...  

Review into the framework of religious exemptions in anti discrimination legislation
The Morrison Government has commissioned the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) to undertake a comprehensive review of the framework of religious exemptions in anti-discrimination legislation across Australia (10 April 2019).  More...

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ OAIC: Statement on ''
On 13 February 2019 the OAIC commenced preliminary inquiries in relation to the actions of Mr Tim Wilson MP and Wilson Asset Management (International) Pty Ltd, in respect of alleged interferences with privacy related to the handling of personal information collected through the ‘’ website. On the basis of the OAIC’s preliminary inquiries, the Commissioner has formed the view that there is no jurisdiction to investigate Mr Wilson’s actions (08 April 2019).  More... 

Law breaking activists to be met with strong new laws at the farm gate
The State Government is cracking down on animal rights zealots invading farms in illegal protests. The Premier has announced police and Agriculture department officers will have the power to issue on the spot fines - a faster penalty than pursuing trespass charges (07 April 2019).  More... 

Bump stock device outlawed in Queensland
Minister for Police and Minister for Corrective Services the Honourable Mark Ryan MP has welcomed an amendment to section 8 of the Weapons Categories Regulation 1997 which makes 'bump stock' devices a Category R weapon (05 April 2019).  More...  

Budget increase provides funding certainty for legal assistance services
The Morrison Government will deliver a baseline funding boost and guaranteed long-term financial commitments for frontline legal services in the 2019-20 Budget (02 April 2019).  More... 

Sandy Thompson QC appointed Solicitor-General for Queensland
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath has announced Mr Sandy (Gavin Alexander) Thompson QC as Queensland’s new Solicitor-General (01 April 2019).  More... 

In practice and courts

Practice direction - Family Court of Australia
See the attached the following Practice Direction: Family Court of Australia - Practice Direction No 1 of 2019 – Applications for Leave to Appeal (03 April 2019)

Law Council of Australia: fortnightly update
The LCA have today (12 April 2019) published their fortnightly newsletter. A full copy is available here.

Law Council of Australia: 2019-20 Federal budget overview
On Tuesday, 2 April 2019, representatives of the Law Council of Australia attended the Federal Budget ‘lock-up'. The Law Council has prepared a summary of key announcements of interest to the legal profession. A full copy of the summary is available here.

Current Senate Inquiries 

Parliamentary scrutiny of delegated legislation
On 3 April 2019, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 3 June 2019.  More... 

Review of model defamation provisions: discussion paper
The purpose of defamation law is to balance protection from reputational damage with freedom of speech, and the release of information that's considered public interest. Each state and territory enacted legislation to implement the provisions to ensure greater national consistency. The Review of Model Defamation Provisions Discussion Paper includes specific questions about the Model Defamation Provisions for your consideration; however, you are invited to comment on any other matters related to the provisions. Submissions close on 30 April 2019. The Model Defamation Provisions are available on the Australasian Parliamentary Counsel's Committee website here

High Court Australia bulletin 2019
High Court of Australia Bulletin [2019] HCAB 02 (2 April 2019).  More... 

AAT bulletins 2019
The AAT Bulletin is a weekly publication containing a list of recent AAT decisions and information relating to appeals against AAT decisions
Issue No. 14/2019, 8 April 2019
Issue No. 13/2019,1 April 2019 

AAT: New AAT privacy policy
The AAT’s Privacy Policy outlines the AAT’s practices when handling personal information. The AAT recently released a new Privacy Policy with updated information. Visit our Privacy page to view the Policy and for more information (01 April 2019).  More... 

AAT: Revised Child Support review directions
The revised Directions for reviews of Child Support decisions are now available (01 April 2019).  More... 

2019 COAT National Conference
The 2019 Council of Australasian Tribunals (COAT) National Conference will be held 6 – 7 June in Melbourne.  More...  

Current consultations
Review of the Telecommunication and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018, Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. This review is in addition to two separate statutory reviews, amendments to include a review due to commence by April 2019


Victim Assist Queensland – guidelines for financial assistance
Victim Assist Queensland provides financial assistance to victims of violent crimes that were committed in Queensland. The Director-General has issued Guideline 9 – Granting financial assistance for legal expenses, which takes effect from 21 April 2019.  More... 

OIC Queensland cases
02 April 2019 5B3NGA and Department of Education [2019] QICmr 10 (2 April 2019) | Office of the Information Commissioner Queensland

QAO: Managing electronic and digital evidence
The rapid and ongoing increase in the use of electronic and digital technology to commit and detect crime has led to a growing reliance on electronic and digital evidence in criminal investigations and prosecutions. This rapid growth and the increasing sophistication of technology presents significant opportunities and challenges for the criminal justice system. Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee; Audit status Planned Anticipated tabling: to be advised.  More... 

QAO: Diverting young offenders from crime
This audit will examine the effectiveness of youth justice diversion and rehabilitation initiatives in helping young people better connect with the community and reduce the risk of them reoffending. Audit status Planned.  More... 

Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council: Intermediate sentencing options and parole
The due date for the final report has been extended by three months, by letter from the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, and Leader of the House, to 31 July 2019. Read the Terms of Reference

Department of Justice Consultation
Review of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 2003 (Qld) – Discussion paper 2
Have your say on Discussion Paper 2 Registration of life events: Functions and powers of the Registrar and the use and disclosure of information. Submissions close 23 April 2019

Crime Corruption Commission: Current prosecutions
Victorian man charged with official corruption - 8 April 2019
A 36-year-old Victorian man appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court this morning after being charged by the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) with official corruption. 

Supreme Court Practice Direction 4 of 2010
Supreme Court Practice Direction 4 of 2010 - reissued on 8 April 2019
The Registrar is hereby accorded jurisdiction, where it would otherwise not exist, pursuant to Rule 452(2) UCPR, to hear and determine the applications listed in Paragraph 5

Published - articles, paper, reports

20 policies to fix Australia
John Roskam, Daniel Wild; Institute of Public Affairs: 12 April 2019
Proposed policies include withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, reducing the corporate tax rate, privatising the ABC, and legalising nuclear power.  More...  

Resolution of disputes with financial service providers within the justice system
Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee; Parliament of Australia: 08 April 2019
This inquiry explored the ability of consumers and small businesses to exercise their legal rights through the justice system, and whether there are fair, affordable and appropriate resolution processes to resolve disputes with financial service providers.   More... 

State of the data and digital nation
Australian Digital Council; Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Australia): 05 April 2019
This report provides an overview of the main data and digital transformation initiatives being implemented in Australia by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments. It features case studies of successful projects in areas including health, human services, community engagement, ID services, biodiversity and more.   More... 

Second interim report: freedom of religion and belief, the Australian experience
Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade; Parliament of Australia: 03 April 2019
This report examines some of the perceived problems associated with the reconciling of the exercise of freedom of religion with other human rights. It considers solutions and legislative reforms.   More... 

Public sector digital transformation: a quick guide
Parliamentary Library Research Publications: 02 April 2019
In broadly chronological order, this Quick Guide provides brief background information on a variety of recent and current initiatives in the Australian federal public sector associated with ‘digital transformation’, as well as links to relevant sources of information.  More...  


Clubb v Edwards; Preston v Avery [2019] HCA 11
So much of the appellant's appeal from the judgment of Magistrate Bazzani made on 11 October 2017 as has been removed into this Court is dismissed. Constitutional law (Cth) – Implied freedom of communication about governmental or political matters – Where s 185D of Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic) and s 9(2) of Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Act 2013 (Tas) prohibit certain communications and activities in relation to abortions within access zone of 150 m radius around premises at which abortions are provided – Where appellants engaged in communications and activities in relation to abortions within access zone – Whether communications and activities in relation to abortions are communications about governmental and political matters – Whether provisions effectively burden implied freedom – Whether provisions imposed for legitimate purpose – Whether provisions reasonably appropriate and adapted to that purpose – Whether provisions suitable, necessary and adequate in balance.
Constitutional law (Cth) – Implied freedom of communication about governmental or political matters – Severance, reading down and disapplication – Where appellant charged and convicted of offence against s 185D of Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic) – Where it was not contended that appellant's conduct involved political communication – Where substantial overlap with issues raised in proceedings in relation to interstate Act – Whether s 185D able to be severed, read down or partially disapplied so as to have valid operation in respect of appellant – Whether appropriate to proceed to determine constitutional validity of s 185D. 

Tutkaluk trading as Prestige Patios and Decks v Queensland Building and Construction Commission [2019] QCAT 92
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – where the Respondent made a reviewable decision – defective work not rectified – where the Applicant sought review of reviewable decision – where no review sought of direction to rectify – scope of Tribunal’s jurisdiction 

Blank Canvas Solutions Pty Ltd t/as Axiom Access v OzRig Pty Ltd [2019] QCAT 84
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – where there is a building dispute – where there is an issue involving costs – where Tribunal has broad and general discretion to award costs – where general rule that successful party entitled to costs – where both parties successful. 

Sundale Limited [2019] QCAT 83
HUMAN RIGHTS – DISCRIMINATION LEGISLATION – where the applicant on behalf of a class of people seeks an exemption from the operation of a specified provision of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld) in order to operate the ‘Better Together Housing Project’ – where the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner supports the application – whether the exemption should be granted

Commissioner of Taxation v Resource Capital Fund IV LP [2019] FCAFC 51
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW – competency to object – where a corporate limited partnership is treated as a separate “taxable” entity – whether a corporate limited partnership is competent to object to an assessment – where liability is imposed on the individual partners without separate assessment – whether the imposition of joint and several liability on the individual partners would be an incontestable tax and unconstitutional
TAXATION – ordinary income – source of income – where corporate limited partnerships made a gain from the sale of shares in a company – where value of the shares depended upon the value of a mine located in Australia 

CXXXVIII v Commonwealth of Australia [2019] FCAFC 54
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – summons and notice to produce issued under the Australian Crime Commission Act 2002 (Cth) – whether summons and notice to produce supported by a valid determination made in the exercise of the functions of the Board – power to authorise investigation into matters relating to federally relevant criminal activity – meaning of “investigation” – meaning of “federally relevant criminal activity” – limits on the subject matter of an investigation authorised and determined to be special – whether summons and notice to produce issued for the purpose of a special investigation that had in fact been constituted and that the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission was in fact conducting
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – notice to produce issued under the Australian Crime Commission Act 2002 (Cth) – notice purporting to require the production of things in the recipient’s possession, custody or control forthwith at the time and place of service – whether compliance impossible in respect of things not able to be produced immediately at the time and place of service – whether notice to produce issued in excess of authority – application of s 46 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth) – whether notice to produce capable of reading down
APPEAL AND NEW TRIAL – question of fact and law conceded by respondent in proceedings before primary judge – whether primary judge committed appealable error by failing to grant the appellant declaratory relief on the conceded question 

Rex Patrick and Minister for Resources and Northern Australia (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 13
Freedom of Information — Interpretation of scope — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 4(1) and 55D. Under s 55K of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act), I set aside the decision of the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia (the Minister) of 16 January 2018 that documents cannot be found or do not exist.

Tropoulos v Journey Lawyers Pty Ltd [2019] FCA 436
HUMAN RIGHTS – employment – discrimination – direct discrimination under Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) s 5(2) – legal practitioner – where employee suffers from depressive disorder – reasonable adjustments to nature of employment – whether working five half days per week is reasonable adjustment – whether adjustment would impose unjustifiable hardship on employer within meaning of Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) s 21B
HUMAN RIGHTS – employment – discrimination – appropriate hypothetical comparator – whether an employee injured at work is an appropriate comparator
HUMAN RIGHTS – employment – discrimination – reasonable adjustments – where contractual dispute not pleaded – whether failing to engage in mediation was failure to make reasonable adjustments – whether employer treated “less favourably” – whether instructing counsel on first day back at work, reallocation of clients to other lawyers and allocation of legal aid clients, office relocation, change in position and salary failed to constitute reasonable adjustments
HUMAN RIGHTS – exception – inherent requirements of employment – whether employee could satisfactorily carry out inherent requirements of practice as Australian legal practitioner – victimisation – director of incorporated legal practice – duties and responsibilities – whether Legal Profession Act 2007 (Qld) s 117 requires director to report person who may not be “fit and proper” – whether threat of victimisation occurred because of disability
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – jurisdiction – whether Federal Court has jurisdiction to hear complaint of victimisation – Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) s 42
EVIDENCE – admissibility and relevance – expert opinion evidence – specialised knowledge – evidence of family law – whether knowledge of conduct of daily practice in family law is specialised
COSTS – whether appropriate to depart from usual order as to costs – whether costs ought to be assessed on indemnity basis 

Mulder v Queensland Building and Construction Commission & Anor [2019] QCAT 78
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE OR TERRITORY COURTS – PARTIES AND REPRESENTATION – LEGAL REPRESENTATION – GENERALLY – where leave for legal representation sought – whether interests of justice require leave to be granted - Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 Qld s 3, s 43; Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Rules 2009 Qld r 53

VRN v Queensland Police Service - Weapons Licensing [2019] QCAT 77
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – where applicant seeks documents relating to motives for reviewable decision – whether relevant. Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 Qld s 63(1), s 62(3)

Arcturus Downs Limited v Peta Stilgoe (Member of the Land Court of Queensland) & Ors [2019] QSC 84
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – JUDICIAL REVIEW – where the applicant objected to the grant of mining leases and environmental authorities – where the Land Court dismissed an application by the applicant to dismiss the second respondent’s application for mining leases and environmental authorities – where the Land court recommended that mining leases be granted over application area – where the Land Court recommended to the administering authority that the environmental authority be issued – where the Land Court recommended the issue of EA 1613 – where the applicant seeks a statutory order of review of those decisions – whether the decisions of the Land Court involved errors of law – whether the decision of the Land Court had jurisdiction to make the environmental decision – whether the making of the environmental authority was an improper exercise of the Land Court’s power – whether a breach of natural justice has occurred

PRS v Crime and Corruption Commission [2019] QSC 83
PROCEDURE – STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS: JURISDICTION, POWERS AND GENERALLY – JURISDICTION – GENERALLY – where the applicant sought an order suspending the investigative powers of the Crime and Corruption Commission (‘the CCC’) – whether it was appropriate for the court to make an order suspending the powers of the CCC – whether the court should enjoin police from charging the applicant
STATUTES – ACTS OF PARLIAMENT – INTERPRETATION – INTERPRETATION ACTS AND PROVISIONS – EXERCISE OF POWERS AND DUTIES – GENERALLY – where the applicant sought an order directing the CCC to reopen investigations and direct seconded police officers not to charge the applicant – whether the Crime and Corruption Act 2001 (Qld) vested jurisdiction in the court to make such orders – whether the court should exercise its discretion in order to make such orders. 




Criminal Code Amendment (Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Material) Act 2019
10 April 2019 - Act No. 38 of 2019

Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Amendment Act 2019
09 April 2019 - Act No. 32 of 2019


Criminal Code Amendment (Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Material) Bill 2019
Finally passed both Houses 04 April 2019 Assent Act no: 38 2019 05 April 2019
This Bill will make amendments to the Criminal Code Act 1995 to introduce new 3.offences to ensure that internet, hosting or content services are proactively referring abhorrent violent material to law enforcement, and that hosting and content services are expeditiously removing abhorrent violent material that is capable of being accessed within Australia.

Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Amendment Bill 2019
Finally passed both Houses 03 Apr 2019 Assent Act no: 32 2019 05 Apr 2019
Amends the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Act 2018 to: amend the definition of 'communication activity' to capture a person that produces information or material on behalf of a foreign principal for the purpose of the information or material being distributed to the public; provide that a person's belief about the intention of a foreign principal may be taken into account when determining the purpose of an activity; provide that the reporting obligations under the foreign influence transparency scheme apply to persons that are liable to register, but who have not yet actually registered; extend the obligation to make disclosures in registrable communications activity to any person who undertakes a registrable communication activity on behalf of a foreign principal (not just to those who are already registered); and make technical amendments to certain offence provisions.


Privacy Amendment (External Dispute Resolution Scheme) Regulations 2019
10/04/2019 - These regulations amend the Privacy Regulation 2013 to extend the prescription of energy or water utilities in the Australian Capital Territory, for the purposes of subparagraph 21D(2)(a)(i) of the Privacy Act 1988, until 1 January 2020.

Ombudsman Amendment (National Preventive Mechanism) Regulations 2019
09/04/2019 - These regulations amend the Ombudsman Regulations 2017 to confirm the roles and functions of the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal Amendment (Family Assistance Law Review Fees) Regulations 2019
08/04/2019 - This instrument amends the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Regulation 2015 to expressly clarify that a fee is payable in relation to an application to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for AAT single review.

Privacy Amendment (SA NT DataLink) Regulations 2019
05/04/2019 – These regulations amend the Privacy Regulation 2013 to prescribe the Department for Health and Wellbeing (an authority of South Australia) as an organisation under the Privacy Act 1988

Privacy Amendment (Protection of Australian Farms) Regulations 2019
05/04/2019 - These regulations amend the Privacy Regulation 2013 to prescribe Aussie Farms Inc as an organisation for the purposes of the Privacy Act 1988. Subsection 7(1A) applies in relation to acts done, and practices engaged in, after the commencement of the Privacy Amendment (Protection of Australian Farms) Regulations 2019 (whether in relation to personal information collected before or after that commencement).

Marriage (Celebrant Professional Development) Amendment Statement 2019
01/04/2019 - This instrument amends the Marriage (Celebrant Professional Development) Statement 2019 by adding two new activities to the list of celebrant development activities.


Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018
Stage reached: Passed with amendment on 3/04/2019
Assent Date: 11/04/2019 Act No: 12 of 2019 Commences: by Proclamation
An Act to amend the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 and others

Justice Legislation (Links to Terrorist Activity) Amendment Bill 2018
Stage reached: Passed on 28/03/2019
Assent Date: 11/04/2019Act No: 10 of 2019Commences: Date of Assent

Guardianship and Administration and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018
Stage reached: Passed on 26/03/2019 Assent Date: 11/04/2019
Act No: 9 of 2019 Commences: see Act for details

Subordinate legislation as made
No 43 Weapons Legislation Amendment Regulation 2019
No 44 Police Service Administration (Approved Agencies) Amendment Regulation 2019