Top QC To Head Medicinal Cannabis Review

Attorney-General Martin Pakula has appointed leading lawyer Dr Ian Freckelton, QC, as Special Commissioner to the Victorian Law Reform Commission’s review into the use of medicinal cannabis (29 January 2015)

Read the full article here.

LIV to host free public forum on data retention

A free panel discussion about proposed new data retention laws will be held at the Law Institute of Victoria on 24 February 2015. The proposed Bill has been referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security which is expected to table its report on 27 February (29 January 2015)

Learn more here.

New laws on Wills and Estates come into effect

New laws limiting the ability to make a claim on a will came into effect this month, prompting a call from the Law Institute of Victoria for people to ensure their wills are up to date and valid. The Justice Legislation Amendment (Succession and Surrogacy) Act 2014 effective after January 1 2015 limits the categories of people who are eligible to challenge a will (28 January 2015)

Read the full article here.

Worksafe Restored Because Workplace Safety Matters

The Minister for Finance announces that Victorian WorkCover Authority will immediately return to the WorkSafe banner. Since it was launched in 2001, WorkSafe has made its mark through powerful advertising campaigns and the highly-visible presence of Inspectors who make over 40,000 workplace visits every year (23 January 2015)

Read the full article here.

Public sector agencies fall short on information for whistleblowers

An IBAC review has found nearly a quarter of public sector organisations surveyed are not meeting their legal obligations around protected disclosures, almost two years after new laws were introduced to protect whistleblowers (12 January 2015)

Read the full article here.

How corruption flourishes

With the newly created Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) in Victoria, it is easy to assume that the issue of public sector corruption is a problem for the public service and Governments, and not the private sector; and high profile corruption cases are extreme isolated instances (05 January 2015)

Read the full article here.

Regulation

Parliament of Victoria: 10 February start for 2015 sittings

Tuesday 10 February will be the Victorian Parliament's first sitting day for 2015.

View the 2015 sitting calendar for the rest of the year's sitting dates for both the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council.

View the calendar here.

Family Violence Royal Commission: Terms of reference

Justice Marcia Neave will chair the Royal Commission with Patricia Faulkner and Tony Nicolson serving as Deputy Commissioners. The proposed Terms of Reference are outlined here

Download the Proposed Terms of Reference here.

AICD Company Directors Course 2014-2015 dates

The Victorian Public Sector Commission and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (Company Directors) have worked together to successfully develop the Company Directors Course for the Victorian public sector.

Learn more here.

Published - articles, papers, reports

IBAC Review of protected disclosure procedures, January 2015

IBAC recommended the seven non-compliant organisations establish procedures by 31 March 2015, and that all organisations review their procedures to ensure compliance with the PD Act.

Read the full report here.

Read the summary information sheet here.

Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009: 2013 – 2014 report

Victorian Information Commissioner

While the 2013 – 2014 Report provides some positive results, Ms Tydd acknowledged that there is still work to be done to promote access to information and achieve the objects of the Act (15 January 2015)

Download a copy of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009: 2013 – 2014 report here.

Cases

Mohamed-Ali v Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group Pty Ltd (Human Rights) [2014] VCAT 1590

Equal Opportunity Act 2010 sections 3, 8 and 44 – allegations of discrimination in the provision of services on the basis of race – use of names – making of comments – failure to remove a poster - exclusion from hotel premises – whether the respondent treated the applicant unfavourably because of his race or for another reason; dismissed.

Read about the case here

Knight v Wise [2014] VSC 639

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Judicial review – Decision of the Deputy Commissioner, Corrections to refuse the plaintiff’s application for an in-cell computer – Scope of the powers contained in section 21(1) of the Corrections Act 1986 (Vic) – Whether defendant took into account an irrelevant consideration namely, the plaintiff’s status as a declared vexatious litigant – Whether the defendant’s decision was made for an improper purpose, namely to hinder the plaintiff’s prosecution of his civil proceedings – Application dismissed – Minister for Aboriginal Affairs v Peko-Wallsend Ltd [1986] HCA 40; 1986 162 CLR 24 - East Melbourne Group Inc v Minister for Planning [2008] VSCA 217; (2008) 23 VR 605 - Moreland City Council v Minister for Planning [2014] VSC 468

Read about the case here.

CFMEU v Boral Resources (Vic) Pty Ltd & Ors [2014] VSCA 348

TORT – Common law of Australia – Intimidation – Existence of tort established by 1971 appellate decision – Whether still good law – Whether decision overtaken by subsequent decisions of High Court and House of Lords – Whether tort subsumed in broader tort of unlawful interference with business – No reason to doubt correctness of decision – Sid Ross Agency Pty Ltd v Actors & Announcers Equity Association [1971] 1 NSWLR 76 applied – Northern Territory v Mengel [1995] HCA 65; (1995)185 CLR 307, OBG Ltd v Allan [2007] UKHL 21; [2008] 1 AC 1 considered – Appeal dismissed.

Read about the case here.

Burgess & Anor v Director of Housing & Anor [2014] VSC 648

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - Judicial review - Decisions of the Director of Housing (Director) and Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) which would lead to plaintiffs’ eviction from public housing - First plaintiff alleged to have trafficked heroin from the premises - Decisions of Director to issue notices to vacate and apply for warrant of possession - VCAT grant of possession order and issue of warrant for possession - Stay granted on execution of warrant pending determination of proceeding - Plaintiffs seeking certiorari to quash decisions of Director - Threshold issue of whether decisions of Director amenable to certiorari - Consideration of continuing legal effect of decisions of Director - Whether Director failed to observe any requirement of natural justice in making decisions – Consideration of requirements of Director's own policy manual - Whether Director failed to take into account relevant considerations - Whether decisions of Director unlawful under s 38 of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) - Both decisions of Director invalidly made but only decision to apply for warrant amenable to certiorari - Consideration of what relief should be granted.

Read about the case here.

Magee v Wallace [2014] VSC 643

HUMAN RIGHTS – Freedom of expression – Lawful restrictions reasonably necessary – Protection of public order – Rights of other persons – Reasonable limits on rights – Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 ss 3(1), 7(2), 15, 32(1), 36.

Read about the case here.

Legislation

Victoria

Acts Proclamations

Children, Youth and Families Amendment (Permanent Care and Other Matters) Act 2014

Assent: 9/09/2014 SG (No. 306) 9/9/2014 p. 1 Commencement: Pt 1 (ss 1-3), Pt 9 (ss 155-160), Pt 10 Div. 4 (s. 164), Pt 11 (ss 171, 172) on 10/09/2014: s. 2(1) Ss 122-137, 143-150, 152 on 21/01/2015: SG (No. 10) 20/1/2015 p. 1

Not yet in operation: Ss 4-121, 138-142, 151, 153, 154, 161-163, 165-170, 173

Statutory Rules

No. 1: Road Safety (Drivers) and (General) Amendment (Alcohol Interlocks) Amendment Regulations 2015

Date of Making: 20/01/2015 Commencement: 20/01/2015 Not yet in operation: N/A

Sunset Date: 20/01/2025

No. 2: Subordinate Legislation Amendment Regulations 2015

Date of Making: 20/01/2015 Commencement: 20/01/2015 Not yet in operation: N/A

Sunset Date: 20/01/2025

No. 3: Magistrates' Court General Civil Procedure (Forms and Related Amendments) Rules 2015

Date of Making: 20/01/2015 Commencement: 01/02/2015: rule 3 Not yet in operation: Rules 1-11: on 01/02/2015: rule 3 Sunset Date: 20/01/2025

No. 4: Magistrates' Court (Miscellaneous Civil Proceedings) (Arbitration Costs and Forms Amendment) Rules 2015

Date of Making: 20/01/2015 Commencement: 01/02/2015: rule 3 Not yet in operation:

Rules 1-7: on 01/02/2015: rule 3 Sunset Date: 20/01/2025

No 6: Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Default Scale of Costs Amendment) Rules 2015

Date of Making: 28/01/2015 Commencement: 30/01/2015: rule 3

Not yet in operation: N/A Sunset Date: 28/01/2025

The next sitting dates for both Houses of Victorian Parliament are in 2015

Victorian legislation can be viewed online at: www.legislation.vic.gov.au

"The material contained in this publication is no more than general comment. Readers should not act on the basis of the material without taking professional advice relating to their particular circumstances”