In the media

Complaint Handling Changes Will Keep Councils Accountable

The Andrews Labor Government has welcomed the Victorian Ombudsman’s report on complaint handling for local councils. Councils and complaints – A report on current practice and issues, tabled today, highlights the gaps in current complaint handling and the expectations of ratepayers and residents (25 February 2015)

Read the full article here.

Legal watchdog pursues imposter

Victoria’s Legal Services Board has won a court battle against a lay person who has been found guilty of giving unqualified legal advice to tyre magnate Bob Jane. This breached a consumer protection measure in the Legal Profession Act 2004, which prohibits non-lawyers from engaging in legal practice (26 February 2015)

Read the full article here.

Family Violence Royal Commission Formally Established

The Premier Daniel Andrews has presented the letters patent to formally establish Australia’s first Royal Commission into Family Violence to the Governor of Victoria. The Royal Commission has been tasked with providing recommendations that will influence generational change to prevent and respond to family violence (23 February 2015)

Read the full article here.

Time limitations for child abuse cases abolished

The Government will provide greater access to justice for child abuse victims, removing time limitations to civil claims for damages, under the Limitations of Actions Amendment (Criminal Child Abuse) Bill 2014. The new laws with provide victims with greater access to justice (24 February 2015)

Read the full article here.

Same-sex adoption a step closer with review of laws

The Government has commissioned a review, to be conducted by Eamonn Moran PSM QC, to consider the legal changes required to permit adoption of children by same-sex couples under Victorian law. The review is to report to the Minister by 8 May 2015. The review will examine how best to legislate for adoption equality (22 February 2015) 

Read the full article here.

Premier Announces 29th Governor Of Victoria

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that long-serving Family Court Judge and AFL Commissioner, The Hon Linda Dessau AM, will be appointed the 29th Governor of Victoria. The term of the current Governor, His Excellency The Hon Alex Chernov AC QC, will expire on June 30, 2015 (11 February 2015)

Read the full article here.

Victorian DPP awaits IBAC Report

The DPP will consider any potential impact on criminal prosecutions resulting from matters raised in the IBAC report into Victoria Police human source management once he has received the report. The DPP John Champion SC has not conducted a review of any files involving police informers as there has yet to be a sufficient basis to do so (11 February 2015)

Read the full article here.

LIV welcomes repeal of Move-on laws and exclusion orders

Repeal of laws which had restricted the rights to peaceful protests and subjected individuals to exclusion orders has been welcomed by the Law Institute of Victoria. The law significantly extended the scope of police "move on" powers and created longer lasting exclusion orders for people who were told to move on (10 February 2015)

Read the full article here.

Minister Praises Police Review into Sexual Harassment

A review into sexual harassment, discrimination and predatory behaviour at Victoria Police commenced today. Minister for Police, Wade Noonan, has welcomed the review – the first of its kind in Australia (09 February 2015)

Read the full article here.

New Appointments to the Court Of Appeal and Supreme Court in Victoria

The Attorney-General announces the appointment of the Honourable Justice Stephen Kaye to the Court of Appeal and the Honourable Associate Justice Rita Zammit to the Supreme Court. Justice Kaye’s appointment follows the appointment of the Honourable Justice Geoffrey Nettle to the High Court of Australia (03 February 2015)

Read the full article here.

Regulation

The Limitations of Actions Amendment (Criminal Child Abuse) Bill 2014

The Bill will completely remove the limitation period for all relevant child abuse claims regardless of the time or context of the alleged abuse. Accordingly, the Bill will remove the current 12-year ‘long stop’ limitation period that currently applies to wrongful death claims brought by dependents of deceased persons where the wrongful death was caused by child abuse (24 February 2015)

Read the media release here.

Review of the Adoption Act 1984 No. 10150 (Vic)

The review will consider the legislative amendments required to permit adoption of children by same-sex couples under Victorian law. The terms of reference for the review include: the Victorian Law Reform Commission Final Report on Assisted Reproductive Technology and Adoption (2007) Submissions to the review should be sent to the DPC by 23 March 2015  

Get more information here.

Published - articles, papers, reports

Councils and complaints - A report on current practice and issues

Victorian Ombudsman

Tabled 26 February 2015, this highlights the gaps in current complaint handling and the expectations of ratepayers and residents.

Read the report here.

Effectiveness of Support for Local Government

Victorian Auditor-General 

The audit found both LGV and MAV have established methods for identifying support needs. However, with some exceptions, neither is able to clearly demonstrate how their support activities contribute to the effective and efficient operation of councils (26 February 2015)

Read the report here.

Public hospitals: results of the 2013–14 audits

Victorian Auditor-General's Office; John Doyle

This report summarises the results of the financial audits of 87 Victorian public hospitals and 23 associated entities at 30 June 2014 (25 February 2015)

View the results here.

Water Entities: Results of the 2013–14 Audits

Victorian Auditor-General 

The report noted that the water sector faced other key financial challenges including repayment of growing debt and continuing to meet on-going financial obligations to the state such as taxes and levies. Victoria's water industry includes 20 public sector entities, comprising 19 water entities and one controlled entity (12 February 2015)

View the results here.

Cases

Knight v Shuard [2015] VSC 36

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Vexatious litigant – General litigation restraint order – Whether leave to commence proceeding should be granted – Test to be applied – Transitional provisions – Supreme Court Act 1986 s 21 – Vexatious Proceedings Act 2014 ss 54, 55, 91.

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Prison – Separation of prisoners – Effect on prisoners’ privileges – Whether invalid application of policy – Previous proceeding seeking habeas corpus – Declaratory relief sought – Leave to commence proceeding refused – Corrections Act 1986 ss 8, 54A – Corrections Regulations 2009 regs 27, 42.

Read about the case here.

C v Children's Court of Victoria & Anor [2015] VSC 40

Kitson v Dennerstein (Human Rights) [2015] VCAT 138

Health Records Act 2001; interference with privacy, ss 18, 78 Sch. 1 Health Privacy Principle 1,3,4 and 9

Read about the case here.

Owen Daniel (a pseudonym) v Secretary to the Department of Justice [2015] VSCA10

PUBLIC LAW – Appeal – Supervision order under the Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009 – Condition that the appellant be prohibited from practising magic tricks on his own or in company – Whether condition necessary to reduce risk of re-offending – Whether condition unreasonable – Need for clarity and precision in conditions of supervision orders – Sections 15, 160 of the Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009 – Appeal allowed.

Read about the case here.

Mercier Rouse Street Pty Ltd v Burness & Ors [2015] VSCA 8

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal – Jurisdiction – Orders judgments and declarations – Whether VCAT possessed of jurisdiction to order specific performance of contract of sale – Procedural fairness – VCAT ordering personal relief when proprietary relief sought – Whether order made in excess of VCAT’s jurisdiction – Whether order void and of no effect - Fair Trading Act 1999 (Vic) – Morris v Riverwild Management Pty Ltd (2011) 38 VR 103.

CONTRACT – Election – Purchase of apartment – Payment of purchase price – Application in Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for proprietary relief – Grant of personal relief – Application in Federal Court for appointment of liquidator of vendor – Application by purchaser to be joined as supporting creditor – Application by supporting creditor that provisional liquidator be appointed to manager – Whether exercise of inconsistent rights – Agricultural and Rural Finance Pty Ltd v Gardiner [2008] HCA 57; (2008) 238 CLR 570.

Read about the case here.

Legislation

Victoria

Statutory Rules

No. 9: Road Safety (General) Amendment (Prescribed Offences) Regulations 2015

Date of Making: 17/02/2015 Commencement: 17/02/2015

Not yet in operation: N/A Sunset Date: 17/02/2025

No. 10: Supreme Court (Judicial Registrars Amendment) Rules 2015

Date of Making: 26/02/2015 Commencement: 01/03/2015: rule 3

Not yet in operation: N/A Sunset Date: 26/02/2025

No. 11: Supreme Court (Chapter I Miscellaneous Amendments) Rules 2015

Date of Making: 26/02/2015 Commencement: 01/03/2015: rule 3

Not yet in operation: N/A Sunset Date: 26/02/2025

Bills Progress

Limitation of Actions Amendment (Child Abuse) Bill

The aim of the Bill is to implement recommendation 26.3 of the Family and Community Development Committee’s s November 2013 Betrayal of Trust report

Bills Introduced and Second Read in the first House 24/02/2015 

View the bill here.

Back to Work Bill 2014

The object of this Bill is to establish a Back to Work Scheme for the purpose of providing relief to employers in respect of the costs associated with hiring certain unemployed or retrenched workers and to make consequential amendments to the Taxation Administration Act 1997

Legislative Council 12/2/2015 Moved second reading, debate adjourned

View the bill here.

Wrongs Amendment (Asbestos Related Claims) Bill 2014

The aim of the Bill is to ensure that claimants with asbestos – related conditions can bring their claims for compensation expeditiously

Legislative Council 12/2/2015 Moved second reading, debate adjourned

View the bill here.

Summary Offences Amendment (Move-on Laws) Bill 2015

The Bill proposes to amend the Summary Offences Act 1966 No. 7405 (Vic) (the principal Act). The objective of the Bill is to repeal certain amendments made to the principal Act by the Summary Offences and Sentencing Amendment Act 2014 No. 15 (Vic) in relation to move-on powers and related exclusion orders. Specifically, the Bill would provide that police officers and protective services officers will not have a specific power to give a move-on direction to a person picketing a place of employment, demonstrating or protesting about a particular issue, or publicising his or her view about a particular issue 10/02/2015 Legislative Assembly; 11/02/2015 second reading speech; third reading passed 26/02/2015.

View the bill here.

Statute Law Revision Bill 2014

The purpose of this Bill is to revise the statute law of Victoria. The Bill makes minor amendments to a number of Acts to correct grammatical and typographical errors, to update references and for other similar purposes. The Bill also repeals spent provisions of Acts. 11/02/2015 Council: Second reading moved.

View the bill here.

Parliamentary Committees and Inquiries Acts Amendment Bill 2015

A Bill for an Act to amend the Parliamentary Committees Act 2003 to amalgamate certain committees and to make various minor amendments to the Inquiries Act 2014. The Bill provides for the establishment of joint parliamentary committees for Parliament and also identifies the number and type of committees.11/02/2015 Assembly: Second reading moved.

View the bill here.

Interpretation of Legislation Amendment Bill 2015

A Bill for an Act to amend the Interpretation of Legislation Act 1984 and for other purposes. The Bill tightens up interpretation of legislation around certain definitions and delegations and gives the chief parliamentary counsel certain new formatting powers.

11/02/2015 Assembly: Second reading moved.

View the bill here.

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”