In the media

This proposed lawsuit could test whether a judge can be sued for sending someone to jail In what would later be described by the full bench of the Family Court as an "affront to justice", a man was sentenced to 12 months' jail after walking into a property settlement hearing (31 January 2020). More...

Commission warns on Religious Discrimination Bill overreach In its submission on the latest draft of the Religious Discrimination Bill, the Australian Human Rights Commission warns that elements of the Bill are inconsistent with international human rights law (31 January 2020). More...

Australians accepting of biometric identification despite privacy concerns More than 80 percent of Australians are “extremely concerned” about privacy threats associated with biometric technology for identity verification, but they would still be willing to accept the technology in certain situations, says a recent report by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) (23 January 2020). More...

PS privacy powers move to emergency level The Government’s Privacy (Australian Bushfires Disaster) Emergency Declaration allows personal information about people affected by the bushfires to be exchanged by Agencies and private sector organisations for specific purposes that might not otherwise be allowed. The Declaration will apply for the next 12 months (23 January 2020). More...

Constitutional questions loom over $100 million community sports grants Legal experts have raised concerns over the constitutional basis of the Morrison government's controversial $100 million sports grants program (21 January 2020). More...

In practice and courts

OAIC: Bushfires Disaster Emergency Declaration under the Privacy Act Australian Government agencies and private sector organisations covered by the Privacy Act 1988 who are part of the bushfire disaster response can now operate under emergency privacy provisions to assist people impacted by the bushfires and coordinate and manage the response (21 January 2020). More...

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 (21 January 2020).

OAIC: Credit reporting changes to benefit consumers The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has approved amendments to the Credit Reporting Code 2014 that will benefit consumers. ARCA began consulting on the amendments in 2018, following an independent review of the Code. The amendments to the Code will be introduced on 14 February 2020. More...

ALRC Discussion Paper: corporate criminal responsibility The Discussion Paper makes 23 proposals for reform and asks 11 questions on particular areas of reform. A number of aspects of corporate criminal liability are discussed, including: the division between criminal offences and civil penalty provisions; the method for attributing liability to corporations; individual liability for corporate offences; sentencing; and, specific issues such as illegal phoenix activity. See the Discussion Paper. The ALRC is seeking submissions on the Discussion Paper until 31 January 2020.

Federal Circuit Court of Australia: Joint Practice Direction 1 of 2020 - Core Principles in the Case Management of Family Law Matters This Practice Direction sets out the ten core principles that underpin the exercise of the family law jurisdiction of the Courts. All steps taken in proceedings before the Courts, including commencement of proceedings, should follow these principles (28 January 2020). More...

Federal Circuit Court Discrete Property List - 28 January, 2020 Commencement From 28 January, 2020 applications which seek financial orders only, will be listed before a Registrar on the First Court Date and managed by a Registrar until the conclusion of the dispute resolution process. Referral to a Judge on the First Court Date will only be permitted in circumstances of genuine urgency requiring judicial determination.

High Court of Australia Digital Lodgment System Portal In January 2020 the High Court of Australia introduced a Digital Lodgment System Portal (DLS Portal) to permit parties to start cases, file documents, pay fees, receive notifications from the Court and track the progress of a case without attending the Registry.

AHRC: Human Rights and Technology Discussion Paper - Rights and Freedoms The Commission has launched the Human Rights and Technology Discussion Paper, which makes wide-ranging proposals for safeguarding human rights and encouraging accessible, equal and accountable use of new technology in Australia.The deadline for submissions is 10 March 2020. You can download the Human Rights and Technology Discussion Paperand make a submission at More...

ACC: Government response to the Digital Platforms Inquiry

The government released its response to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Digital Platforms Inquiry final report on 12 December 2019. The government has committed to reviewing copyright enforcement reforms made in 2018 at the end of 2020 and considers this will be an opportune time to better evaluate the opportunities for facilitating online copyright enforcement. 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. 3/2020, 28 January 2020. More...

Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee Impact of changes to service delivery models on the administration and running of Government programs Nationhood, national identity and democracy

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee 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] Crimes Legislation Amendment (Combatting Corporate Crime) Bill 2019

NSW

NSW Public Consultation Review of the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility The Council of Attorneys-General (CAG) Working Group is reviewing the age of criminal responsibility. Interested persons are invited to comment on a series of questions relevant to the Working Group's review. Submissions close on 28 February 2020

Review of the Graffiti Control Act 2008 The Department of Communities and Justice is seeking feedback on the Graffiti Control Act 2008 to determine whether the policy objectives of the Act remain valid and if its terms remain appropriate for securing those objectives. Submissions close on 10 February 2020

JUDCOM Bench books

LocalCourt Bench Book - Update 135, January 2020 [32-000] Small Claims has been revised at [32-020] and the information on pre-trial management has been updated. [34-000] Proceedings under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 the jurisdictional limit has been updated at [34-020]. [46-000] Extradition has been revised and updated. The amendments relate to the following areas: [52-000] Review and Appeals has been revised and updated. The Index, Table of Statutes and Table of Cases have been updated to Update 135.

NSW DCJ: Update to child protection reporting From 1 March 2020 amendments to the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (Care Act) will commence to expand mandatory reporting groups and provide greater protections for reporters (20 January 2020). More...

Call for Submissions on the Legal Profession Uniform Admission Rules 2015 (NSW) Removal of the word 'fame' The Legal Services Council's (LSC's) Admissions Committee invites comment about its recommendation that the text of the Legal Profession Uniform Admission Rules 2015 (Admission Rules) be amended to reflect the language of the Legal Profession Uniform Law 2014 (Uniform Law). Specifically, the Admissions Committee supports the removal of the word 'fame'. Submissions close on 28 February 2020. More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Corruption perceptions index 2019 Transparency International - The index offers an annual snapshot of the relative degree of corruption by ranking countries and territories from all over the globe. In 2012, Transparency International revised the methodology used to construct the index to allow for comparison of scores from one year to the next (23 January 2020). More...

Cases

Crown Resorts Limited v Zantran Pty Limited [2020] FCAFC 1 CONTRACTS – express obligations of confidence allegedly preventing voluntary communications with the solicitors for opposing party in litigation CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION – consideration of the sources of obligations of confidence PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – consideration of orthodox approaches to enforcing obligations of confidence and obtaining information from potential witnesses in advance of trial

Dolton v Eurobodalla Shire Council [2020] NSWCATAD 36 Administrative Law – Freedom of Information – access application – whether agency holds further information – reasonableness of searches

Nilufar v Secretary, Department of Education [2020] NSWCATAD 37 ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – provision of education and care services to children - prohibition notice issued – whether there may be an unacceptable risk of harm to children – what is an unacceptable risk – content of prohibition notice exceeding risk – amendment of decision

EEZ v TAFE NSW [2020] NSWCATAD 35 HUMAN RIGHTS — equal opportunity — leave required for complaint to proceed — principles applying to grant of leave

Fearnley v Health Care Complaints Commission [2020] NSWCATAD 30 ADMINISTRATIVE LAW — Freedom of information — Access to information – application for Tribunal to refuse to deal with administrative review application under s 109 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009– access application seeking access to excluded information – access application invalid - Tribunal refused to deal with and dismissed administrative review application

Johnson v Secretary, Department of Communities and Justice [2020] NSWCATAD 23 FREEDOM OF INFORMATION – government information - misconduct investigation into allegations of breach of confidence and privacy – witness evidence received in confidence – results of investigation – personal information – personal factors.

Hayley Paddon v Northern NSW Local Health District [2020] NSWCATAD 24 ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – government information – preliminary question - whether the board of a local health district is an public authority

DRX v City of Canada Bay Council [2020] NSWCATAD 26 ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW – personal information – review of conduct of agency admitted to be a contravention of Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 – order for compensation

Legislation

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments Casino Control Amendment (Miscellaneous) Regulation 2020 (2020-18) — published LW 24 January 2020 Local Government (General) Amendment (Tendering) Regulation 2020 (2020-19) — published LW 24 January 2020 Public Health Amendment (Scheduled Medical Conditions and Notifiable Diseases) Order 2020 (2020-17) — published LW 21 January 2020