In the media

OAIC: Email highlighted as a key risk for data breaches Malicious or criminal attacks including cyber incidents remain the leading cause of data breaches involving personal information in Australia, with almost one in three breaches linked to compromised login credentials, a new report shows (28 February 2020). More...

Legal funding welcome but underscores crisis The Law Council has welcomed the announcement of additional Commonwealth funding for legal representation, so that victims of family violence are not cross-examined personally by their alleged abusers. The national legal peak body is warning, however, that urgent action is needed to fix the broader family court funding crisis (28 February 2020). More...

School principal wins defamation case over parents' social media posts A school principal from a small town on Queensland's Gold Coast wins $6,000 in damages from two parents who wrote derogatory comments about her on social media, after a long and distressing defamation trial (28 February 2020). More...

Home Affairs suggests police should apply for permission to search journalists' homes or offices In a submission to an inquiry into press freedom, the Department of Home Affairs and AFP suggest police should have the option to apply to an independent authority in relation to raids on journalists and news organisations (28 February 2020). More...

ABC won’t appeal Federal Court decision about the AFP’s raid Australia’s national broadcaster, the ABC, has decided not to proceed with an appeal over the validity of a warrant used by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to raid its offices. The ABC’s managing director David Anderson said the ABC’s legal position was carefully considered, however the industry’s union, the MEAA, said the decision showed the system is broken (28 February 2020). More...

ACMA announces new measures to fight mobile number fraud The ACMA is stepping up its fight against mobile number fraud with a new industry standard that requires telcos to add an additional identity verification when transferring customers’ phone numbers from one telco to another. The new rules commence on 30 April 2020 (28 February 2020). More...

Prison is no place for 10 year olds: Australian governments told Chief law-makers in Australia must promote the rights of children with a commitment to raise the age at which children can be locked up, the Human Rights Law Centre has told a Working Group tasked to consider the age of legal responsibility (27 February 2020). More...

Prime minister's department broke the law delaying FOI request, watchdog finds The prime minister’s department broke the law by inexplicably delaying a freedom of information request about allegations the former public service commissioner improperly aided the right wing Institute of Public Affairs (27 February 2020). More...

PFAS class action settled over toxic firefighting foam at three Australian defence bases A settlement has been reached over potentially hazardous chemicals used in the foam at three defence bases in Oakey in Queensland, Katherine in the NT and Williamtown, NSW. The federal government said the parties were finalising detailed terms of the settlement. The terms are subject to federal court approval (27 February 2020). More...

Preliminary submissions pave the way forward The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council’s latest Terms of Reference about penalties for assaults on public officers has received the highest number of preliminary submissions for any review undertaken by the Council (27 February 2020). More...

Nation leading child abuse reforms introduced to Parliament A significant barrier preventing child sex offenders from being held to account and leading to ‘unwarranted acquittals’ will be removed under landmark reforms introduced into NSW Parliament (26 February 2020). More...

Australian law says the media can’t spin lies – ‘entertainment magazines’ aren’t an exception In a recent ruling the Australian Press Council has given a signal to gossip magazines it is OK to make up and publish rubbish about people, so long as the stories aren’t “blatantly incorrect”. This is despite the council’s own guidelines stating all member publications must strive for accuracy and avoid being misleading (24 February 2020). More...

Agencies must ensure that Queenslanders’ confidential information is protected Queenslanders should expect that the confidential information they provide to government agencies is not subject to unauthorised access by curious police officers and public servants. In a report tabled in State Parliament, the CCC has provided 18 recommendations designed to ensure that Queenslanders’ confidential information is less vulnerable to inappropriate access (21 February 2020). More...

LCA: Independent checks on de-encryption powers needed Law Council President Pauline Wright said the absence of judicial review of the powers of law enforcement and intelligence agencies to access encrypted data will erode social licence for the use of these powers and undermine reasonable expectations of confidentiality and privacy (19 February 2020). More...

AFP sensitive investigation review released The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has released a report on a recent review of its handling of sensitive investigations. At the centre of the Review’s findings was a definition of ‘sensitive investigation’ and a key structural and governance change to create an escalation model for the AFP to better manage sensitive investigations (17 February 2020). More...

In practice and courts

CDPP: Sentencing of federal offenders in Australia - A guide for practitioners - Second edition This comprehensive sentencing Guide is a resource not only for CDPP lawyers, but for other legal practitioners, judicial officers, and others who deal with the sentencing of Federal Offenders (26 February 2020). More...

Practice direction - Federal circuit court of Australia This practice direction sets out guiding principles for case management arrangements for cases that meet the definition of a Priority Property Pool under $500,000 Case (PPP500). All steps taken in proceedings before the Court in these cases, including commencing proceedings, should follow these principles. This practice direction takes effect from the date that it is issued and applies to all PPP500 cases filed on or after 1 March 2020. 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. Issue No. 7/2020, 24 February 2020. More...

LSC: Consultation paper - Proposed amendments to the legal profession uniform law The Legal Services Council has published a consultation paper on proposed amendments to the Legal Profession Uniform Law. See the consultation paper

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

OAIC: CDR privacy safeguard guidelines RSS feed The Privacy Safeguard Guidelines outline how the Information Commissioner will interpret and apply the privacy safeguards when exercising the functions and powers relating to the privacy safeguards under Part IVD of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Competition and Consumer Act), which establishes the Consumer Data Right (CDR) (24 February 2020). More...

OAIC submissions 21 February 2020 - Review of the mandatory data retention regime — supplementary submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security

AHRC: New national guide on powers of attorney You Decide Who Decides, funded by the Australian government, sponsored by the Australian Guardianship and Administration Council and developed by the Victorian Public Advocate, is a national resource which identifies differences between the law across the country. Information about where to find the form in different states and territories and a list of other useful websites is included at the back (25 February 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

Queensland

New Judicial Conduct Protocol - District and Magistrates Court The Chief Judge on behalf of the District Court and the Chief Magistrate on behalf of the Magistrates Court have now both execute the new Judicial Conduct Protocol. Copies of these protocols are attached Copies of these protocols are attached - District Court and Magistrates Court (17 February 2020)

Queensland sentencing and advisory council: Submissions Submissions and comments received for the review of penalties for assaults on police and other frontline emergency service workers, corrective services officers and other public officers. Submissions listed as ‘not published’ have been withheld from publication for privacy or legal reasons (28 February 2020). More...

OAIC Qld: Operation impala report released The Crime and Corruption Commission’s report Operation Impala – A report into misuse of confidential information in the Queensland public sector was tabled in parliament on 21 February 2020. It examined improper access to and disclosure of that information. The OIC is currently updating and strengthening resources for public sector agencies and the community (25 February 2020). More...

CCC investigations Operation Impala – A report into misuse of confidential information in the Queensland public sector. The CCC’s report, and a summary of the recommendations, is available on the CCC’s website here.

CCC news 28 February 2020 - Mount Isa council employee charged with falsification of records 28 February 2020 - Man extradited to face charges relating to Doomadgee council investigation

QAO: Addressing modern slavery risks Published: 24 February 2020 Advice Large public sector entities now need to explain what they are doing to assess and address modern slavery risks in their operations and supply chains. Entities required to comply with the reporting requirements must prepare annual Modern Slavery Statements. These statements must set out the reporting entity’s actions to assess and address modern slavery risks in their operations and supply chains. Each statement covers seven mandatory criteria outlined here.

OIC Qld: Review of civil surveillance and privacy laws An amendment to the terms of reference noted the QLRC will provide a report to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Leader of the House by 28 February 2020. As part of the review, the QLRC has been asked to prepare draft legislation based on its recommendations (11 February 2020). More...

OIC Qld: Privacy Authorities Australia working together and PAW2020 Following the PAA October meeting, Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) will be held across Australia between 4 to 10 May 2020. In Queensland, the theme for PAW2020 is Be smart about privacy. More...

OIC: Access application handling training We are offering access application handling training on 26 March 2020 to help government agencies comply with their legislative requirements. More...

Requests for comment: Queensland Law Reform Commission: Consent and mistake of fact review Terms of Reference here. The Commission is to provide a report on the outcomes of the review to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice by 17 April 2020

Court appointments - New Member of Land Court appointed Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath has announced the appointment of James McNamara to the Queensland Land Court (20 February 2020). More...

Published - articles, papers, reports

Face to face with digital exclusion Citizens Advice Bureau: 27 February 2020 The report highlights the challenges faced by people across a broad range of demographics and the barriers they encounter when dealing with government services online. It highlights that ‘digital' is not always best and that retaining ‘human’ services is a critical part of ensuring that wellbeing is supported and enhanced. More...

Impact of changes to service delivery models on the administration and running of government programs Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee Parliament of Australia: 27 February 2020 This report recommends that the Australian government assess all current and future proposals for outsourcing government services against a ‘public interest test’, which includes flow-on economic and employment impacts. More...

Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) Report OAIC: 28 February 2020 The report warns organisations about the risks associated with storing sensitive personal information in email accounts. More...

Management of the Australian Government's Register of Lobbyists — follow-up The objective of this audit is to examine the effectiveness of the Attorney-General’s Department’s implementation of the recommendations from Auditor-General Report No.27 of 2017–18, Management of the Australian Government’s Register of Lobbyists. Due to table: June, 2020 Open for contribution. More...

Administration of financial disclosure requirements under the Commonwealth Electoral Act The objective of this audit is to examine the effectiveness of the Australian Electoral Commission’s (AEC's) management of financial disclosures required under Part XX of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, including the extent to which the AEC is achieving accurate and complete financial disclosures. Due to table: June, 2020. Open for contribution. More...

Australian Bureau of Statistics 27/02/2020 Criminal Courts, Australia, 2018-19 (cat no. 4513.0) 18/02/2020 Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2018-19 (cat no. 4530.0)

Cases

Von Schoeler v Allen Taylor and Company Ltd Trading as Boral Timber (No 2) [2020] FCAFC 13HUMAN RIGHTS – discrimination – allegations of sexual harassment – vicarious liability – whether employer took all reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment – delay between trial and decision by primary judge – whether judgment is unsafe due to delay of six years – whether primary judge failed to give adequate reasons – appeal allowedAustralian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth) s 46PO(4)

Horizon Housing Company v Ross [2020] QCAT 41ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – MINOR CIVIL DISPUTE – TENANCY DISPUTE – where applicant applied to terminate residential tenancy agreement with respondent – where failure to leave the ground for termination – where warrant of possession of tenanted property sought LANDLORD AND TENANT – HUMAN RIGHTS LEGISLATION – OBLIGATIONS, PROHIBITED MATTERS AND PROTECTION OF LESSEES – whether tenant’s right under Human Rights Act 2019 to privacy family and home ought prevail over lessor’s right to termination order for tenant’s material breach of lease and residential tenancy legislation Human Rights Act 2019 Qld s 3, s 11, s 13, s 15, s 17, s 24, s 25, s 26, s 31, s 48 Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 Qld s 3, s 4, s 8, s 10, s 11, s 12, s 13, s 28, s 33, s 57, s 90, s 93, s 127; Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 Qld s 4, s 52, s 61, s 83, s 277, s 280, s 281, s 293, s 325, s 326, s 328, s 329, s 330, s 337, s 349, s 350, s 351, s 352, s 415

Zhou v Position Property Real Estate [2020] QCAT 42ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – minor civil dispute – residential tenancy – rental bond – claim for compensation for damage to premises –whether fair wear and tear Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 Qld s 11, s 12(1), s 12(4)(f), Schedule 3; Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 Qld s 137, s 188(4)

Legislation

Commonwealth

Statute Update (Regulations References) Bill 2020Finally passed both Houses 27/02/2020 - Amends 10 Acts to: replace references to specific provisions of regulations with more general means of identifying the provisions, so that the correct links between the contents of regulations and Acts will remain even if the regulations are remade, renamed or renumbered; and make consequential amendments.

Constitution Alteration (Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Press) 2019 [No. 2]Removed from the Notice Paper in accordance with (SO 42) 25 Feb 2020 Subject to approval in accordance with section 128 of the Constitution, the bill proposes an alteration to the Constitution to provide that the Commonwealth, States and Territories must not limit freedom of expression, including freedom of the press and other media.

Queensland

Bills updated

Community Based Sentences (Interstate Transfer) Bill 2019 Stage reached: 2nd reading adjourned on 20/02/2020 The Bill extends existing legislation, in place to facilitate the interstate transfer of prisoners and parolees, to community based offenders. In doing so, it facilitates Queensland's participation in the national scheme, joining Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

Police Powers and Responsibilities and Other Legislation Amendment Bill Stage reached: Passed with amendment on 20/02/2020 The Bill will amend legislation to improve community safety and the operational efficiency of both the Queensland Police Service and the Prostitution Licensing Authority. It will provide legislative clarity for police and Crime and Corruption Commission officers that they can lawfully obtain any information accessible on or via a digital device that may reveal evidence of a broad range of serious crimes.

Electoral Legislation (Political Donations) Amendment Bill 2018 Stage reached: 2nd reading failed on 18/02/2020

Civil Liability (Institutional Child Abuse) Amendment Bill 2018 Stage reached: Discharged on 18/02/2020

Subordinate legislation as made Electoral and Other Legislation Amendment Regulation 2020 (Qld) This Regulation is made under the Electoral Act 1992, Referendums Act 1997 and the State Penalties Enforcement Act 1999. This Regulation omits the prescribed times for the disclosure period from the Electoral Regulation which are no longer required due to amendments to section 198 of the Electoral Act which removed the need for such times to be prescribed and excludes persons detained in custody from the class of electors able to make an electronically assisted vote for State elections and referendums given that section 115 of the Electoral Act has been amended to require detained electors to make a declaration vote.

Reminder: Proclamation - Civil Liability and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 (commencing remaining provisions) 2020 (Qld)The date of 2 March 2020 is fixed for the commencement of the provisions of the Civil Liability and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 that are not in force.