New laws to stop vexatious litigants now in force

New laws to limit unjustified and costly claims brought by vexatious litigants have come into force 31 October 2014. The new, more effective regime to control and prevent vexatious litigation in Victoria's courts and tribunals would help stop frivolous claims against individuals, businesses and governments (31 October 2014). Read the full article here.

Recognition for parents under interstate surrogacy from today

Attorney-General Robert Clark said new laws to close a gap in Victoria’s surrogacy laws would help a number of families. The new laws allow parents of children born in Victoria through a non- commercial surrogacy arrangement in another Australian state or the Australian Capital Territory to have their parentage legally recognised (30 October 2014). Read the full article here.

Better access to compensation for asbestos victims

The Governor in Council has made regulations under the Wrongs Act to restore the previous arrangements by ensuring that those making claims for asbestos-related conditions are exempt from the ‘significant injury’ assessment process (30 October 2014). Read the full article here.

Prisoner rehabilitation: is it working?

The Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass has released a discussion paper outlining the key issues emerging from her investigation into the rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners in Victoria, prompted by the growth in prisoner numbers, concerns with rates of re-offending and the cost to the Victorian community (29 October 2014). Read the full article here.

A One-Stop Shop for environmental assessments in Victoria

Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, said a new assessment bilateral agreement that removes duplication and provides a single process for environmental assessments in Victoria has been signed by the Commonwealth and Victorian governments. Duplication of federal, state or territory and local planning processes adds complexity and cost to environmental approvals across the country (28 October 2014). Read the full article here.

Further Betrayal of Trust reforms commence

Further important reforms to better protect children following the landmark Betrayal of Trust report have now commenced. As of yesterday, new laws apply requiring ministers of religion in Victoria to hold a Working with Children Check, and from today it is an offence to fail to disclose information to police where a person knows or believes that a child has been sexually abused (27 October 2014). Read the full article here.

Consumer watchdog to probe new Tatts monopoly in Victoria

An agreement between two gaming companies that would see Tatts reclaim their monopoly in Victorian public lotteries will be probed by the consumer watchdog. Intralot approached Tatts in a bid to dump their 10-year contract signed in 2007 to operate Keno and scratchie businesses (25 October 2014). Read the full article here.

New laws passed to hold sex offenders to account

Introduced legislation will strengthen sexual offence laws to simplify and clarify the definition of sexual offences such as rape, introduce a new test to determine fault and make jury directions about these offences easier to understand (16 October 20914). Read the full article here.

New wills and surrogacy laws pass Parliament

Legislation to clarify Victoria’s succession and surrogacy laws has been passed by the Victorian Parliament. The legislation amends Victoria’s succession laws to ensure they operate justly, fairly and in accordance with community expectations and will help ensure families are not caught up in unnecessary disputes about wills and inheritance (16 October 2014). Read the full article here.

Historical homosexual convictions to be expunged

People with historical convictions for consensual homosexual acts will be able to have those convictions expunged from their criminal record following the passage of legislation by the Victorian Parliament.  Historical convictions have caused ongoing harm and hurt to those who were prosecuted and can limit their employment, travel and volunteering options (16 October 2014). Read the full article here.

Public Sector Performance Measurement and Reporting

Victoria's Auditor-General, John Doyle, tabled the report in the Victorian Parliament (15 October 2014). The audit examined the effectiveness of selected departments in applying the government's performance measurement and reporting system and of the Department of Treasury and Finance's oversight of the system (15 October 2014). Read the full article here.

Australia-first case defends the rights of people ordered into involuntary psychiatric treatment

Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) has launched Supreme Court action to protect the rights of thousands of people who are each year ordered into involuntary psychiatric treatment, when the serious step is taken to detain or treat them against their will, in the first legal action of its kind in Australia (08 October 2014). Read the full article here.

Published - articles, papers, reports and regulation

VAGO: Public Sector Performance Measurement and Reporting  

The audit examined the effectiveness of selected departments in applying the government’s performance measurement and reporting system and of the Department of Treasury and Finance’s oversight of the system (15 October 2014) Readreport here.

Adjusting the Balance the Wrongs Act Inquiry

Cite as: November 2014 88 (11) LIJ

In 2013 VCEC conducted an inquiry into the operation of amendments to the Wrongs Act. This article analyses recommendations regarding the significant injury threshold and the Victorian government's response. Read the report here.

New Instruction to the Profession - Civil Appeal Regime

The Court of Appeal has made available Instruction to the profession and litigants - Court of Appeal: Proposed new regime for civil appeals and applications (October 2014) (the Instruction), which advises the legal profession and litigants of changes to the Court of Appeal's civil appeals and civil applications regime. The Court of Appeal has advised that the changes will come into effect in November 2014. Read the publication here.

Victoria Supreme Court: Magistrates' Remarks Created a "Reasonable Apprehension of Apparent Bias"

The Supreme Court has made available its decision in Grima v MacCallum [2014] VSC 473 (23 September 2014), finding that Magistrate Mary-Anne MacCallum's remarks in relation to a case "created a reasonable apprehension of apparent bias". The Supreme Court made an order of prohibition against Magistrate MacCallum and ordered her to pay costs of the proceeding. Read the article here.

Privacy Victoria: eNews October 2014

15 October 2014: Newsletter for Privacy Network members. Read the newsletter here.

Cases

North Melbourne Community Centre - special measure declaration (Human Rights) [2014] VCAT 1295

The applicant has applied for an exemption under section 89 of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (EO Act) to enable the applicant to engage in the “conduct” as defined below.

In this order, the “conduct” is the offering of women only gym and group fitness sessions (women only sessions) at the North Melbourne Community Centre (a facility managed by the Victorian YMCA on behalf of the City of Melbourne). The women only sessions will be offered at times when the gym is quiet, based on the applicant’s research. Read about the case here.

Richardson v City of Casey Council (Human Rights) [2014] VCAT 1294

Equal Opportunity Act 2010 sections 3, 8 and 44 – allegations of discrimination in the provision of services on the basis of political belief or activity – whether the respondent treated the applicant unfavourably because of his political belief or activity – whether the respondent made certain decisions because of political belief or activity or for another reason – whether the respondent provided the applicant with services – Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 sections 7, 8, 15, 18, 38 and 39; application dismissed. Read about the case here.

Denham v Consolidated Herd Improvement [2014] VSC 520

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Judicial Review – Workers compensation – Opinion of a Medical Panel – Inadequate Reasons – Whether Medical Panel failed to explain its actual path of reasoning – Reasons not sufficiently detailed to enable Court to review for error – Whether appropriate in the circumstances to consider other grounds of review – Other grounds not considered – Wingfoot Australia Partners Pty Ltd v Kocak [2013] HCA 43; (2013) 303 ALR 64 – Bakar v Gruma Oceania Pty Ltd [2014] VSC 206 – Ryan v The Grange at Wodonga Pty Ltd [2014] VSC 135 – Accident Compensation Act 1986 (Vic), s 68. Read about the case here.

Ireland v Hume City Council [2014] VSC 515

NATURAL JUSTICE ― Right to be heard ― Right to prior notice of matter for determination ― Magistrates’ Court ― Civil proceedings ― Defendant appearing as litigant in person ― Application in court for judgment in default of filing defence ― Practically unwilling to hear from defendant on possible merits of defence ― Judgment given in default of non-payment of previous costs order ― Denial of natural justice ― Appeal allowed. Read about the case here.

DPP v CGM [2014] VSC 485

PUBLIC LAW – Application for a detention order – Respondent accepts he is an unacceptable risk of committing a ‘relevant offence’ if a detention order or supervision order is not made – Whether appropriate order is a supervision order or a detention order - Whether the risk of the respondent committing a relevant offence would be unacceptable unless a detention order was made – Consideration of the risk presented by the respondent - Hopkins Correctional Centre - Greenhill Detention Precinct - Corella Place transitional accommodation facility – Detention order made for a period of two years. Read about the case here.

Green v Department of Human Services (Review and Regulation) [2014] VCAT 1233

Freedom of Information Act 1982 – s 34(1)(b) – whether release of information acquired by agency from business and commercial undertaking would reasonably disadvantage the undertaking. Read about the case here.

Brygel v Victoria Police (Review and Regulation) [2014] VCAT 1199

Freedom of Information Act 1982 – s 33 – documents affecting personal privacy – documents relating to incident where applicant was removed from the office of the Victorian Taxi Directorate, including footage from security CCTV cameras. Read about the case here.

Legislation

Victoria

Acts assented

No. 74: Crimes Amendment (Sexual Offences and Other Matters) Act 2014

Assent: 21/10/2014 SG (No. 377) 21/10/2014 p. 1 Commencement: Ss 1, 2, 5, 6, 10 on 22/10/2014: s. 2(1)

Not yet in operation: Ss 3, 4, 7-9, 11-37

No. 77: Family Violence Protection Amendment Act 2014

Assent: 21/10/2014 SG (No. 377) 21/10/2014 p. 1 Commencement: NYP

Not yet in operation: Ss 1-28

No. 80: Justice Legislation Amendment (Succession and Surrogacy) Act 2014

Assent: 21/10/2014 SG (No. 377) 21/10/2014 pp 1, 2 Commencement: NYP

Not yet in operation: Ss 1-51

No. 81: Sentencing Amendment (Historical Homosexual Convictions Expungement) Act 2014

Assent: 21/10/2014 SG (No. 377) 21/10/2014 pp 1, 2 Commencement: NYP

Not yet in operation: Ss 1-8

Act Proclamations

No 44: Wills Amendment (International Wills) Act

Commencement:  10 March 2015 as the day on which that Act comes into operation, under section 2 VGG No. S 376 Tuesday 21 October 2014

No. 36: Crimes Amendment (Protection of Children) Act 2014

Assent: 3/06/2014 SG (No. 169) 3/6/2014 p. 1 Commencement: Ss 1, 2 on 04/06/2014: s. 2(1) Ss 4-6 on 27/10/2014: SG (No. 350) 7/10/2014 p. 1

S. 7 on 27/10/2014: s. 2(2) Not yet in operation: Ss 4-6: on 27/10/2014: SG (No. 350) 7/10/2014 p. 1S. 7: on 27/10/2014: s. 2(2) Ss 3, 8, 9

No. 52: Sentencing Amendment (Baseline Sentences) Act 2014

Assent: 12/08/2014 SG (No. 267) 12/8/2014 p. 1 Commencement: Ss 1-19 on 02/11/2014: SG (No. 350) 7/10/2014 p. 1 Not yet in operation: Ss 1-19: on 02/11/2014: SG (No. 350) 7/10/2014 p. 1

No. 56: Gambling and Liquor Legislation Amendment (Modernisation) Act 2014

Assent: 26/08/2014 SG (No. 281) 26/8/2014 p. 1 Commencement: Ss 1, 2, 53, 54, 56-60 on 15/10/2014: SG (No. 364) 14/10/2014 p. 2 Not yet in operation: Ss 3-52, 55, 61-64

No. 59: Freedom of Information and Victorian Inspectorate Acts Amendment Act 2014

Assent: 2/09/2014 SG (No. 294) 2/9/2014 p. 1 Commencement: Ss 1-27, 29-32 on 03/09/2014: s. 2(1) S. 28 on 07/10/2014: SG (No. 350) 7/10/2014 p. 1 Not yet in operation: N/A

No. 62: Courts Legislation Miscellaneous Amendments Act 2014

Assent: 9/09/2014 SG (No. 306) 9/9/2014 p. 1 Commencement: Ss 1, 2, 25-45, 53-60, 108-110 on 10/09/2014: s. 2(1) Ss 46-52 on 15/10/2014: SG (No. 364) 14/10/2014 p. 1 Ss 3-24, 61-67, 69(1), 72, 74, 80-107 on 10/11/2014: SG (No. 364)

14/10/2014 p. 1 Ss 75-79 on 01/04/2015: SG (No. 364) 14/10/2014 p. 1

Not yet in operation: Ss 3-24, 61-67, 69(1), 72, 74, 80-95: on 10/11/2014: SG (No. 364)

14/10/2014 p. 1 Ss 75-79: on 01/04/2015: SG (No. 364) 14/10/2014 p. 1

Ss 68, 69(2), 70, 71, 73 Proclamation of Commencement -  21 October 2014

No 63:  Crimes Amendment (Abolition of Defensive Homicide) Act 2014

Assent: 9/09/2014 SG (No. 306) 9/9/2014 p. 1 Commencement: Ss 1, 2 on 10/09/2014: s. 2(1)

Ss 3-6, 7(1)-(16), 7(18)(19), 8-13 on 01/11/2014: SG (No. 350) 7/10/2014 p. 1

Not yet in operation: Ss 3-6, 7(1)-(16), 7(18)(19), 8-13: on 01/11/2014: SG (No. 350) 7/10/2014

p. 1 S. 7(17

No. 64: Gambling and Liquor Legislation Further Amendment Act 2014

Assent: 9/09/2014 SG (No. 306) 9/9/2014 p. 1 Commencement: Ss 1, 2, 10, 12, 54-58 on 10/09/2014: s. 2(1) Ss 4, 6, 7, 9, 13, 14, 22-24, 32, 34, 37-40, 43-53 on 15/10/2014: SG

(No. 364) 14/10/2014 p. 1 Not yet in operation: Ss 3, 5, 8, 11, 15-21, 25-31, 33, 35, 36, 41, 42, 59

No. 67: Inquiries Act 2014

Assent: 23/09/2014 SG (No. 331) 23/9/2014 p. 1 Commencement: Ss 1-147, 149 on 15/10/2014: SG (No. 364) 14/10/2014 p. 2 Not yet in operation: S. 148

Provisions of the Inquiries Act 2014 No. 67 (Vic) have been proclaimed by Special Gazette No. S364 (14 October 2014) p. 2, to have commenced on 15 October 2014.

This affects the following legislation: Administrative Law Act 1978 No. 9234 (Vic); Appeal Costs Act 1998 No. 87 (Vic); Evidence (Commissions) Act 1982 No. 9766 (Vic); Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1958 No. 6246 (Vic); and Wrongs Act 1958 No. 6420 (Vic).

Statutory Rules

No. 156: Supreme Court (Oath and Affirmation of Office) Regulations 2014

Date of Making: 14/10/2014 Commencement: 10/11/2014: reg. 3

Not yet in operation: Regs 1-4: on 10/11/2014: reg. 3

Sunset Date: 14/10/2024

No. 157: County Court (Oath and Affirmation of Office) Regulations 2014

Date of Making: 14/10/2014 Commencement: 10/11/2014: reg. 3

Not yet in operation: Regs 1-4: on 10/11/2014: reg. 3

Sunset Date: 14/10/2024

No. 158: Magistrates' Court General Amendment (Judicial Registrar Oath and Affirmation of Office) Regulations 2014

Date of Making: 14/10/2014 Commencement: 10/11/2014: reg. 3 Not yet in operation: Regs 1-7: on 10/11/2014: reg. 3 Sunset Date: 14/10/2024

No. 159: Coroners Amendment Regulations 2014

Date of Making: 14/10/2014 Commencement: 10/11/2014: reg. 3

Not yet in operation: Regs 1-9: on 10/11/2014: reg. 3

Sunset Date: 14/10/2024

No. 160: Children, Youth and Families Amendment (Judicial Registrar Oath and Affirmation of Office) Regulations 2014

Date of Making: 14/10/2014 Commencement: 10/11/2014: reg. 3 Not yet in operation: Regs 1-6: on 10/11/2014: reg. 3 Sunset Date: 14/10/2024

No. 177: County Court (Chapter II Vexatious Proceedings Amendment) Rules 2014

Date of Making: 20/10/2014 Commencement:31/10/2014: rule 3 Not yet in operation: Rules 1-5: on 31/10/2014: rule 3 Sunset Date: 20/10/2024

No 171: Water Industry (Reservoir Parks Land) Regulations 2014

Operational:  ALL: 29/10/2014 (r. 3)