In the media

PM given 'incorrect advice' causing backflip on $1000 charge for Australians fleeing Wuhan Australians will not be charged $1,000 to be evacuated from the Chinese city of Wuhan in a stunning federal backflip blamed on "incorrect advice" given to Prime Minister Scott Morrison (02 February 2020). More...

Optus pays $504,000 for spamming Australians Singtel Optus Pty Limited has paid a $504,000 infringement notice after an Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) investigation found significant breaches of spam laws. This is the second largest infringement notice ever paid to the ACMA (31 January 2020). More...

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...

Religious discrimination bill could put business in 'perilous' and 'very expensive' position: ACCI Proposed religious discrimination laws could put businesses in a "perilous" and "very expensive" position as they try to balance the rights of religious and non-religious employees (31 January 2020). More...

Recidivisim report looks to build a safer Queensland The Palaszczuk Government has released its response into a 516-page report into imprisonment and recidivism, committing to implement a series of criminal justice system reforms, but rejecting a proposal to decriminalise illicit drugs (31 January 2020). More...

Global index shows Australia seen as increasingly corrupt Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index for 2019 ranks Australia equal 12th in the world in terms of countries considered least corrupt, alongside Austria, Canada and the UK. Eighty per cent of Australians want so see a federal anti-corruption body (30 January 2020). More...

Human Rights Law Centre joins international civil liberties network The Human Rights Law Centre is strengthening its work by joining the International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations (INCLO). INCLO is a network of 15 independent, national human rights organisations from different countries working together to promote fundamental rights and freedoms (28 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...

QLD civil society groups critical of proposed law that would shut down advocacy The Palaszczuk Government’s Bill to limit political donations and election spending will have the unintended consequence of silencing charities and community groups unless it is amended, legal, human rights and civil society groups will tell a parliamentary committee today (20 January 2020). More...

Changes to QLD election laws could face High Court challenge The Human Rights Law Centre released expert advice by a team of Queensland barristers led by Stephen Keim SC that warns that the Palaszczuk Government’s proposed changes to Queensland electoral laws could face a High Court challenge (17 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...

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.

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.

Queensland

Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council’s latest annual report released 31 January 2020 - Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council’s 2018-19 Annual Report has recently been tabled in Queensland Parliament. View the Council’s Annual Resport here.

QLS: Verifying client identity and overseas transactions The QLS Ethics and Practice Centre and the Registrar of Titles and Registrar of Water Allocations wish to bring to practitioners’ attention a recent property fraud which highlights the need to know your client and the risks of communicating with clients solely by email (30 January 2020). More...

Queensland Parliament: Current inquiries Electoral and Other Legislation (Accountability, Integrity and Other Matters) Amendment Bill 2019 and Inquiry into the feasibility of introducing expenditure caps for Queensland local government elections Economics and Governance Committee Submissions close on 09 February 2020. Report due 07 February 2020

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...

CCC prosecutions CCC recommends stricter governance of political appointees in local councils following Gold Coast investigation (24 January 2020)

CCC: Corruption in focus Guide/manual 22 January 2020 A guide to dealing with corrupt conduct in the Queensland public sector. 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.

Published - articles, papers, reports

Defence's Management of its Public Communications and Media Activities ANAO: 28 January 2020 The objective of the audit was to examine the effectiveness and appropriateness of the Department of Defence's management of its public communications and media activities. More...

Global Innovation Index 2019 World Intellectual Property Organization, Cornell University, INSEAD: 23 January 2020 The Global Innovation Index (GII) is a source of insight into the multidimensional facets of innovation-driven growth. In this year’s edition, it analyzes the medical innovation landscape of the next decade, looking at how technological and non-technological medical innovation will transform the delivery of healthcare worldwide. More...

Corruption perceptions index 2019 Transparency International: 23 January 2020 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. More...

Cases

United Firefighters Union of Australia Aviation Branch and Airservices Australia (Freedom of information) [2020] AICmr 4Freedom of Information — Whether a practical refusal reason exists — Whether work involved in processing the request would substantially and unreasonably divert the resources of the agency from its other operations — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 24, 24AA, 24AB and 55D Decision. I substitute my decision that a practical refusal reason does not exist

'RO' and Department of Home Affairs (Freedom of information) [2020] AICmr 3Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 s 24A Under s 55K of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act), I set aside the decision of the Department of Home Affairs (the Department) of 22 April 2018, as varied on 17 May 2018. The Department has not established that all reasonable steps were taken to find documents that would fall within the scope of the request.

Cassidy and Australian Securities and Investments Commission [2020] AATA 66PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – STAY APPLICATION – application for stay of decision to ban applicant from providing financial services – publication of decision to ban by media release – where applicant is no longer acting as a financial advisor – where applicant in process of selling his business – whether stay necessary to secure the effectiveness of the hearing – where financial penalty and reputational damage – prospects of success – public interest – public’s right to know – stay refused. Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth) ss 35, 41

Crown Resorts Limited v Zantran Pty Limited [2020] FCAFC 1CONTRACTS – 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

The Chief Executive, Office of Fair Trading, Department of Justice and Attorney-General v Humphreys [2020] QCAT 22ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – claim fund – reimbursement order – whether reimbursement order should be made – where real estate agent mishandled clients monies and accounts – where monies paid from the claim fund in satisfaction of 63 claims - where receiver appointed – where the costs of the receiver paid out of the claim fund Agents Financial Administration Act 2014 Qld s 64(1)(b), s 102, s 116, s 117, s 119

Mulder v Queensland Building and Construction Commission [2019] QCAT 395ADMINISTRATIVE LAW –ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – General Administrative Review – application by building owner to review a decision by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission to reject a claims by building owner for a direction to rectify and for payment under Queensland Home Warranty Scheme – whether the building owner repudiated the building contract – whether the builder validly terminated a building contract – where the building owner also purported to terminate the contract – the rights of the building contractor and the building owner under contract and at law – where the tribunal reviews the decision of the QBCC’s refusal to order Direction to Rectify and refusal of claim under the statutory scheme in favour of the building owner as builder had validly terminated the contract

Gulp! Catering Solutions Pty Ltd t/as Grill'd Chermside v Scentre Management Limited & Anor [2020] QCAT 11LANDLORD AND TENANT – RETAIL AND COMMERCIAL TENANCIES LEGISLATION – OBLIGATIONS, PROHIBITED TERMS AND PROTECTION FOR LESSEES – INFORMATION REQUIREMENTS – where licensee seeks compensation from lessor – where licensee alleges false statements by lessor to lessee – whether licensee has right of action ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – where application by licensee to join lessee to proceeding – whether joinder appropriate Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 Qld s 42(1); Retail Shop Leases Act 1994 Qld s 43AA(a)

AIC Gold Coast Pty Ltd v Queensland Building and Construction Commission [2020] QCAT 9ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL –where an application for costs was made following a reconsideration by the decision-maker – whether the interests of justice require a costs order to be made. Application for costs dismissed Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 Qld; Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 Qld s 100, s 102

Legislation

Commonwealth

Act compilation

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement Act 201030/01/2020 - Act No. 128 of 2010

Federal Circuit Court of Australia Act 199928/01/2020 - Act No. 193 of 1999 as amended

Ombudsman Act 197624/01/2020 - Act No. 181 of 1976

Regulation

Taxation Administration (Remedial Power—Disclosure of Protected Information by Taxation Officers) Determination 202029/01/2020 – This instrument modifies the operation of the taxpayer confidentiality rules in Division 355 of Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953. The modification ensures that a taxation officer can disclose protected information of a deceased person to the registered tax agent, BAS agent, or legal practitioner of an executor or administrator of the estate of the individual who has died.

Queensland

Subordinate legislation as made – 31 January 2020 No 3 Proclamation No. 1—Electoral and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 (commencing certain provisions) No 2 Proclamation—Civil Liability and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 (commencing remaining provisions)