In the media

Queensland delivers on landmark Not Now, Not Ever recommendations A major milestone in the fight against domestic and family violence has been achieved, with the Premier announcing all 140 of the landmark Not Now, Not Ever report recommendations have been implemented (24 October 2019). More...

Medicare photo ID bill rejected The AMA welcomes the report tabled recently by the Community Affairs Legislation Committee, following its Inquiry into the Human Services Amendment (Photographic Identification and Fraud Prevention) Bill 2019, which recommends that the bill not be passed (22 October 2019). More...

It’s now easier for child abuse survivors to sue institutions Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said the amendments to the Civil Liability and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2018 extends the definition of abuse to include serious physical and psychological abuse, as well as sexual abuse. “The passing of this legislation also removes the limitation periods for survivors to commence a civil action against an institution (23 October 2019). More...

LCA Opinion Piece: Journalists to keep government accountable Australia's media is critical to holding government and its agencies accountable for their actions. The Law Council has strongly advocated for greater protections for Australia's independent press because transparent government leads to better decision-making and a stronger democracy (21 October 2019). More...

Privacy complaints, FOI reviews on rise in 2018–19 Increases in privacy complaints and freedom of information requests and reviews last year demonstrate the increasing value the community places on information, according to Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner (21 October 2019). More...

Senate report fails to justify Government’s attempt to repeal Medevac laws A Senate Committee report released shows that the Medevac laws are working as intended. The laws, passed in February 2019, allow doctors to recommend that people be evacuated from Nauru and Papua New Guinea to Australia for medical treatment (18 October 2019). More...

ABC to tell truth about fake news The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has entered a partnership with a United States media education organisation to help combat the worldwide spread of spin, misinformation and fake news (17 October 2019). More...

Police sign up to fight forced marriages The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has partnered with Anti-Slavery Australia (ASA) to launch a new campaign raising awareness about forced marriages and their illegality in Australia (17 October 2019). More...

Bill to cut red tape and restore certainty to native title agreements Streamlining the native title claim process and removing uncertainty around the validity of some mining and exploration agreements are the key aims of a Bill tabled in Parliament by the Morrison Government. The Bill will provide claimant groups with increased transparency and accountability for prescribed bodies corporate the corporations set up to manage native title (17 October 2019). More...

Telcos tackle mobile number fraud and identity theft The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) welcomed newly implemented measures to tackle mobile number fraud—the gateway to identity theft. Mobile number fraud can have devastating effects as scammers can gain access to bank accounts, email, social media and more (16 October 2019. More...

In practice and courts

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee Native Title Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 Customs Amendment (Product Specific Rule Modernisation) Bill 2019 [Provisions] Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Crimes Against Children and Community Protection Measures) Bill 2019 [Provisions]

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

Queensland

QLS: Ethics reminder: No contact rule Practitioners are reminded that they must not deal directly with the client of another solicitor, unless the dealing falls within one of the exceptions in Rule 33 Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules 2012 (21 October 2019). More...

QAO Advice: What does the Queensland Government’s information security policy (IS18:2018) mean for you? The impacts of cyber attacks, and malicious or inadvertent actions of employees, present a very real risk (22 October 2019). More...

QAO Advice: Learnings from our cyber security report to parliament Media reports show an alarming trend of growing cyber security attacks and corporate espionage (16 October 2019). More...

QLS Consultation Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (inquiry here). Queensland Law Reform Commission: Consent and mistake of fact review (Terms of Reference here). Australian Consumer Law: Improving the Effectiveness of the Consumer Product Safety System (Consultation Regulation Impact Statement here). Feedback closed Friday 1 November 2019.

Where next for law reform? Final Report Launch Australian Law Reform Commission - Speakers include Justice Sarah Derrington, President of the ALRC, and the Hon Michael Kirby, inaugural Chairman of the ALRC. The launch will be held at the Harry Gibbs Commonwealth Law Courts Building, North Quay, on Monday 2 December 2019. More...

Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee: Report No. 52, 56th Parliament, October 2019 - Summary Offences and Other Legislation Amendment Bill | 2019 | Qld This report presents a summary of the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee's examination of the Summary Offences and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019. More...

Published - articles, papers, reports

Commonwealth Auditors General Group e-newsletter (Issue 2 — September 2019) ANAO: 24 October 2019 This is the second e-newsletter of the Commonwealth Auditors General Group. These e-newsletters are a genuine effort to share experiences, challenges and engage in thought-provoking discussions on topics which are common to the fifty-three member countries of the Commonwealth. More...

A model code for the protection of freedom of speech and academic freedom in Australian higher education providers French Review Model Code Implementation Group; University of Sydney: 23 October 2019 The report outlines how former Chief Justice, the Hon Robert French’s model code for the protection of freedom of speech and academic freedom can be adopted by the University of Sydney by amending its current Charter of Academic Freedom. More...

Why the government’s proposed facial recognition database is causing such alarm The Conversation, October 25, 2019 Sarah Moulds, Lecturer of Law, University of South Australia Since before the 2019 election, the Morrison government has been keen to introduce a new scheme that would allow government agencies, telecos and banks to use facial recognition technology to collect and share images of people across the country. More...

Australia needs a Media Freedom Act. Here’s how it could work The Conversation, October 23, 2019 Rebecca Ananian-Welsh, TC Beirne School of Law, UQ A Media Freedom Act could serve three key roles, making it an appropriate and advantageous option in the protection of national security, press freedom and democracy. More...

Guide to health privacy Office of the Australian Information Commissioner: 16 October 2019 The guide outlines the key practical steps that health service providers should take to embed good privacy in their practice. In addition, the guide outlines how key privacy obligations apply to and operate in the healthcare context This guide has been written to help health services providers — from doctors and private sector hospitals, through under the Privacy Act 1988, and embed good privacy in their practice. More...

Digital Democracy Project: Research memo #7 - the partisan playground Taylor Owen, et al; Public Policy Forum: 18 October 2019 This report paints a picture of a media environment where partisans are more willing to share their views and choose media that reinforces their beliefs, while less-partisan Canadians are less inclined to share their views and take part in political life. More...

Cases

Hutchinson v Comcare (No 5) [2019] FCA 1665COSTS — Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (Cth) s 18: costs only if proceedings instituted vexatiously, without reasonable cause or if the applicant’s unreasonable act or omission caused the other party to incur costs — whether the proceedings were instituted without reasonable cause — costs awarded.

Dezfouli and Australian Federal Police (Freedom of information) [2019] AATA 4079FREEDOM OF INFORMATION — access — where documents were produced to Applicant either in full or with exemptions — whether the Respondent took all reasonable steps to find documents within the scope of the access request — whether information contained in identified documents fall under exemptions in FOI Act – public interest considerations – decision affirmed. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) — ss 7, 24A, 33, 37, 42, 47B, 47E, 47F, 54W, 55G, 57A, 93A

'RG' and Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 69Freedom of Information — Whether material obtained in confidence — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 s 45

Paul Farrell and Australian Federal Police (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 68Freedom of Information — Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would prejudice lawful methods or procedures — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of an agency — Whether disclosure of personal information unreasonable — Whether disclosure is contrary to public interest — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A(5), 22, 37(2)(b), 47E(d) and 47F

RF' and Department of Home Affairs (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 67Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure of personal information unreasonable — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A(5) and 47F

Schofield v Queensland Building and Construction Commission & Anor [2019] QCAT 310ADMINISTRATIVE LAW — ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS — QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL — costs — Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) — s 100, s 102 PROCEDURE — CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS — COSTS — Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) — s 100, s 102 Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 Qld s 32, s 100, s 102, s 107(1), Chapter 2 Division 3 Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 Qld r 360

Legislation

Commonwealth

Transport Security Amendment (Serious Crime) Bill 2019HR 23/10/2019 - to clarify and align the legislative basis for undertaking background checks of individuals under the Aviation and Maritime Acts

Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Lowering Voting Age and Increasing Voter Participation) Bill 2019HR 21/10/2019 – The changes to the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 are intended to lower the minimum age of a voter in Australian federal elections and referenda from 18 to 16 years of age, while keeping the minimum age of compulsory voting and eligibility to stand as a federal parliamentarian at 18 years of age.

National Integrity (Parliamentary Standards) Bill 2019Senate 17/10/2019 - This Bill is part of a package of bills to promote public confidence in the integrity of Parliament, the public sector and the democratic system. This package is about creating a culture of integrity and a practical and pro-active approach to preventing and addressing corruption. The Bill will create a statutory code of conduct for parliamentarians and their staff.

Note: The Bill will operate alongside the National Integrity Commission Bill 2018 (No. 2) which seeks to establish the Australian National Integrity Commission.

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2019HR 17/10/2019 - Amends the: Social Security Act 1991 and Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 to establish a two year drug testing trial in three regions for 5000 new recipients of newstart allowance and youth allowance; Farm Household Support Act 2014 to make consequential amendments

Act Compilation

National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 201318/10/2019 - Act No. 20 of 2013 as amended

Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 197716/10/2019 – Act No. 59 of 1977 as amended

Queensland

Subordinate legislation as made – 25 October 2019 No 209 Commissions of Inquiry (Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability—Quorum) Regulation 2019

Bills

Summary Offences and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 Introduced by: Hon M Ryan MP on 19/09/2019 Stage reached: 2nd reading adjourned on 23/10/2019

Criminal Code and Other Legislation (Ministerial Accountability) Amendment Bill 2019 Introduced by: Mrs D Frecklington on 23/10/2019 Stage reached: Referred to Committee on 23/10/2019 Conflict of interest: for a member who is a Minister contravenes subsection (2), the member is guilty of an offence. Maximum penalty—100 penalty units

Police Service Administration (Discipline Reform) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 Introduced by: Hon M Ryan MP on 13/02/2019 Stage reached: Passed with amendment on 17/10/2019 The Bill contains the amendments necessary to implement the proposed police discipline system and will ensure the public's confidence in the QPS is maintained, provide efficiencies in the investigation of complaints and hearing of allegations, educate officers and improve their performance, and suitably discipline officers, if required.

Electoral and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 Introduced by: Hon Y D'Ath MP on 1/05/2019 Stage reached: Passed with amendment on 16/10/2019 This Bill was passed on 16 October 2019 but is yet to receive Royal Assent. The Bill implements important reforms to improve the integrity, transparency and public accountability of the state's electoral system.