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Australia: High Court Disqualifies Five Members of Parliament Due to Dual Citizenship

(Oct. 31, 2017) On October 27, 2017, the High Court of Australia (Australia’s highest court), sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, issued its decision in a case involving seven sitting members of the federal Parliament (sometimes referred to as the “Citizenship Seven”). (Re Canavan; Re Ludlam; Re Waters; Re Roberts [No 2]; Re Joyce; […]

Australia: Legislation Enacted Preventing Child Sex Offenders from Traveling Overseas

(June 29, 2017) On June 26, 2017, the Passports Legislation Amendment (Overseas Travel by Child Sex Offenders) Act 2017 (Cth) received royal assent, following its passage by the Australian Parliament on June 20, 2017. (Passports Legislation Amendment (Overseas Travel by Child Sex Offenders) Act 2017 (Cth), Federal Register of Legislation website; Passports Legislation Amendment (Overseas Travel by […]

Australia: National Firearms Amnesty to Commence

(June 27, 2017) On June 16, 2017, the Australian Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan, announced the details of a National Firearms Amnesty that will commence on July 1, 2017, and run for three months until September 30, 2017. (Press Release, Michael Keenan, National Firearms Amnesty Starts on July 1 (June 16, 2017), Minister for Justice […]

Australia: Bill to Amend Citizenship Requirements Introduced

(June 21, 2017) On June 15, 2017, the Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that will implement the government’s proposals to amend certain legal requirements for obtaining Australian citizenship.  (Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017, PARLIAMENT […]

Samoa: Constitutional Amendment Makes Christianity the National Religion

(June 14, 2017) The Samoan Parliament reportedly unanimously passed the Constitution Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2016 (the Bill) during the week of May 29, 2017, and it is now awaiting assent from the Head of State. (Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu, Freedom of Religion Not Threatened: A.G., SAMOA OBSERVER (June 9, 2017); Parliament of Samoa, Daily Progress in the Maota 3 (May […]

New Zealand: Ratification of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Completed

(May 23, 2017) On May 11, 2017, the New Zealand government completed the formal process for ratifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, becoming the second signatory country, after Japan, to do so. (Press Release, Todd McClay, McClay Says TPP Ratification Keeps Options Open, BEEHIVE.GOVT.NZ (May 11, 2017).) The notification of the completion of New Zealand’s applicable […]

New Zealand: Government and Care Workers Reach Pay Equity Settlement

(Apr. 21, 2017) On April 18, 2017, the New Zealand government announced that a settlement had been reached with workers in the government-funded service sectors of aged and disability residential care and home and community support services that will result in pay increases of between 15 and 50% for those workers. (Press Release, Jonathan Coleman, $2 Billion Pay […]

Australia: Bail Presumption Reversed for Domestic Violence Cases in Queensland

(Apr. 14, 2017) On March 30, 2017, the Bail (Domestic Violence) and Another Act Amendment Act 2017 (Qld) received assent, following its passage by the Queensland Parliament on March 22. (Bail (Domestic Violence) and Another Act Amendment Act 2017 (Qld), Queensland Legislation website; Gail Burke, Domestic Violence Laws: Alleged Offenders Have to Prove Why They Should Get […]

Australia: Northern Territory Parliament Passes Bill to Decriminalize Abortion, Improve Access

(Mar. 28, 2017) On March 21, 2017, Australia’s Northern Territory Parliament voted to pass the Termination of Pregnancy Law Reform Bill 2017 (NT) (Northern Territory Legislation website). The Bill amends part VI, division 8, of the Criminal Code Act (NT), which currently criminalizes the administration of a drug or use of an instrument with the intention of […]

New Zealand: Bill Establishing River as Having Own Legal Personality Passed

(Mar. 22, 2017) On March 14, 2017, the New Zealand Parliament voted to pass the Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River) Claims Settlement Bill (the Bill). (Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River) Claims Settlement Bill, Government Bill 129-2, as reported by the Māori Affairs Committee, New Zealand Legislation website.) The Bill “gives effect to the Whanganui River Deed […]