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Australia: New National Consumer Law Comes into Force

(Jan. 6, 2011) On January 1, 2011, the Australian Consumer Law, which is incorporated in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (previously called the Trade Practices Act 1974), came into effect. This Law “brings together a number of national, state and territory consumer protection laws to ensure consistency in the rights of consumers regardless of […]

Malaysia: New Provisions on Plea Bargaining to Come into Force

(Dec. 23, 2010) On December 13, 2010, it was reported that a change in the Malaysian Criminal Procedure Code to include the concept of formal plea bargaining in criminal cases would soon be implemented by the courts. (Formal Plea Bargaining to Be Implemented Soon, Offering 50 Per Cent Reduction of Punishment, BERNAMA (Dec. 13, 2010), […]

New Zealand: Inquiry into Mine Tragedy Begins

(Dec. 22, 2010) On December 13, 2010, the New Zealand government released the final terms of reference and announced the appointment of two additional members for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Pike River coalmine disaster in which 29 people died. (Press Release, Hon. Christopher Finlayson, Appointments to Pike River Royal Commission (Dec. 13, […]

Australia: Freedom of Information Reforms Come into Force

(Nov. 17, 2010) Changes to Australia's freedom of information (FOI) laws came into effect on November 1, 2010. (Press Release, Hon. Brendan O'Connor, New Era of Freedom of Information Starts Today (Nov. 1, 2010), http://www.ministerhomeaffairs.gov.au/www/ministers/oconnor.nsf/Page/MediaReleases_2010_FourthQuarter_1November2010-Neweraoffreedomofinformationstartstoday.)The reforms are contained in the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 and the Freedom of Information Amendment (Reform) Act 2010, both […]

New Zealand: Significant Changes to Criminal Procedure Introduced

(Nov. 17, 2010) On November 15, 2010, the New Zealand Minister of Justice, Hon. Simon Power, introduced the Criminal Procedure (Reform and Modernisation) Bill in the Parliament. (Press Release, Hon. Simon Power, Biggest Changes to Criminal Justice System in Decades (Nov. 15, 2010), http://beehive.govt.nz/release/biggest+changes+criminal+justice+system+decades.) The bill contains a number of significant changes aimed at simplifying […]

Australia: Referendum on Recognizing Indigenous People in Constitution Announced

(Nov. 10, 2010) On November 8, 2010, the Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, announced that an expert panel will be established to lead a national discussion on recognizing indigenous people in Australia's Constitution. The panel will be tasked with undertaking consultation and providing advice by the end of 2011 on options for amending the Constitution, […]

Australia: Political Donations Bill Reintroduced

(Oct. 27, 2010) On October 20, 2010, the Australian government introduced a bill to reform the rules relating to political donations, disclosure, and funding. (Press Release, Hon. Gary Gray, Government Moves to Increase Transparency in Political Donations, Oct. 20, 2010, http://www.smos.gov.au/media/2010/mr_412010.html.) The Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Political Donations and Other Matters) Bill 2010 is similar to […]

Indonesia: Constitutional Court Strikes Down Book Banning Law

(Oct. 15, 2010) On October 13, 2010, it was reported that the Constitutional Court of Indonesia had ruled that the 1963 Law on Securing Printed Materials Whose Content Could Disrupt Public Order, which allowed the Attorney-General's Office (AGO) to ban books, is unconstitutional and therefore “no longer legally binding.” (Camelia Pasandaran, Indonesian Government Stripped of […]

Australia: Major Class Action over Bank Fees Launched

(Sept. 28, 2010) On September 22, 2010, a class action lawsuit against the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) was filed in the Federal Court of Australia, in the first of a series of claims being brought against several banks for the return of potentially more than AU$5 billion (about US$4.8 billion) of […]

Indonesia: Attorney-General Told to Step Down Following Ruling of Constitutional Court

(Sept. 24, 2010) On September 22, 2010, the Constitutional Court of Indonesia ruled that, under the existing law, the Attorney-General's term expires with the end of the term of office of the President and other Cabinet members. Speaking after delivering the Court's decision, the Chief Justice said that the ruling meant that the term of […]