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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 […]

Solomon Islands: Adoption Act Amended to Enhance Requirements for Intercountry Adoptions

(Mar. 15, 2017) On February 21, 2017, the National Parliament of Solomon Islands voted to pass the Adoption (Amendment) Bill 2016. (Press Release, National Parliament of Solomon Islands, Parliament Passes the Adoption (Amendment) Bill 2016 (Feb. 23, 2017); Adoption (Amendment) Bill 2016, National Parliament of Solomon Islands website.) The Bill, which amends the Adoption Act 2004, […]

Samoa: New Approval Guidelines for Arming Police Passed

(Mar. 14, 2017) On March 7, 2017, the Samoan Parliament voted to pass the Police Powers Amendment Bill 2017, which sets out the approval requirements for police officers in the country to be armed when carrying out their duties. (Police Powers Amendment Bill 2017, Parliament of Samoa website; Lagi Keresoma, Samoa Parliament Approves New Police Powers Bill, […]

Australia/New Zealand: Joint Regulatory System for Patent Attorneys Comes into Effect

(Mar. 1, 2017) On February 24, 2017, legislation implementing a joint Australia-New Zealand system for regulating patent attorneys came into effect. (Press Release, Arthur Sinodinos & Jacqui Dean, Trans-Tasman Patent Attorney Regulatory Regime in Effect (Feb. 24, 2017), Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science website.) The relevant New Zealand legislation was enacted in November 2016. […]

New Zealand: High Court Finds Megaupload Founder Eligible for Extradition

(Feb. 22, 2017) On February 20, 2017, the High Court of New Zealand affirmed the district court’s December 2015 ruling that Kim Dotcom and three other appellants are eligible for extradition to the United States. (Ortmann & Ors v United States of America [2017] NZHC 189; Press Release, High Court of New Zealand, Ortmann & Ors v […]

Australia: Bill Passed Requiring Notification of Data Breaches

(Feb. 15, 2017) On February 13, 2017, the Australian Senate voted to pass the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 (Parliament of Australia website). The House of Representatives had passed the bill on February 7, 2017. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) currently has a voluntary notification system for data breaches and has […]