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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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Australia: Police Response to Aboriginal Death in Custody and Ensuing Riot Ruled Discriminatory

(Dec. 9, 2016) On December 5, 2016, the Federal Court of Australia found in favor of an Aboriginal community from Palm Island, Queensland, in a class action case involving claims that officers of the Queensland Police Service (QPS) engaged in racial discrimination in responding to a riot that took place in 2004 following the death […]

Australia: Parliament Passes 15% “Backpacker Tax” Rate

(Dec. 7, 2016) On December 1, 2016, on the last parliamentary sitting day of the year, the Australian Parliament voted to pass a bill establishing a 15% income tax rate for temporary foreign workers known as “working holiday makers” (WHMs, or “backpackers”) commonly referred to as the “backpacker tax.” The tax rate to be applied to […]