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Australia: Privacy Protections Applicable to COVID-19 Contact Tracing App Enacted

(May 29, 2020) On May 15, 2020, the Privacy Amendment (Public Health Contact Information) Act 2020 (Cth) was enacted in Australia. The act adds a new part to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) that specifically regulates the use and disclosure of data collected when people download and use the Australian government’s COVID-19 contact tracing mobile phone […]

Australia: New Senate Committee to Examine Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

(Apr. 16, 2020) On April 8, 2020, the Australian Senate “resolved to establish a Select Committee on COVID-19 to inquire into the Australian Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The committee was tasked with presenting its final report to the Senate on or before June 30, 2022. The establishment of the committee was moved by […]

Australia: High Court Rules that Aboriginal People Cannot be Deported

(Feb. 26, 2020) On February 11, 2020, the High Court of Australia (Australia’s highest court) handed down a decision in the case of Love v Commonwealth of Australia [2020] HCA 3 (“Decision”). In the significant judgment, the Court ruled by a majority of 4-to-3 that indigenous Australians who do not hold Australian citizenship cannot be deported. […]

Australia: ACT Law Allowing Possession and Cultivation of Cannabis for Personal Use Comes into Effect

(Feb. 13, 2020) On January 31, 2020, Australian Capital Territory (ACT) legislation allowing the possession and cultivation of cannabis for personal use, which had been passed by the ACT Parliament in September 2019, came into effect. The Drugs of Dependence (Personal Cannabis Use) Amendment Act 2019 (ACT) amended the Drugs of Dependence Act 1989 (ACT) to remove penalties for persons over […]

Australia: Western Australia Legalizes Voluntary Assisted Dying

(Dec. 20, 2019) On December 10, 2019, the Parliament of Western Australia passed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2019 (WA), when the Legislative Assembly (lower house) voted in favor of amendments that had been passed in the Legislative Council (upper house) the previous week. Western Australia will therefore be the second Australian state to legalize […]

Australia: New South Wales Bill Decriminalizing Abortion Passed

(Oct. 9, 2019) On September 26, 2019, the New South Wales (NSW) Parliament passed the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019. The Bill, which will become the Abortion Law Reform Act 2019 (NSW), amends the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) in order to decriminalize abortion, and sets out new provisions to regulate the conduct of practitioners with respect […]

Australia: Employment Watchdog Finds Uber Drivers Are Not Employees

(July 5, 2019) On June 7, 2019, Australia’s Fair Work Ombudsman issued a statement setting out the findings of its investigation into whether Uber Australia Pty Ltd drivers are in an employment relationship with the company under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). The Fair Work Ombudsman is an independent statutory office, established by the […]

Australia: Queensland Enacts Historic Human Rights Legislation

(Mar. 6, 2019) On February 27, 2019, the Queensland Parliament passed the Human Rights Bill 2018 (Qld), making it the third jurisdiction in Australia to enshrine human rights protections in such legislation. (Human Rights Bill 2018 (Qld), Queensland Parliament website; Jack Maxwell, A Human Rights Act for Queensland, OXFORD HUMAN RIGHTS HUB (Nov. 26, 2018).) […]

Australia: Court Includes Climate Impact in Grounds for Upholding Rejection of New Coal Mine

(Feb. 27, 2019) On February 8, 2019, the New South Wales (NSW) Land and Environment Court issued a ruling in which it dismissed an appeal from a mining company against a NSW government decision refusing to grant the company approval to establish a new open-cut coal mine. (Gloucester Resources Limited v Minister for Planning [2019] […]

Australia: Bill Enabling Law Enforcement and Intelligence Agencies to Access Encrypted Information Passes

(Dec. 14, 2018) On December 6, 2018, the Australian Parliament passed the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018 (Cth) (as enacted; all legislation links are to Federal Register of Legislation website.) The Bill amends the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth) to “establish “frameworks for voluntary and mandatory industry assistance to law enforcement and […]