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Australia: Provision on Life Sentence for Trafficking in Firearms Passed by House of Representatives

(Feb. 11, 2013) On February 5, 2013, the lower chamber of the Australian federal parliament voted to pass legislation that will introduce a new aggravated offense of trafficking in firearms. The offense will be subject to a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. (Press Release, Hon. Jason Clare MP, Life Sentences for Trafficking Firearms Passes the […]

Australia: Australian Parliament Votes Down Two Marriage Equality Bills

(Sept. 26, 2012) On September 20, 2012, the Australian Senate (the upper house of the federal parliament) voted 41-26 against the Marriage Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2012. (Marriage Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2012; Marriage Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2012, Parliament of Australia website (last visited Sept. 24, 2012).) This action followed a vote taken on […]

Australia: Plain Packaging Law Upheld by High Court

(Aug. 16, 2012) On August 15, 2012, the High Court of Australia rejected a constitutional challenge to legislation passed in November 2011 that will require plain packaging of cigarettes. (High Court of Australia, Summary of Pronouncement of Orders: JT International SA v Commonwealth of Australia; British American Tobacco Australasia Limited & Ors v Commonwealth of […]

Australia; Indonesia: Agreement on Access to Indonesian Seas Planned

(Aug. 6, 2012) On August 1, 2012, Indonesia's Defense Ministry announced plans for a future agreement with Australia that would permit Australian ships to patrol Indonesian waters under some circumstances. According to Brigadier General Hartind Asrin, a Ministry spokesman, “[w]e are now still working on the formula for the planned cooperation. We have established a […]

Australia: Further Reform of Executive Remuneration Laws Proposed

(Feb. 28, 2012) On February 21, 2012, the Australian government announced that it would introduce further reforms aimed at strengthening Australia's legal framework related to executive remuneration. In particular, the reforms will include a requirement for listed companies “to disclose to shareholders through the remuneration report the steps they have taken to clawback bonuses and […]

Australia: Panel Recommends Changes to Constitution to Recognize Indigenous Peoples

(Jan. 24, 2012) On January 19, 2012, the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (Expert Panel) presented its final report to the Australian government. (Press Release, Prime Minister & Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Towards Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians (Jan. 19, 2012).) The report recommends that a referendum be […]

Australia: Climate Change Reforms Passed, Price on Carbon to Apply from July 2012

(Nov. 15, 2011) On November 8, 2011, the Australian Senate passed a package of 18 bills that will result in the implementation of a carbon pricing mechanism from July 1, 2012. (Clean Energy Legislation, Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency website (last visited Nov. 10, 2011); Clean Energy Bill 2011: Revised Explanatory Memorandum, Parliament […]

Australia: Agreement Reached on National R18+ Video Game Classification

(July 28, 2011) On July 22, 2011, the Australian Minister for Home Affairs, Hon. Brendan O'Connor, announced that the relevant ministers from each Australian jurisdiction, except New South Wales, had reached an agreement to introduce a nationwide R18+ (adult category) classification for computer games. (Press Release, Hon. Brendan O'Connor, Agreement on R18+ Classification for Computer […]

Australia: High Court Declares Anti-Gang Law Invalid

(June 27, 2011) On June 23, 2011, the High Court of Australia declared that a New South Wales law aimed at combating organized crime is invalid. (Wainohu v The State of New South Wales [2011] HCA 24; see also High Court of Australia, Wainohu v The State of New South Wales [2011] HCA 24 (Judgment […]

Australia: Bill to Improve Ability to Understand Legislation Introduced

(May 20, 2011) On May 12, 2011, the Australian Attorney-General introduced the Acts Interpretation Amendment Bill 2011 into Parliament. (Press Release, Hon. Robert McClelland, Acts Interpretation Amendment to Make Legislation More Accessible (May 12, 2011).) This bill will amend the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, which sets out the overarching rules for interpreting all Australian federal […]