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Australia: Court Finds Internet Provider Not Responsible for Illegal Downloads

(Feb. 12, 2010) On February 4, 2010, in what is being called a “landmark judgment” that has possible international ramifications, the Federal Court of Australia ruled against a number of major Hollywood film studios in finding that an Internet service provider (ISP) was not liable for the copyright breaches of its customers. The judge noted […]

Australia: Securities Regulator to Have Greater Powers, Tougher Penalties

(Feb. 3, 2010) On January 28, 2010, the Australian federal government announced plans to increase the maximum penalties that can be imposed for market misconduct. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) will also have greater powers to investigate and prosecute market offenses. (Press Release, Hon. Chris Bowen, Greater Powers to the Corporate Regulator to […]

Australia: New South Wales Government Responds to Report on Same-Sex Adoption Laws

(Jan. 14, 2010) On January 6, 2009, the government of New South Wales (NSW), Australia, released a letter in response to a parliamentary report that had recommended changing the law to allow same-sex couples to adopt children. In the letter, the Minister of Community Services, Linda Burney, indicated that, while the recommendation was “not without […]

Australia: Plans for Mandatory Internet Filtering Announced

(Dec. 30, 2009) On December 15, 2009, Australia's Minister of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Hon. Stephen Conroy, announced that the government intends to introduce legislation by mid-2010 requiring Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block overseas content given a Refused Classification (RC) rating. (Press Release, Hon. Stephen Conroy, Measures to Improve Safety of the […]

Australia: New Guidelines on International Cooperation in Death Penalty Cases

(Dec. 24, 2009) On December 18, 2009, the Australian government announced that new guidelines governing international law enforcement cooperation in possible death penalty cases had come into effect. (Press Release, Brendan O'Connor & Hon. Robert McClelland, International Law Enforcement Cooperation (Dec. 18, 2009), available at http://www.ministerhomeaffairs.gov.au/www/ministers/oconnor.nsf/Page/MediaReleases_2009_FourthQuarter_18December2009-InternationalLawEnforcementCooperation.) The guidelines set out a list of factors that […]

Australia: Judge Finds Abuse of Process in Case Against Former Solomon Islands Attorney-General

(Dec. 18, 2009) On December 15, 2009, a judge in the Supreme Court of Queensland, Australia, granted a permanent stay in the child sex case against Julian Moti, a Fiji-born Australian citizen who is a former Attorney-General of the Solomon Islands, ruling that his prosecution “constitutes an abuse of process.” (R v. Moti [2009] Q.S.C. […]

Australia: Bill to Prohibit Torture and Abolish the Death Penalty Introduced

(Nov. 23, 2009) On November 19, 2009, Australia’s Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, introduced the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Torture Prohibition and Death Penalty Abolition) Bill 2009 in the Parliament. The bill will create a specific federal offense of torture and ensure that the death penalty cannot be reintroduced in any of Australia’s states and territories in the […]

Australia; Cook Islands: Tax Information Exchange Agreement Signed

(Nov. 17, 2009) On October 27, 2009, Australia and the Cook Islands signed a comprehensive tax information exchange agreement in Rarotonga. The agreement provides for the exchange of information on request in both criminal and civil tax matters. The two countries also signed an Additional Benefits Agreement that will result in greater technical assistance being […]

Australia: Federal Government to Reform Privacy Laws

(Oct. 22, 2009) On October 14, 2009, the Australian Federal Government released the first part of its response to a major review of Australia's privacy laws that was undertaken by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC). (Enhancing National Privacy Protection, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website, Oct. 2009, available at http://www.pmc.gov.au/privacy/alrc_docs/stage1_aus_govt_response.pdf.) The ALRC's […]

Australia: Recommendations for Improving Access to Justice

(Oct. 8, 2009) Calling access to justice “central to the rule of law and integral to the enjoyment of basic human rights,” as well as “an essential precondition to social inclusion and a critical element of a well-functioning democracy,” Australia's Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, launched the government's A Strategic Framework for Access to Justice in the […]