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Australia: New Consumer Credit Laws in Force

(July 14, 2010) New national consumer credit laws came into force in Australia on July 1, 2010. The reforms are intended to “improve credit and loan transactions, make financial institutions more responsible and to reduce red-tape for lenders and brokers.” (Press Release, No. 77, Hon. Chris Bowen & Hon. Tony Robinson, New National Consumer Credit […]

Australia; Japan: Legality of Scientific Whaling Program Challenged in International Court

(June 10, 2010) On June 1, 2010, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) released information on the proceedings instituted by Australia against Japan for alleged breaches of international obligations concerning whaling. (Press Release, ICJ, Australia Institutes Proceedings Against Japan for Alleged Breach of International Obligations Concerning Whaling (June 1, 2010), available at http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/148/15953.pdf.) The Australian […]

Australia: Legislation to Combat People Smuggling Passed

(May 20, 2010) On May 13, 2010, the Australian Parliament passed the Anti-People Smuggling and Other Measures Bill 2010. (Press Release, Hon. Robert McClelland, Hon. Brendan O'Connor, & Sen. Chris Evans, Passage of Legislation to Combat People Smuggling (May 13, 2010), available at http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/media/pressrel/JPQW6/upload_binary/jpqw60.pdf.) “People smuggling” is a specific offense under Australian law. The offense […]

Australia: Bill Establishing Independent National Security Legislation Monitor Passed

(Mar. 24, 2010) The Independent National Security Legislation Monitor Bill 2010 was passed by the Australian Parliament on March 18, 2010. The bill establishes a new position of National Security Legislation Monitor, with responsibility for reviewing and reporting on the “operation, effectiveness and implications of Australia's counter-terrorism and national security legislation on an ongoing basis,” […]

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. […]