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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 […]

Australia: Bankruptcy Law Revisions

(Sept. 3, 2009) On August 25, 2009, the Attorney-General's Department of Australia issued for public consultation details of the country's planned reform of personal bankruptcy laws. The Bankruptcy Legislation Amendment Bill 2009 recognizes “that the majority of bankruptcies relate to consumer debts and involve people with relatively few assets and little income”; those who, as […]

Australia: Court Rules on Right to Refuse Nourishment

(Aug. 26, 2009) On August 14, 2009, in a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court of Western Australia determined that the right to refuse medical treatment includes the informed refusal of all nourishment, including liquids for hydration. (Right to Refuse Nourishment Judgment [Western Australia SC] (Draft Judgment), JURIST, Aug. 14, 2009, available at; Draft Judgment, […]

Australia: Red Cross Can Refuse Blood from Homosexual Donors

(June 1, 2009) On May 27, 2009, the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal of Tasmania, a division of the Australian island state's Magistrates Court, found that the Australian Red Cross policy of refusing blood donations from sexually active homosexual males was not discriminatory. The Tribunal was established in conformity with the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Act 1998. It may consist […]

Australia: Anti-Terror Laws Criticized

(May 6, 2009) AUSTRALIA – Nicholas Cowdery, the head of the New South Wales public prosecution office, has said that Australia's counter-terrorism laws are complex, expensive to apply, and not effective. His State office is the country's largest prosecution service. Cowdery referred to the lack of convictions under the terrorism legislation in calling for amending […]

Australia: Draft Legislation on Carbon Pollution Reduction

(Mar. 18, 2009) On March 10, 2009, the Australian government released draft Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme legislation that will remain open for public comment until April 14, 2009. The legislation was developed on the basis of a Green Paper of July 2008 that solicited ideas on designs for the Scheme, and comes in the wake […]

Australia: Covered Short Selling Ban to Continue

(Mar. 13, 2009) On March 5, 2009, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) extended through May 2009 a ban on covered short selling of financial securities. The ASIC had announced on January 21, 2009, that the ban would be effective only until March 6. The main features of the ban are: covered short selling […]

Australia: New Proposals to Prevent Terrorist Attacks, Including Review of Police Detention Powers

(Dec. 31, 2008) On December 23, 2008, the Australian government, under new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, put before the country's Parliament new proposals to counter terrorism. According to a press release issued the same day, the proposals are a comprehensive response to recommendations on and reviews of the national security legislation of the former government […]

Australia: Ban on Short Selling Extended

(Oct. 27, 2008) Australia's corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), has extended its ban on covered short selling for financial securities until January 27, 2009, and ASIC's ban on covered short selling of non-financial securities may be extended until November 18, 2008. Financials are those entities in the S&P/Australian Stock Exchange 200 […]

Australia: Amendment to Allow Lesbian Mothers’; Names on Birth Certificates

(Sept. 29, 2008) The Parliament of New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, has passed the Miscellaneous Acts Amendment (Same Sex Relationships) Act 2008 (NSW). The Act permits existing children conceived through artificial fertilization who are living in domestic situations where their parents are in a lesbian de facto relationship to have both mothers named […]