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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 […]

New Zealand: Tax Authority Rules That Salaries Paid in Cryptoassets Are Subject to Tax

(Sept. 5, 2019) On June 27, 2019, New Zealand’s tax authority, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), issued a binding public ruling (BR Pub 19/01) applicable to the payment of remuneration to employees using “crypto-assets.” A further ruling (BR Pub 19/02) relates to the use of crypto-assets to pay employee bonuses. The rulings were to come […]

New Zealand: Bill to Decriminalize Abortion Introduced, New Regulatory Approach Proposed

(Aug. 23, 2019) On August 5, 2019, the New Zealand Minister of Justice, Andrew Little, introduced the Abortion Legislation Bill in the Parliament. In a press release, Mr. Little stated that the Bill will remove any statutory test on the health practitioner for a woman who is not more than 20 weeks pregnant for a […]

Tuvalu: Ban on Single-Use Plastics Commences

(Aug. 19, 2019) On July 29, 2019, it was reported that the Tuvalu government will ban certain single-use plastic items from August 1, 2019, and will also introduce an importation levy on specific items to help pay for their recycling or shipment out of the country once they are dumped as waste. According to the […]

New Zealand: Trusts Bill Passed

(Aug. 15, 2019) On July 24, 2019, the Trusts Bill was passed by the New Zealand Parliament. The Bill, which was introduced in August 2017, replaces the Trustee Act 1956 and Perpetuities Act 1964 and seeks to provide a “clear, modern statement of the law relating to trusts.” The Minister of Justice, Andrew Little, stated that […]

New Zealand: Major Changes to Funded Family Care Policy Announced

(Aug. 13, 2019) On July 7, 2019, the New Zealand government announced several changes to the existing system for paying people who provide health and/or disability services to family members, known as the Funded Family Care policy. The current funding arrangements for Funded Family Care are contained in the Funded Family Care Notice 2013, which […]

Malaysia: Bill Reducing Voting Age to 18 Passed

(July 18, 2019) On July 16, 2019, the Dewan Rakyat, the lower house of the Parliament of Malaysia, passed the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019, which reduces the voting age in national and state elections from the current 21 years to 18 years. The Bill received 211 votes—the number of members present for the vote—surpassing the two-thirds […]

New Zealand: Firearms Buyback Program Commences

(July 15, 2019) On June 20, 2019, the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines and Parts) Amendment Regulations 2019 came into effect in New Zealand. The regulations “allow for the buy-back of newly prohibited firearms and parts from owners within a six month amnesty period,” which will run until December 20, 2019. A buyback price list was subsequently […]

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 […]