The Victorian Parliament has introduced a series of reforms to the Victorian justice system that would see violent criminals face tougher sentences and have less chance of getting bail. The Bail Amendment (Stage One) Bill 2017; the Children and Justice Legislation (Youth Justice Reform) Bill 2017; and the Sentencing Amendment (Sentencing Standards) Bill 2017 will deliver on the Andrews Labor Government’s promises and also crack down on serious offenders with the introduction of tougher sentences as well as increase the consequences for young offenders.
The Australian Parliament’s Health, Aged Care and Sport Committee (the Committee) has recently announced that it has commenced an inquiry into the Use of Electronic Cigarettes and Personal Vaporisers in Australia.
The NSW Government has introduced the Crimes Amendment (Intimate Images) Bill 2017 into Parliament this week (24 May 2017). The Bill creates new offences that address the non-consensual sharing of intimate images, known commonly as “revenge porn”. The Bill has been introduced as part of the Government’s response to “Remedies for the serious invasion of privacy in New South Wales”, a report by the Legislative Council Standing Committee on Law and Justice which was published in March 2016.
The Federal opposition has announced that, in government, it would crack down on the practice known in corporations law circles as "Phoenixing".
The Queensland Parliament has introduced a Bill for the creation of a Land Access Ombudsman who would facilitate the resolution of disputes about conduct and compensation agreements and make-good agreements. The Land Access Ombudsman Bill 2017 came as a result of Mr Robert Scott’s government commissioned review of the Gasfields Commission Queensland. The Bill also contains provisions to save existing provisions contained in the Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Transitional Regulation 2016 which is set to expire in September 2017.
It is reported that more than 250 Indigenous leaders are to meet at Uluru this week for a "First Nations" convention that will seek to present the priorities identified by the "12 First Nation dialogues" on the question of "constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians". The convention comes a week before the 50 year anniversary of the 1967 Referendum which marked the first actual recognition of Indigenous people as Australians on 27 May 2017. An anniversary that will also occur around the same time as 20 years having passed since the "Bringing Them Home report" and 25th year since the Mabo judgment. Listing these events reveal how long the path has been to get to the appropriate recognition of Indigenous Australians and how much more work is required ahead.
On 11 May 2017, the NT Legislative Assembly introduced the Parole Amendment Bill 2017 (21 of 2017) (The Bill). The purpose of the Bill is to amend the Parole Act to authorise the Chairperson of the NT Parole Board to, without revoking a parole order, impose a period of the person’s sentence of imprisonment as a sanction for non compliance with a parole condition.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (the ACCC) has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Ultra Tune Australia Pty Ltd (Ultra Tune), for a number of alleged failures to comply with the Franchising Code (the Code) [the Code is contained in Sch 1 to the Competition and Consumer (Industry Codes-Franchising) Regulation 2014] and for alleged breaches of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) [contained in Sch 2 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)].
On 16 May 2017, a consultation draft was released for the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 (NSW) (The Bill). The object of this Bill is to provide a legislative framework for the rights of terminally ill persons to request and receive assistance to end their lives voluntarily.
The Commonwealth Government has released a discussion paper on the introduction of a civil penalty regime for non-consensual sharing of intimate images. The paper sets out the proposed details of the civil penalty regime, including possible information gathering powers and enforcement mechanisms. The Government foreshadowed the release of the paper in an announcement made last year by Minister for Women Michaelia Cash, who told ABC News that the criminal process could be too slow for victims, who were often more concerned with whether the image could be removed.
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