The Victorian Government has given assent on 23 August 2016 to the Gene Technology Amendment Act 2016 (No. 43 of 2016) to amend the Gene Technology Act 2001 (VIC) as required as a result of the Commonwealth Gene Technology Amendment Act 2015 (CTH). The Act will ensure that Victoria maintains consistent gene technology legislation with the Commonwealth and other States and Territories as part of the national gene technology regulatory scheme.
In a recent abc.net.au article, it was revealed that NSW has become the first state to launch a complaints register, publicly listing the companies which receive the most complaints to authorities.
Following further revelations by the ABC News of serious matters relating to the treatment of inmates in youth detention facilities, this time in Queensland; it appears that Queensland youth detention processes and practices are to be the subject of investigation, in a similar way to the issues now being investigated in connection with the NT youth detention system. Last Friday (19 August 2016) the Qld AG and Minister for Justice, the Honourable Yvette D'Ath, announced ". . . an independent review be conducted into Queensland’s Youth Detention Centres". In a Media Release Mrs D’Ath said that the review ". . . would help ensure Queenslanders can have confidence in the administration of youth justice in the state".
In a recent Fair Work Commission ruling, Australian employers may now have to take casual work into account when calculating redundancy payments, making record keeping for business owners more important than ever before.
Today (24 August 2016), the High Court has allowed three appeals from a decision of the Court of Criminal Appeal of the Supreme Court of South Australia in the case of Miller v R; Smith v R; Presley v DPP (CTH)  HCA 30. The case concerned directions to the jury by leaving open extended joint criminal enterprise in relation to each appellant and in failing to leave manslaughter in excessive self-defence open in Miller’s instance.
Today (24 August 2016) in Deal v Father Pius Kodakkathanath  HCA 31 the High Court, in a unanimous decision, has allowed an appeal from a decision of the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria (see Deal v Kodakkathanath  VSCA 191 (24 July 2015)). In reaching its decision, the High Court has held that the majority of the Victorian Court of Appeal erred in finding that the primary judge was correct in removing from the jury's consideration allegations that: “. . . the respondent had breached its statutory duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 (Vic)” (the OHS Regulations).
The High Court has today (24 August 2016) unanimously allowed an appeal from the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal. In the case of Sio v the Queen  HCA 32, the High Court quashed the conviction of the appellant, Mr Sio, who was convicted of armed robbery with wounding. The High Court reasoned that the trial judge had omitted an element of the offence in directing the jury and had erred in allowing hearsay evidence.
On 22 August 2016, Schedule 2 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Amendment (Review) Act 2016 (33 of 2016) [NSW] was proclaimed by Regulation 513 of 2016. The Act makes miscellaneous amendments to the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW) and Chapter 9A of the Coroners Act 2009 (NSW) to give effect to the recommendations arising from the statutory reviews of that Act and Chapter; and for other purposes.
The operators of an inner Sydney restaurant who relied on informal market research to set their wage rates, have been penalised almost $300,000 for deliberately short-changing their employees and using false records to try to disguise the underpayments.
The Victorian Government has introduced the Police and Justice Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill 2016 into the Legislative Assembly on 16 August 2016. The Bill makes a number of changes to legislation, including amending the Victoria Police Act 2013 (“the VPA”) to improve the governance of the Police Registration and Services Board, and clarifying the liability scheme for police torts. It also makes a number of minor and technical amendments, including amending references to CrimTrac since its merger into the Australian Crime Commission.
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