Western Australian and the Northern Territory have each welcomed the appointment of a new Solicitor-General. Sonia Brownhill QC has taken the role as the first female Solicitor-General in the Northern Territory on the 5 July while prominent Perth barrister Peter Quinlan will be assuming the position in Western Australia on 1 July.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against H.J. Heinz Company Australia Ltd (Heinz) in relation to its Little Kids Shredz products. The ACCC alleges that Heinz made false and misleading representations, and engaged in conduct liable to mislead the public, in relation to the nature, characteristics and suitability of these products for children, in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) [Schedule 2 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)].
The issue of workplace bullying and court proceedings relating to it has become more common in recent times with the advent of harmonised Work Health and Safety Laws (WHS Laws) and the ability to also take action under the Fair Work legislation. However, a recent Victorian Magistrates Court Case reported in the Geelong Advertiser, which resulted in the criminal conviction of a building employer for the persistent and serious bullying of an apprentice under the Victorian WHS Laws (Victoria is yet to be "harmonised" (bought into line with the National WHS Laws)) shows the need for such laws to be made even more nationally consistent and easier for affected employees to access.
The ACT has notified the Supreme Court Amendment Act 2016, which provides some exceptions to the rule of double jeopardy. People acquitted of serious offences may now face retrial in cases where fresh and compelling evidence arises or where a trial has been ‘tainted’. A third exception was introduced to address concerns raised following R v Carroll (2002) 213 CLR 635;  HCA 55, a 2002 High Court case where the rule against double jeopardy prevented the prosecution of an acquitted person for committing perjury during their murder trial.
In recent weeks, the ACT Government has taken legislative action to bring it more in line with other jurisdictions with respect to the way in which it handles serious organised crime and, in particular, such crime as it relates to "bikies" and other potentially criminal groups identified by police.
Tasmania has introduced the Domestic Violence Orders (National Recognition) Bill 2016 into its Parliament (Legislative Assembly - 16 June 2016) as part of the national effort to provide a framework for automatic recognition and enforcement of domestic violence orders across all Australian jurisdictions. The effort has already been assented into law by New South Wales. Tasmania will be the second Australian State to introduce a bill of this nature.
A new bill introduced into the Tasmanian Legislative Assembly on 15 June 2016, has, as its primary purpose, amendments to the Legal Aid Commission Act 1990, in order to reduce the number of Board members.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has lodged a case in the Federal Court against Queensland-based companies Social-Lites and Elusion New Zealand (the companies).
On 15 June 2016, the ACT Legislative Assembly notified Act 27 of 2016, the Workers Compensation Amendment Act 2016 (No 2). This Act introduces amendments to the Workers Compensation Act 1951 (ACT) which ensure that workers who suffer from an imminently fatal asbestos-related disease receive equitable and timely access to statutory compensation.
A new New South Wales Act will make it an offence to engage in “disrespectful behavior” in courtrooms. The Courts Legislation Amendment (Disrespectful Behaviour) Act 2016 passed Parliament on June 1 and was assented on June 7. New South Wales Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton flagged the changes in December 2015, following an incident in Parramatta District Court where a man on trial for attempted murder “repeatedly refused” to stand. At the time, Ms Upton told ABC News:
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