On 28 November 2019, the Electoral and Other Legislation (Accountability, Integrity and Other Matters) Amendment Bill 2019 (Qld) (‘the Bill’) was introduced to the Queensland Legislative Assembly by Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Hon Yvette D'Ath (‘the Attorney-General’) . The Bill was subsequently referred to the Economics and Governance Committee ('the Committee') and on 7 February 2020, the Committee published their Report and recommendations concerning the Bill. The Bill is part of the Queensland government’s rolling reform agenda to improve accountability and integrity measures.
In Love v Commonwealth of Australia; Thoms v Commonwealth of Australia  HCA 3 (11 February 2020) the High Court has found that Aboriginal Australians hold a special status. In considering the cases of two men, both of whom were not Australian citizens and who were facing deportation over criminal convictions, the High Court found in a majority decision (4-3) that Aboriginal Australians "were not subject to the aliens power" in the Australian Constitution.
The Treasury Laws Amendment (2019-20 Bushfire Tax Assistance) Act 2020 (Act No 1 of 2020) (the “Act”) was assented to on 13 February 2020. The Bill was originally introduced to the House of Representatives on 5 February 2020 by Federal Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg.
On 6 February 2020, Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure, Mr Alan Tudge, (‘the Minister’) introduced the Paid Parental Leave Amendment (Flexibility Measures) Bill 2020 (‘the Bill’) to the House of Representatives. On the same day, the Bill was referred to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report. The Committee is currently receiving submissions and is due to report on the Bill on 19 March.
The Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response—Protecting Consumers (2019 Measures)) Act 2020 (Cth) (“the Act") was assented to on February 17. The Bill was originally introduced to the House of Representatives by Treasurer John Frydenberg on 28 November 2019. The Bill passed both houses of parliament with no additional amendments on 6 February 2020.
In De Silva v The Queen  HCA 48 (decided 13 December 2019) the High Court of Australia, in a majority decision, dismissed an appeal from the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Queensland (R v De Silva  QCA 274 decided 16 October 2018). The High Court appeal was concerned with whether the trial judge (Judge Farr of the District Court of Queensland) should have given the jury a direction of the type discussed in the case Liberato v The Queen (1985) 159 CLR 507 (a "Liberato direction"). The direction is usually given in cases turning on the conflicting evidence of a prosecution witness and a defence witness. The direction requires that, ". . . even if the jury does not positively believe the defence witness and prefers the evidence of the prosecution witness, they should not convict unless satisfied that the prosecution has proved the defendant's guilt beyond reasonable doubt".
In the recent case of ACCC v Trivago N.V.  FCA 16 (20 January 2020), the Federal Court of Australia (“Federal Court”) handed down a decision finding that Trivago N.V. (“Trivago”) breached Australian Consumer Law by misleading consumers about hotel room rates, both on its website and television advertising.
On 11 December 2019, the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (2019 Measures No. 1) Act 2019 (Cth) (‘the Act’) received assent. The Act is intended to strengthen Australia’s counter-terrorism legislative network and introduces a range of amendments that fall into two major categories:
On 4 December 2019, the Export Control Bill 2019 (Cth) (“the Bill”) was introduced into the House of Representatives by Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud.
The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Combatting Corporate Crime) Bill 2019 (Cth) (the “Bill”) was introduced to the Senate on 2 December 2019, by Senator Duniam, the Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries and Assistant Minister for Regional Tourism, with the Bill currently before the Senate. The Bill proposes amendments to:
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