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On 22 October 2020, New South Wales Attorney-General Mark Speakman introduced the Stronger Communities Legislation Amendment (Domestic Violence) Bill 2020 (NSW) (“the Bill”) to the Legislative Assembly.
On 14 September 2020, the Federal Government publicly released the exposure draft of the Data Availability and Transparency Bill 2020 (Cth) (‘the draft Bill’), seeking submissions on the draft Bill, the draft explanatory materials, and the discussion paper. Submissions will close on 6 November 2020. The draft Bill intends to establish a framework for authorising the sharing of public sector data for certain purposes. The key provisions are outlined below.
On 15 October 2020 the Statutes Amendment (Abolition of Defence of Provocation and Related Matters) Bill 2020 (the Bill) was introduced into the SA Legislative Council by the Minister for Human Services, the Honourable J M Lensink, MLC. The Bill proposes to amend the Bail Act 1985, the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935, the Evidence Act 1929 and the Sentencing Act 2017. This Bill proposes the implementation of the "preferred recommendations" in stage 1 and 2 reports of the South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI), entitled "The Provoking Operation of Provocation". The reports of the SALRI recommended the abolition of the common law defence of provocation, which if successfully raised, operates as a partial defence, reducing murder to manslaughter. The defence, according to the ministers second reading speech, has been criticised for being "complex, gender-biased and encouraging victim blaming".
On 23 September 2020, the SA Attorney-General, Vickie Chapman, introduced the Evidence (Vulnerable Witnesses) Amendment Bill 2020 (SA) (“the Bill”) into the House of Assembly (“the Assembly”). The Bill passed the Assembly on 15 October 2020, and is yet to be introduced into the Legislative Council. The Bill seeks to amend the Evidence Act 1929 (SA) (“the Act”).
On 23 September 2020, New South Wales Minister for Health and Medical Research Brad Hazzard introduced the Health Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2020 (NSW) (“the Bill”) into the Legislative Assembly. The Bill has since passed the lower house, with no amendments, and has been introduced in the upper house.
On 3 September, the Defence Legislation Amendment (Enhancement of Defence Force Response to Emergencies) Bill 2020 (Cth) (‘the Bill’) was introduced to the House of Representatives. The Bill was passed by the House of Representatives and introduced to the Senate on 6 October.
Tasmania’s Department of Justice has released a draft version of the Youth Justice Amendment (Searches in Custody) Bill 2020 (Tas) (the “Draft Bill”) for public comment and consultation from interested stake-holders. The Draft Bill proposes amendments to the Youth Justice Act 1997 (Tas), with submissions closing on 27 October 2020.
On 24 September 2020, the Commonwealth announced its proposed changes to "Australia’s insolvency framework", with the aim being "to better serve Australian small businesses, their creditors and their employees". A draft Bill, the Corporations Amendment (Corporate Insolvency Reforms) Bill 2020 (the draft Bill) and Draft explanatory materials were released for consultation on 7 October 2020. The consultation period closed on 12 October 2020.
On 26 August 2020, the Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries, Senator Jonathan Duniam, introduced the Family Law Amendment (Risk Screening Protections) Bill 2020 (Cth) (“the Bill”) into the Senate for the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Marise Payne. The Bill passed the Senate without amendments on 8 October 2020, and is yet to be introduced into the House of Representatives.
On 7 October, the Federal Treasurer introduced the Economic Recovery Package (JobMaker Hiring Credit) Amendment Bill 2020 (Cth) (‘the Bill’) to the House of Representatives.
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