Minister for Justice Michael Keenan has announced that the Federal Government is proposing to introduce legislation for businesses to report annually on steps they have taken to address modern slavery within their supply chains. The Federal Government has released a discussion paper outlining their proposed legislative model and it will be open for public comment until 20 October 2017. The discussion paper says that the Minister for Justice hopes to review this feedback before bringing forward the draft legislation in the first half of 2018.
Last Thursday (17 August 2017) the Northern Territory Government passed the Alcohol Harm Reduction Bill 2017 which brings back the "Banned Drinker Register" (the BDR) a measure the NT Attorney General said: "is the government delivering on a key election commitment to Territorians to reduce alcohol related harm and make our community safer". The proposed legislation also repeals the Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Act and the Alcohol Protection Orders Act two pieces of legislation enacted under the former CLP Government which had been criticised as being “discriminatory” alcohol related laws and said, by human rights groups, to unfairly target Indigenous people.
Yesterday (17 August 2017), the High Court published reasons for dismissing an appeal on 4 May 2017 from a decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia in the case of Ramsay Health Care Australia Pty Ltd v Compton  HCA 28. A majority of the High Court held that where a creditor’s petition is based upon a judgment debt resulting from a contested hearing, yet there are substantial reasons for questioning whether behind that judgment there was in truth and reality a debt due to the petitioner, the Bankruptcy Court has a discretion to “go behind” the judgment to investigate whether the debt relied upon is truly owing.
The High Court has handed down its decision in Transport Accident Commission v Katanas  HCA 32. The High Court dismissed an appeal from the Transport Accident Commission concerning the narrative test of serious injury under section 93(17) of the Transport Accident Act 1986 (VIC).
In the recent case of ACCC v We Buy Houses Pty Ltd  FCA 915 (11 August 2017), the Federal Court has found that We Buy Houses Pty Ltd (We Buy Houses) and its sole director, Mr Otton, made false or misleading representations in promoting a number of wealth creation strategies involving real estate.
Today (17 August 2017), the High Court has allowed an appeal from a decision of the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Western Australia in the case of Forrest & Forrest v Wilson  HCA 30. A majority of the High Court held that the requirement in s 74(1)(ca)(ii) of the Mining Act 1978 (WA) ("the Act") that an application for a mining lease shall be accompanied by a mineralisation report imposed a condition precedent to the exercise of the powers conferred on various statutory officers under ss 74A(1) and 75(4), and on the Minister under s 75(6), to progress the application through to a grant.
The High Court has today (17 August 2017) unanimously rejected an argument that actions taken by the Commonwealth, its officers and the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection against unauthorised maritime arrivals were invalid or precluded under the Constitution by reason of a decision of the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea which found that treatment of unauthorised maritime arrivals on Manus Island was unsupported by PNG law. In the special case, Plaintiff S195/2016 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (Cth)  HCA 35, the High Court held that the Commonwealth was not bound by any need to conform to the domestic law of any other country.
In Julian Knight v The State of Victoria & Anor  HCA 29 (17 August 2017) the High Court of Australia has in a unanimous decision held, answering a question posed in a special case, that section 74AA of the Corrections Act 1986 (Vic) (the Corrections Act) is not invalid on the ground that it is contrary to Chapter III of the Commonwealth Constitution.
On 10 August 2017, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) announced two new reviews into Federal police powers related to counter-terrorism - specifically, a review into police stop, search and seizure powers, control order regime and preventative detention order regime; and a review of the 'declared area' provisions.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse ('the Commission') has released its report on 14 August 2017, titled ‘ ’. The report includes 85 recommendations aimed at improving the response of the criminal justice system to address victims of institutional child sexual abuse. .
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