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Australia: State Legislation to Remove Barriers to Changing Sex on Birth Certificate

(Aug. 22, 2016) On August 18, 2016, the Attorney-General of the Australian State of Victoria introduced the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Amendment Bill 2016 in the state parliament.  The bill “removes the need for applicants to have undergone sex affirmation surgery before being able to apply for a new birth certificate.”  (Press Release, Martin […]

Australia: New South Wales Government Announces Greyhound Racing Ban

On July 7, 2016, the New South Wales premier, Mike Baird, announced that a state ban on greyhound racing would come into effect on July 1, 2017, making New South Wales (NSW) the first Australian state to ban the sport.  (Press Release, NSW Government, Greyhound Racing to Be Shut Down in NSW (July 7, 2016), […]

Australia/Papua New Guinea: Supreme Court Rules Asylum-Seeker Detention Is Unconstitutional

(May 2, 2016) On April 26, 2016, the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court ruled that the detention of asylum seekers at a facility on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, which was established under an arrangement with Australia, is a breach of their right to personal liberty under the Papua New Guinea Constitution. (Namah v Pato [2016] […]

Australia: Changes to Senate Electoral Law Passed Following Overnight Debate

(Mar. 28, 2016) On March 18, 2016, the Australian Parliament passed the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016, which makes changes to the voting system used to elect Senators under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.  (Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016, Parliament of Australia website (last visited Mar. 18, 2016); Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Act 2016 (Cth), amending […]

Australia/Nauru: High Court Rules Offshore Detention of Asylum Seekers Is Lawful

(Feb. 5, 2016) On February 3, 2016, the High Court of Australia, Australia’s highest court, held in a 6-1 decision that the government is legally able to participate in the detention of asylum seekers in the Pacific island country of Nauru; this means that a number of people who were brought to Australia to receive […]

Australia/Croatia: Former Serbian Commander Indicted

(Jan. 15, 2016) On January 8, 2016, Croatian authorities indicted Dragan Vasiljkovic on charges that he committed war crimes. Vasiljkovic was a Serbian paramilitary commander during the 1991-1995 war in the former Yugoslavia by which Croatia gained its independence. He is accused of torturing and killing Croatian soldiers and police officers; of ordering the executions […]

Australia: Victorian Parliament Passes Law Establishing Protest Buffer Zone for Abortion Clinics

(Nov. 30, 2015) On November 27, 2015, the Legislative Council (upper house) of the parliament of the Australian state of Victoria passed legislation that prevents protesters from coming within 150 meters (164 yards) of an abortion clinic.  (Abortion Clinic Protest Buffer Zone Law Passes Victorian Upper House, ABC NEWS (Nov. 27, 2015).) A bill to […]

Australia: National Library to Implement Digital Legal Deposit from January 2016

(July 13, 2015) As a result of changes to the legal deposit provisions in the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) made by the Civil Law and Justice Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 (Cth), the National Library of Australia will have the power to collect and preserve Australian works published in electronic format, beginning January 1, 2016. (Clarissa […]