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Australia: Bill Passed Requiring Notification of Data Breaches

(Feb. 15, 2017) On February 13, 2017, the Australian Senate voted to pass the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 (Parliament of Australia website). The House of Representatives had passed the bill on February 7, 2017. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) currently has a voluntary notification system for data breaches and has […]

Australia: Police Response to Aboriginal Death in Custody and Ensuing Riot Ruled Discriminatory

(Dec. 9, 2016) On December 5, 2016, the Federal Court of Australia found in favor of an Aboriginal community from Palm Island, Queensland, in a class action case involving claims that officers of the Queensland Police Service (QPS) engaged in racial discrimination in responding to a riot that took place in 2004 following the death […]

Australia: Parliament Passes 15% “Backpacker Tax” Rate

(Dec. 7, 2016) On December 1, 2016, on the last parliamentary sitting day of the year, the Australian Parliament voted to pass a bill establishing a 15% income tax rate for temporary foreign workers known as “working holiday makers” (WHMs, or “backpackers”) commonly referred to as the “backpacker tax.” The tax rate to be applied to […]

Australia: Import Ban on Lever-Action Shotguns with Magazine Capacity over Five Rounds to Continue

(Nov. 28, 2016) On November 21, 2016, during a late-night session, the Australian Senate voted on a motion, put forward by Senator David Leyonhjelm, to disallow a regulation that would continue an existing ban on the importation of lever-action shotguns with a magazine capacity of more than five rounds.  (Commonwealth, Parliamentary Debates, Senate, 21 November […]

Australia: Amendments to War Crimes Provisions Relate to Fight Against Islamic State

(Oct. 17, 2016) On October 12, 2016, the Australian government introduced a bill into the Parliament to amend provisions related to war crimes contained in the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).  (Criminal Code Amendment (War Crimes) Bill 2016, PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA (last visited Oct. 13, 2016).) The proposed changes were first announced by the Prime […]

Australia: Bill to Establish State Relationship Register for Same-Sex Couples Introduced

(Oct. 7, 2016) On September 22, 2016, the South Australian government introduced into the State Parliament a bill that will enable unmarried couples, both same-sex and heterosexual, to register their relationships with the government.  The Relationships Register Bill 2016 (SA) provides for such couples to receive a certificate of registration and have their relationships legally […]

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] […]