Opinion

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  • Shifts in the balance of power

    12th May 2022

    'Housing should be available and accessible for everyone'. After 15 years as a Tenant Advocate at the Northern Rivers Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service, Amanda El Gazzar calls for a cultural shift and legislative change.

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  • Migration law and the best interests of the child

    5th May 2022

    Abdullah and Fatima fled Afghanistan with their children after a Taliban attack killed their daughter and destroyed their home. While Abdullah has permanent refugee status in Australia, Fatima and their four children have been waiting for their family visa to be processed for more than four years. The family has now launched legal action against the Morrison government, claiming an unreasonable delay. John Bui examines the case through the lens of family law. 

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  • ‘No grounds’ evictions are unfair

    21st Apr 2022

    ‘The real power of the no grounds notice is its usefulness in keeping tenants from raising issues at all’, writes Leo Patterson Ross – CEO of the Tenants’ Union of NSW – diving into the problem of 'no grounds' evictions in fixed term tenancies to examine why and how reform attempts have, so far, fallen short.

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  • Can your boss use electronic surveillance to monitor you when you’re working from home?

    14th Apr 2022

    The Workplace Surveillance Act 2005 (NSW) rules out undue intrusions and covert surveillance, but surveillance technologies are evolving faster than privacy laws – and booming. As many of us continue to work from home in the wake of the pandemic, Anneka Frayne ponders the issues.

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  • Failure to meet duty of care costs employer $120,000 for employee’s rolled ankle

    7th Apr 2022

    If an employer has been alerted to a possible safety concern in the workplace, they must take it seriously, writes Emily Wittig, in light of Michel v Broadlex Services Pty Ltd [2020] ACTMC 2. According to the magistrate, the employer ‘knew or ought to have known that the circumstances giving rise to the risk of injury to the plaintiff were recurring’. 

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  • TPD: Strengthening a claim and handling a mental health crisis

    31st Mar 2022

    Nari Ali of Revolution Law discusses ‘common yet arguable declines’ from insurers and efficient ways to address them, and recommends pertinent mental health resources for lawyers supporting clients in Queensland and around Australia.

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  • The Morrison Government is proposing astounding discrimination against vulnerable aged care residents

    24th Mar 2022

    'When our Parliament is presented with a Bill which removes fundamental rights and liberties from a discrete cohort of Australians only, a cacophony of objections may be expected' writes Rodney Lewis. 'In this case, however, the victims have no voice.'

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  • South Australia – No longer the rogue class action state

    17th Mar 2022

    ‘An intended purpose of representative proceedings is to give access to justice to people who cannot afford it,’ writes JE Rowe. But until recently, ‘access to justice was denied to vulnerable people in South Australia unless they could get funding or other access to funds to provide security for costs.’

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  • Tough new laws against image-based abuse

    10th Mar 2022

    Online abuse, including so-called ‘revenge porn’, is mostly conducted against women – and it’s on the rise. Anneka Frayne discusses the new penalties for perpetrators, as well as bullies, trolls and social media giants who publish defamatory material. 

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  • Pattern of mental health discrimination in insurance industry

    24th Feb 2022

    Concerns raised by the Human Rights Commission have been consolidated in a report by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre investigating how life insurers treat people with past or current mental health conditions. Nick Burton discusses the issues and the implications.  

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  • Concerns over police reliance on phone data extraction technology

    17th Feb 2022

    Defences could be mounted based on possible security faults in the technology used by police to extract data from mobile phones, challenging convictions that rely on this data as evidence, writes John Gooley  a lawyer with many years' experience in federal law enforcement and intelligence. 

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  • The law around disclosure

    10th Feb 2022

    In celebration of our Queensland conference, speaker Ashleigh Harrison shares a slice of Saturday’s presentation, discussing the complexities around disclosure under the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (Qld), impacting on cases like Haug v Jupiters Limited trading as Conrad Treasury Brisbane, in which a guitarist from Powerfinger, in his quest to prove ‘excessive force’ was used to eject him from a Brisbane casino, lost the battle to obtain security information. 

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  • Traumatic birth experience leads to avoidable injury

    3rd Feb 2022

    It is important for women to know that birth-related injuries are common, they are sometimes preventable, and legal advice should be sought before the time to bring a claim passes, writes Jyoti Haikerwal, a lawyer at Brave Legal and volunteer with the Australasian Birth Trauma Association.

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  • Who has to pay for repairs? The landlord or the tenant?

    27th Jan 2022

    Storm damage, gas leaks, mould, wall cracks, water stains – repairs are required from time to time at all properties, but when the property is a rental, working out who is responsible can be ambiguous. David Crossan, David Thompson and Neville Hesford clarify. 

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  • Is the Hague Convention on child abduction harming women?

    20th Jan 2022

    Women trying to leave abusive relationships and return home with their children are being blocked by the threat of Hague proceedings. When it was signed in 1980, this international treaty was intended to protect mothers and children, but now it's being used as 'legal weapon' against them, writes Anneka Frayne, calling for change.

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  • Landmark judgment over right to keep pets in apartments

    13th Jan 2022

    No residential building in NSW will be able to enforce a blanket ban on pets in apartments, says Merrill Phillips, thanks to the precedent set by Angus, a deaf and partially blind miniature schnauzer, his owner, Jo Cooper, and the NSW Court of Appeal. 

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  • If a person with a secret second family dies, who inherits their estate?

    2nd Dec 2021

    When a marriage celebrant leaves his first wife in New Zealand and marries a second in Australia, and then a third, he receives a 6-month suspended sentence for bigamy — illegal in Australia, but more common than most of us realise. Joshua Crowther discusses this legal quandary. 

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  • Does a smack on the bottom constitute common assault?

    23rd Nov 2021

    When a female bar manager takes a male customer to court for common assault, the customer pleads guilty but is eventually granted a s10 dismissal ­­and no conviction is recorded against him. Kelly Brown outlines the details of this incident and explains what constitutes common assault.

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  • Australians charged with modern day slavery and jailed

    12th Nov 2021

    After several incidents of Australians being found guilty of modern slavery for keeping women as domestic slaves and in forced labour, Emily Wittig from Stacks Collins Thompson discusses the legislation prohibiting slavery, the definition of modern day slavery and the corresponding issue of human trafficking in the sex industry.

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  • Handling asbestos-related claims in England

    11th Nov 2021

    Jurisdictional issues arise when workers were originally exposed to asbestos in England however developed their asbestos-related illness later in Australia due to lengthy latency periods. Daniel and Kevin provide an overview of the legal factors regarding asbestos-related claims in England. Relevant considerations for advising clients include level of damages, expediency, preferential legal costs, procedural convenience and potential to fund life-saving treatment.  

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