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  • US White Island lawsuit: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd v Browitt

    5th Aug 2021

    In the Federal Court decision of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd v Browitt [2021] FCA 653, two Melbourne victims of the White Island volcano disaster defeated legal action brought by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd to stop the victims from proceeding with their claims in Florida. Victoria Roy provides a summary of the legal issues in dispute and analysis of this cruise ship accident case.

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  • Behind the closed doors of immigration detention

    29th Jul 2021

    Australia’s harsh laws permitting the indefinite detention of people seeking asylum and refugees have recently been expanded to include persons who are owed protection obligations but have no visa pathways. Rachel Saravanamuthu discusses the increasing detainee numbers during COVID-19, excessive use of force by detention staff, the concerning use of detention records to support visa cancellations and refusals, and the situation for Medevac transferees.

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  • Government’s plan to deregister charities for trifling offences is an overreach

    22nd Jul 2021

    New proposed laws governing the regulation of charities and not-for-profit (NFP) organisations may result in the deregistering of charities and NFPs, if a member or volunteer commits a minor offence during a demonstration. Maurie Stack argues that this is a clear attempt to silence activists, pointing to the broad scope of the proposed changes and existing laws that cover fraudulent activities committed by charities and NFPs.

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  • A guardianship for special circumstances

    14th Jul 2021

    In proceedings where a party is found to be a ‘person under disability’, the court may appoint a litigation guardian to assist in the management of the party’s legal affairs. Priam Nandan provides an overview of litigation guardians, including the power to appoint, reasons for appointment, who can appoint a litigation guardian and considerations for a ‘person under disability’.

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  • Should voluntary assisted dying be legalised in NSW?

    8th Jul 2021

    In NSW, the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill failed to pass the upper house in 2017. Alongside reignited discussion around legislation on this controversial topic, Joshua Crowther provides an overview of the current position of voluntary assisted dying in NSW, documenting end of life care in a will, and advanced care directives.

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  • The level of detail required in pleadings against the Crown: Niass v State of NSW

    1st Jul 2021

    Pleadings are required to identify the issues of the case, to articulate the nature and content of the claims, and to provide the defendant with a fair opportunity to meet the case. In her two-part series, Amanda Do discusses two Supreme Court of NSW judgments that clarify the level of detail required in pleadings, in particular with regard to claims of institutional abuse. The second judgment discussed is the case of Niass v State of NSW.

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  • The level of detail required in pleadings: PWJI v The State of NSW

    24th Jun 2021

    Pleadings must identify the issues of the case, articulate the nature and content of the claims, and provide the defendant with a fair opportunity to meet the case. In her two-part series, Amanda Do discusses two Supreme Court of NSW judgments that clarify the level of detail required in pleadings, in particular with regard to claims of institutional abuse. The first judgment discussed is the case of PWJ1 v The State of NSW.

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  • Should Australians have the ‘right to be forgotten’ online?

    17th Jun 2021

    Following the CJEU decision that EU citizens have the right to request that data in regard to them may be deleted from search engines within the EU, the German constitutional court held that a plaintiff who had served time for murder is entitled to the right to be forgotten. Michael McHugh discusses the legal complexities of this right and its potential impact on privacy and free speech.

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  • Assessing disability claims fairly

    3rd Jun 2021

    Liam Hanlon and Dr Benjamin Koh discuss two major outcomes from the Banking Royal Commission for insurance claims assessors, including the requirement of an Australian Financial Services Licence and the statutory obligation of utmost good faith. These outcomes set a higher legal standard for claims assessors to operate fairly and provide valuable consumer protections to those claiming disability benefits.

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  • Representation matters: Why you should care about Reconciliation Week

    26th May 2021

    First Nations people are overrepresented in all the areas of the law that no one wants to be, and underrepresented in the areas where they should be thriving. Melia Benn reminds us to have the courage to put words into action, and stand up to the casual and blatant racism that First Nations people face both in their daily lives and when navigating the legal system.

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  • Internet trolls face huge penalties under proposed new laws

    20th May 2021

    Hefty fines and takedown laws proposed in the Online Safety Bill aim to address online abuse. Anneka Frayne takes a look into the proposed power to block websites sharing terrorist or extremist activities, and definition of ‘cyber abuse’ to include intention to cause serious harm.

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  • Over 1,000 Australians with cognitive disability are detained indefinitely each year

    13th May 2021

    The indefinite detention of people with cognitive impairments and/or mental illness in our criminal justice system has been criticised for being arbitrary in nature and subjecting detainees to abuse and serious human rights violations.

    Eileen Baldry AO highlights the reforms needed to dismantle this shameful practice and provide more disability-focused support to those at risk.

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  • Horseplay in the workplace leads to damages

    6th May 2021

    Emily Wittig from Stacks Collins Thompson discusses a case where a ‘bit of fun’ at work goes too far and leads to serious injury. She highlights the duty of care owed by employers to provide competent supervisors and a safe workplace, and the significant dangers of injury and death when this duty is breached.

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  • Compensation, risk and the NDIS

    29th Apr 2021

    Pursuing compensation can be expensive and stressful. Might injured Australians decide it’s better to just receive full Centrelink and NDIS? Jane Campbell explains the issues at play, including repayments and reductions, and highlights the enduring importance of securing proper compensation.

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  • BYO bandages: The case for regional and rural health reform

    22nd Apr 2021

    Catherine Henry discusses the impact that inequitable health resourcing and services has on those living in rural, regional and remote areas. In particular, she addresses key issues including shortages of specialist practitioners, lack of regional cancer centres, and the unacceptably wide gap in the health outcomes of First Nations communities.

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  • Spy apps: Privacy protection or illegal surveillance?

    15th Apr 2021

    In the past few years, a growing number of free spy apps have appeared on the market. What is most alarming about this phenomenon is the blurred line of legality in these apps which have a wide range of uses, from offering anti-spyware that protects a user’s private information to enabling illegal surveillance. Nick Burton provides an overview of the most commonly used spy apps and discusses the legalities of using these apps.

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  • Fighting racism in the healthcare system

    8th Apr 2021

    Despite the common belief that the Australian health system treats everyone equally, George Newhouse and Karina Hawtrey argue that the system operates in a way that disproportionately excludes and harms First Nations people. They discuss the ways in which legal advocates can recognise and assist in fighting racism, including by implementing firm-wide anti-racism policies and taking on cases of medical negligence faced by First Nations clients.

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  • Facilitated conclave conferences

    1st Apr 2021

    Where there is a divergence in expert evidence, the experts involved are expected to participate in a conclave conference. Kirsten Van Der Wal and Kathryn McMillan QC discuss the role of an independent facilitator in this process, how to appoint a facilitator as well as practical considerations for legal practitioners.

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  • Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act provisions replaced by new legislation in NSW

    25th Mar 2021

    The introduction of the Mental Health and Cognitive Impairment Forensic Provisions Act 2020 (NSW) provides courts with better guidance when diverting a criminal defendant into mental healthcare and treatment. Mark Warren discusses the new Act’s provisions in regard to mental health definitions, the ‘fit for trial’ test, and the replacement of the ‘not guilty’ verdict with ‘not criminally responsible’.

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  • How the law could permit the standing down of Christian Porter

    18th Mar 2021

    The standing down of a public service employee during an investigation into their conduct is provided for under Australian industrial relations law. Giri Sivaraman examines previous decisions featuring suspensions of highly skilled professionals in which the courts considered whether the suspension improved the integrity of the investigation and the potential risks to the employee’s health and career.

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