Opinion

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  • Sentencing, over-policing, STMP and crime reduction in NSW

    6th Aug 2020

    Mark Warren analyses statistics to determine the effectiveness of NSW sentencing reforms on prison population, police and crime reduction, and STMP technology.

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  • Character test in s501 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) DOES apply to Temporary Protection Visas

    30th Jul 2020

    George Newhouse provides an update on the overruling of BAL19, a decision that constrained the Minister for Home Affairs’ power to refuse a visa for refugees and asylum seekers under the s501 character test of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth).

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  • Do defamation laws need to be updated in the digital age? (part 2)

    23rd Jul 2020

    In the second part of this two-part series, Richard Bradshaw and Caitlin Walkington cover the common distinct features of online publications and what changes should be made to defamation laws.

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  • Do defamation laws need to be updated in the digital age? (part 1)

    16th Jul 2020

    Social media and the use of the internet have evolved in a manner that neither the legislators nor the courts could have foreseen, allowing defamatory material to be published and accessed in unprecedented ways.

    In the first part of this two-part series, Richard Bradshaw and Caitlin Walkington cover who is a 'publisher' in the digital age and the differences between primary and secondary publishers.

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  • New workplace manslaughter laws in Victoria

    2nd Jul 2020

    Sam Vasaiwalla explains the new Workplace Safety Legislation Amendment (Workplace Manslaughter and Other Matters) Act 2019 (Vic), effective from 1 July 2020. This new law makes workplace manslaughter a criminal offence in Victoria, with penalties of up to $16.5 million and 20 years’ jail.

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  • How to avoid becoming #youtoo: Minimising sexual harassment at work

    25th Jun 2020

    Employers are liable for the conduct of their employees if they sexually harass other workplace participants. However, liability can be absolved if an employer proves that they took all reasonable steps to prevent the inappropriate conduct from occurring. 

    Larissa Andelman explores what ‘taking all reasonable steps’ really entails under the law, and what measures law firms can put in place to provide a workplace free from sexual harassment.

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  • Did the employer’s negligence cause the sales assistant’s psychiatric injury? Which case won?

    18th Jun 2020

    Phil Griffin explores the facts and outcomes of a recent psychiatric injury case decided in Queensland. This case highlights that the risks inherent in an employee’s role are an important consideration in determining the reasonable precautions that an employer must take to meet its duty of care to its employees.

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  • Don Dale ruling a strong message against use of force on children

    11th Jun 2020

    Greg Barns discusses the High Court’s decision, on 3 June, that the use of tear gas on four youths at the NT’s Don Dale detention centre was unlawful. He explores the implications of this decision, suggesting that it illustrates the need for discussion about changing the culture of dealing with young people who intersect with the criminal justice system.

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  • How NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) facilitates financial abuse

    4th Jun 2020

    In this article, Anna Kerr and Andrea Verteouris explore how the NSW policy of denying the registration of a motor vehicle in joint names can be detrimental to the safety of women and children affected by domestic violence. They call on the NSW government to reinstate the option of registering motor vehicles in joint names or at least enable a second interest in a vehicle to be noted.  

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  • Death sentence for poverty? Why the over-representation of First Nations women prisoners matters during the pandemic

    27th May 2020

    ALA member and a leading advocate for the protection of criminalised women's human rights, Debbie Kilroy OAM, has had her own frightening encounter with the COVID-19 virus. Debbie is desperately worried about the threat to lives if there is an outbreak of the virus in an Australian women’s prison, particularly for over-represented First Nations women, many of whom have chronic health conditions. In this article, Debbie explains the key issues and provides a compelling list of immediate action priorities. 

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  • Gender issues for lawyers during and after the pandemic

    21st May 2020

    In this article, Emma Dawson explores the disproportionate impact on women's careers, remuneration and superannuation both during the COVID-19 shutdown, and in its economic aftermath. Although working remotely during the shutdown period has no doubt been somewhat of an ‘eye-opener’ for some of the domestic partners of female lawyers about the unpaid work so many do, it may be too early to hope for a permanent shift in the division of unpaid domestic work. Nevertheless, the building blocks have been laid. Post-COVID will offer many challenges, but also many opportuntities to do things differently.

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  • A spotlight on the Newmarch House tragedy: Where to next?

    14th May 2020

    In this article, Catherine Henry argues that the rampant, nationwide failures in governance, accountability, policy and the regulatory framework of aged care have been laid bare in the tragedy that has unfolded at Newmarch House. Catherine attributes these failures to the flawed Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth), whose provisions prefer the interests of providers over those of residents and their families. She calls for a dedicated inquiry into the Newmarch House tragedy and for the enactment of a new Aged Care Act which addresses the shortcomings of the current aged care system. 

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  • Swapping silks for trackies

    7th May 2020

    While there may be some of you who won't agree, for many lawyers running their own practices, working from home may well be better than planning and taking a holiday. In this engaging article, it is clear that Tom Percy QC is relishing working from home during the COVID-19 shutdown and has enthusiastically embraced the new ways of engaging with courts and clients. 

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  • Figuring out who the ‘relevant insurer’ is under the Motor Accident Injuries Act in NSW

    30th Apr 2020

    With the introduction of the concept of a 'relevant insurer' in the Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 (NSW), a claimant must lodge one claim form with one insurer only when claiming statutory benefits. In this article, Belinda Cassidy, Special Counsel at Stacks Goudkamp, explores the difficulties that arise in working out who the 'relevant insurer' is in multi-vehicle accidents and their effect on the flow of statutory benefits to injured persons, particularly self-represented claimants. Belinda urges SIRA to publish arrangements it has approved between insurers for the determination of which insurer will accept a claim for statutory benefits and be the relevant insurer in respect of the claim.

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  • Acknowledgment of Country: What should we be doing at the ALA?

    23rd Apr 2020

    Under the ALA's inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan which was launched in October 2019, the ALA and its office holders have an obligation to demonstrate respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by observing cultural protocols. One of the most important cultural protocols is the Acknowledgment of Country. In this article, the ALA's Policy and Advocacy Manager, Dr Louis Schetzer explains why the Acknowledgment matters, and when and how we as members of the ALA should observe this important symbolic act of respect. Louis also offers some suggestions to keep in mind when you are preparing and delivering your Acknowledgment to Country to ensure it is genuine, significant and educative.

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  • How the new Queensland Human Rights Act can assist clients with disability

    16th Apr 2020

    It is well recognised that people with disability are particularly vulnerable to violations of their human rights. In this article, Emma Phillips welcomes the new statutory human rights protections delivered by the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) (which commenced in January 2020) and identifies the rights and freedoms which have particular significance for people with disability. Emma explains how the new statutory right to health services, a new human right in Australia, has the potential to address the denial of appropriate treatment for people with disability and any failures to ensure access to health services for incarcerated people with disability.

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  • Why releasing some prisoners is essential to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)

    9th Apr 2020

    To prevent prisons becoming COVID-19 hotspots, Prof Thalia Anthony argues that the only logical response is decarceration; an emergency measure that is necessary to protect both the health and wellbeing of prisoners and the wider community. Thalia highlights the particular vulnerability of  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners, and eventually their families and communities. Indigenous people who are exposed to infection in prisons will return to communities that are ill-equipped to respond to a COVID-19 outbreak; especially communities in regional and remote areas where there is a glaring lack of health services and resources.

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  • Coronavirus and important insurance questions

    2nd Apr 2020

    Kim Shaw explores some of the common questions lawyers might be asked about insurance coverage – travel, business, mortgage and disability insurance – as their clients feel the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their lives and livelihoods. Kim provides some helpful tips about how lawyers can respond to these. 

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  • Significant risk of the default investment option for TPD claimants

    26th Mar 2020

    If you are acting for a client with an approved TPD claim it would be a good idea for you to find out now how the superfund is dealing with TPD claim proceeds. According to Andrew Reynolds, currently roughly 50% of superfunds will direct proceeds into the member’s default investment option in their superannuation account. Over recent weeks, as the COVD-19 crisis has hit financial markets across the world, some claimants have lost tens of thousands of dollars before they even realise their claim has been approved. Andrew suggests that affected TPD claimants may have valid claims against their superfunds for these losses. 

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  • What solicitors should tell their personal injury clients about surveillance

    19th Mar 2020

    Tom Goudkamp OAM explains what legal advisors should tell their personal injury clients about insurer surveillance. If clients are truthful with doctors, medico-legal experts and their lawyers, surveillance will not harm them, and may even help their cases. Tom explains that the opportunity for insurers to ambush clients in court is now limited.

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