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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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  • The High Court and the ‘aliens’ power

    12th Mar 2020

    Professor Megan Davis explains that on the key issues animating public attention – an Aboriginality test and sovereignty – a close reading of each judgment in Love; Thoms reveals that there are no majority pronouncements that change the status quo. The decision does not create a new category of person, nor does it create special rights. What it does do, however, is bolster the argument for constitutional reform.

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  • Queensland reforms affecting workers’ comp claims for psychological injuries

    5th Mar 2020

    Jessica Hodge explains the changes affecting workers' compensation claims for psychological injury in Queensland which commenced late last year. She argues that while the removal of ‘major’ from the required standard for a psychological injury represents a positive step for employees, particularly those with pre-existing psychological conditions, it unlikely to result in a significant increase to the claim acceptance rate. 

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  • Veterans let down by claims scheme

    27th Feb 2020

    Tim White, the President of the Law Society of SA, highlights the mental health crisis in our armed forces and the hurdles veterans face pursuing injury claims. He refers to reports of ADF personnel who have taken their lives while waiting for a final decision from the DVA or in the course of disputing a DVA decision. Tim is hopeful that the recent announcement of the appointment of a full-time Commissioner to investigate veteran suicides will be a positive step.

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  • How the term ‘coward punch’ won a $100,000 defamation payout

    20th Feb 2020

    As Michael McHugh explains, language is a powerful tool – in society and in law.  ‘Coward punch’ describes a characteristic of the perpetrator of such an act: that in hitting a defenceless person in an unprovoked manner, the actor is not only committing a violent act but also, distinctly, is contemptibly lacking the courage to act in a proper or fair way. 

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  • Asbestos and other latent onset disease litigation: Tips and traps

    13th Feb 2020

    As Martin Rogalski explains, given the complexities that lawyers invariably confront in cases involving asbestos disease and other latent onset diseases, some fundamental matters require consideration in every case. 

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  • Law reform: Protecting the safety of Queensland mining workers

    6th Feb 2020

    It is clear from a recent spate of deaths of mining workers that the resources industry has a long way to go to ensure its workers stay safe. The nature of the operations and sheer scale of the mining machinery used mean that when injuries occur in this sector, they are often very serious, and too often result in death where safe work practices have not been followed. Jason Monro supports moves by the Queensland government to extend the operation of industrial manslaughter laws introduced in 2017 to the resources sector. 

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  • Why must women go unprotected from violent male neighbours?

    30th Jan 2020

    Anna Kerr tells one women's story to illustrate just how our justice system is failing to fulfil its most fundamental purpose of protecting the vulnerable, and is also actively obstructing efforts to bring male perpetrators to account. She calls for greater societal recognition of male violence and better protections for women and children. 

     

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  • Character test in s501 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) does not apply to Temporary Protection Visas

    23rd Jan 2020

    As George Newhouse explains, a recent decision of the Federal Court has profound implications for anyone whose temporary protection visa application was refused or cancelled based on s501 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) and the Public Interest Criterion (PIC) in PIC 4001.

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  • Disputed statutory benefit matters – questions to ask your client

    16th Jan 2020

    Although all disputed statutory benefit matters are different, as Margarita Fudim (Yerusalimsky) explains, there are some questions you should be asking your client in every case. 

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  • Governments face a reckoning in the courts over climate change failure

    9th Jan 2020

    In the midst of the bushfire catastrophe in Australia and in the shadow of the failure of successive governments to act on warnings by scientists, Greg Barns argues that it will only be a matter of time before the courts are forced to step in as they have done with Big Tobacco and Big Pharma.

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  • Three tips for kickstarting 2020 a happier lawyer!

    12th Dec 2019

    As 2019 draws to a close, it is a good time to reflect on how we have managed the inevitable stresses that have arisen in our busy work lives and develop strategies for the year ahead. In this article, Clarissa Rayward, the recipient of the inaugural 2019 Minds Count Award for Individual Leadership in Legal Mental Wellbeing, shares some great tips.

    Exciting news too, Clarissa will also be presenting at our 2020 Queensland Conference!

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  • The aged care Royal Commission’s three areas of immediate action are worthy, but won’t fix a broken system

    5th Dec 2019

    There are no simple or quick fixes for the problems identified in the aged care Royal Commission's interim report, released in November 2019. Joseph Ibrahim calls on government to collaborate across ministerial portfolios to address the huge waiting list for home care packages, the use of chemical restraints in aged care facilities and the plights of younger people with a disability living in these facilities.

     

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  • The High Court proposes new rules about Aboriginal societies

    28th Nov 2019

    Next week the High Court will hear argument on whether the common law’s recognition of customary native title logically entails the recognition of an Aboriginal society’s laws and customs, and in particular that society’s authority to determine its own membership, and whether there is a unique obligation owed to members of Aboriginal society. But have stakeholders been given enough time for meaningful intervention?

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  • Justice for survivors of institutional child abuse: how the NSW vicarious liability amendments shape up

    21st Nov 2019

    Andrew Morrison RFD SC examines whether the reforms enacted by the Civil Liability Amendment (Organisational Child Abuse Liability) Act 2018 (NSW) will deliver the promised pathways for justice to survivors of child abuse in institutional settings.

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  • The other side of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

    14th Nov 2019

    Tom Percy QC shares his concerns about the perceived shift in community attitudes towards a presumption of guilt for individuals charged with historical sexual abuse offences, particularly where an alleged offence took place in an institutional setting. He contends that an accused person should have an unconditional right to elect a trial by judge alone.

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  • Cannabis bans are ignored — so ditch the law and save money

    14th Nov 2019

    Greg Barns welcomes the ACT government decriminalising cannabis possession, and calls for cannabis law reform across Australia.

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  • Computer-generated letters and the law – uncertainty following ATO decision

    7th Nov 2019

    Tony Mitchell considers a recent case that raises serious questions about the legal accountability of a government department, corporation or individual for computer-generated correspondence sent in their name.

     

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