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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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  • Can a dying declaration be admitted into evidence?

    28th Oct 2021

    Peter Schmidt looks at several authority cases and discusses the circumstances in which dying declarations may be admitted into evidence. He provides a summary of the criteria for admission including issues with proving that the declarant was a competent witness. Peter concludes that the following principles would be more appropriate: immediacy, spontaneity, holism and lack of opportunity for contrivance.

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  • Work safety poster leads to $200,000 damages award

    21st Oct 2021

    Emily Wittig from Stacks Collins Thompson examines a recent case where a female employee was awarded $200,000 in damages by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. The Court agreed that a work safety poster featuring the words ‘Feel Great – Lubricate!’ over a photo of the employee resulted in the employee feeling ‘exposed, humiliated and ashamed’ and led to her resignation.

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  • Domestic coercive control could soon be criminal in Australia

    14th Oct 2021

    Domestic abuse in the form of coercive control could soon be a criminal act under changes to domestic violence laws being considered by state and territory governments in NSW, Queensland, Victoria, SA and the NT. Anneka Frayne discusses what coercive control is and how the legislation would work, including the difficulties of criminalising it.

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  • Navigating exclusive jurisdiction clauses in overseas holiday contracts

    7th Oct 2021

    Exclusive jurisdiction clauses are commonplace in holiday contracts and stipulate which jurisdiction’s courts a consumer should sue in if a dispute arises. Victoria Roy discusses the Federal Court case of Karpik v Carnival, involving the Ruby Princess COVID-19 disaster, where the exclusive jurisdiction clause in question was found not to have been validly incorporated. However, Karpik also demonstrates it is unlikely that s24 of the ACL would render such a clause unfair and void.

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  • Renewed calls to raise minimum age of children in prison

    30th Sep 2021

    With children in prison as young as 10 years old in Australia, there is a growing push for federal, state and territory politicians to finally raise the age of criminal responsibility to 14. Anneka Frayne provides an overview of the statistics around children in prison, findings on cognitive capability and the doli incapax principle and the ongoing negative impacts of detention on young children.

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  • Human rights violations now enshrined in legislation

    23rd Sep 2021

    The recently passed Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill allows security agencies to access and manipulate citizens’ data ­– adding to the already wide suite of powers security agencies have to surveil and track. Greg Barns SC explains how this law operates (including the introduction of a ‘data disruption warrant’) and argues that it shows little to no regard for the right to privacy and the rule of law.

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  • Former Uber Eats courier paid $400,000 in out-of-court settlement

    16th Sep 2021

    Is a gig economy worker an employee or independent contractor? The line that separates the two employment classifications is becoming increasingly blurred. Emily Wittig from Stacks Collins Thompson discusses the case of Amita Gupta, an Uber Eats courier, who brought an unfair dismissal case before the Fair Work Commission which was eventually settled by Uber Eats. Had the case proceeded and succeeded, it could have set a legal precedent that couriers are employees rather than contractors.

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  • Preventative measures to stop burnout in the legal profession

    7th Sep 2021

    More than any other profession, the traditional legal culture sees lawyers working in high-pressure environments with excessive hours, resulting in burnout and mental health issues including depression and anxiety. Dr Frank Chow provides tips on how to prevent burnout in the legal profession, including aligning core values with your workplace and identifying life priorities.

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  • Proposed child abuse compensation laws in NSW give survivors some hope of justice

    2nd Sep 2021

    A proposed amendment to the NSW Civil Liability Act will enable courts to set aside unfair settlements involving survivors of institutional child abuse. Con Ktenas discusses fairer compensation for victims, eliminating legal barriers to compensation, and the introduction of advance child abuse compensation payouts.

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  • As the Taliban seize control, here’s what Australia can do to help our people

    23rd Aug 2021

    Now that the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan is complete, vulnerable Afghans, especially minority groups such as the Hazaras and women and children remain in a volatile and desperate situation. Arif Hussein and Zaki Haidari urge the Government to protect those who are most at risk under Taliban rule by increasing the humanitarian intake from Afghanistan, providing permanent protection to all Afghan refugees on temporary protection visas in Australia, and lifting the effective ban on family reunion and the ban on resettlement of refugees in Indonesia.

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  • NSW set to introduce mandatory data breach notification scheme to protect privacy

    19th Aug 2021

    Michael McHugh discusses the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Amendment Bill and how the amendments aim to protect the privacy of citizens by introducing mandatory data breach notifications. But will these proposed laws produce the intended result?

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  • Former employee of cosmetic clinic sued for defamation on Instagram story

    12th Aug 2021

    Anneka Frayne discusses defamation on social media in the Brisbane case of BeautyFULL CMC Pty Ltd & Ors v Hayes [2021] QDC 111. She provides a summary of the defamatory claims and the court’s finding, and highlights that the courts are willing to take action, even if there are relatively few recipients of the defamatory posts.

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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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