High Court rules Tasmanian anti-protest law unconstitutional

By Castan Centre By Dr Caroline Henckels
In January 2016, former Greens Senator Bob Brown was filming an anti-logging video in Tasmania’s Lapoinya Forest when he was directed by a police officer to leave the vicinity. He was arrested and charged for failing to comply. Tasmanian nurse Jessica Hoyt was charged on a separate occasion for returning to the forest after having previously been directed to leave. Both challenged the Act as unconstitutional, and on Wednesday, the High Court ruled 6:1 that certain provisions of the Act, as they pertained to protests in forestry areas, violated the implied freedom of political communication protected by …read more

Source:: Castan Centre for Human Rights Law

Banking reform bills package introduced

By David Jacobson The Treasurer has introduced into the House of Representatives three Bills which will establish the Banking Executive Accountability Regime, expand APRA’s crisis management powers and give APRA new rule-making and data collection powers over non-bank lenders. The restriction on use of the words “bank”, “banker” or “banking” in relation to an ADI’s financial business is also removed.
The Bills are:
Treasury Laws Amendment (Banking Executive Accountability and Related Measures) Bill 2017
Financial Sector Legislation Amendment (Crisis Resolution Powers and Other Measures) Bill
Treasury Laws Amendment (Banking Measures No. 1) Bill 2017
Banking Executive Accountability
The Treasury Laws Amendment (Banking Executive Accountability and Related Measures) Bill 2017 …read more

Source:: Bright Law

Credit card regulation Bill introduced

By David Jacobson The Treasury Laws Amendment (Banking Measures No. 1) Bill 2017 has been introduced into to the House of Representatives to implement, amongst other things, credit card regulation changes. Background.
Schedule 5 to the Bill amends the National Credit Act to introduce four principal changes:
Reform 1: tighten responsible lending obligations for credit card contracts
Part 1 of Schedule 5 to the Bill introduces a new requirement that the unsuitability of a credit card contract or credit limit increase for a consumer be assessed according to whether the consumer could repay an amount equivalent to the credit limit of the contract within a period …read more

Source:: Bright Law

The New Payments Platform

By David Jacobson After many years of complaints by both businesses and customers about the time taken to receive payments and the risks of the BSB/account number system, the New Payments Platform (NPP) promises simply addressed payments, with near real-time funds availability to the recipient, on a 24/7 basis.
The New Payments Platform is expected to commence in January 2018.
The Bulk Electronic Clearing System (BECS) for recurring electronic debit and credit payment instructions which commenced in 1994 will be superseded over time.
The components of the NPP will include:
an Addressing Service which enables transaction accounts to be identified by a simpler payment address such as …read more

Source:: Bright Law

ASIC review of interest-only home loans

By David Jacobson ASIC has provided an update on its targeted review of interest only home loans examining whether lenders and mortgage brokers are inappropriately recommending more expensive interest-only loans. Background.
The first stage of ASIC’s review, which involved data collection from 16 home loan providers (including large banks, mid-tier and smaller banks, and non-bank lenders) found that the lenders provided $14.3 billion in interest-only loans to owner-occupiers in the June 2017 quarter, down from $19 billion in the September 2015 quarter.
ASIC’s interest-only lending review has also found:
Borrowers who used brokers were more likely to obtain an interest-only loan compared to those who went …read more

Source:: Bright Law

Cresswell v Cresswell [2017] VSCA 272 (28 September 2017): specific performance, agreement, contract and equity and procedural fairness

By Peter Clarke The Victorian Court of Appeal in Cresswell v Cresswell [2017] VSCA 272 upheld a decision from the County Court which ultimately revolved around procedural fairness and a fair trial. It also highlighted the importance of clear pleadings.
The facts revolve around land and unfortunately arrangements between family members that went awry. Not an unusual situation which often enough gives rise to litigation.
The Applicantsare the parents of the Respondent and his sister, Tamarand [1].
Prior to 30 November 2001, the Applicants and the Respondent and Tamarand agreed, at [2], that:
(a) the applicants would purchase a property;
(b) the applicants would pay $100,000 …read more

Source:: Peter A Clarke

Victorian Legislation: Hospital safety

By wjmadden The Health Legislation Amendment (Quality and Safety) Bill 2017 (Vic) was passed in Parliament on 17 October 2017
It responds to recommendations from the Targeting Zero: supporting the Victorian hospital system to eliminate avoidable harm and strengthen quality of care report of the statewide review by Dr Stephen Duckett.
A media release states by the Health Minister states:
The review was commissioned by the Labor Government following the tragic discovery of a cluster of potentially avoidable newborn and stillborn deaths at Djerriwarrh Health Services.
Alongside action already being taken, these laws will strengthen health service quality and safety, aim to eliminate avoidable harm in …read more

Source:: Bill Madden

Vicarious liability (akin to employment) and non-delegable duties: UK Supreme Court

By wjmadden In a decision which I know has been criticised by some and which has elements not reflected in Australian decisions, the UK Supreme Court yesterday revisited vicarious liability and non-delegable duties in Armes v Nottingham County Council [2017] UKSC 60.
The claimant was in the local authority’s care from early childhood until she was 18. The local authority placed her with two sets of foster parents, Mr and Mrs A and Mr and Mrs B. She was subject to abuse by Mr & Mrs B claimed against the local authority in respect of the abuse.
The local authority was not negligent in …read more

Source:: Bill Madden

Anti-abortion protesters have acted with impunity for decades. That ends now

By Ronli Sifris By Dr Ronli Sifris and Dr Tania Penovic
14-year-old girl, scared and vulnerable, realises that she is pregnant. A 43-year-old unemployed mother of five whose husband is recently deceased discovers she is pregnant and does not know how she will cope with another child. A 36-year-old woman with a planned pregnancy is processing a diagnosis of severe foetal abnormality.
Each year many Australian women deal with problem pregnancies. Some decide to continue with the pregnancy and some decide to terminate the pregnancy. Whatever the decision, they have a right to seek unbiased professional counselling and appropriate medical care; and they have a …read more

Source:: Castan Centre for Human Rights Law