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Australian Law and Politics

This category contains 40 posts

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus


The following editorial, among the most famous ever written, appeared in the New York Sun in 1897. Since it’s Christmas, etc… Also, it is a great piece of writing: We take pleasure in answering at once and thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is … Continue reading

Lack of Opportunities For Disabled People


Employers and recruiters unintentionally inflict a ‘glass ceiling’ on disabled Australians, largely due to a lack of infrastructure and consideration, and new figures show that disabled people are half as likely to be employed compared to the population in general. John Walsh, author of a new report, “Disability Expectations: Investing in a better life, a … Continue reading

WIPO Welcomes EU Ratification of Internet Treaties


Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization Francis Gurry has welcomed the ratification by the European Union of the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. The treaties establish the basic standards of protection for copyright and related rights in the digital environment. Mr Gurry said the EU’s ratification of the … Continue reading

Alcopops Dispute Fizzes Out In Federal Court


The Federal Government has been taking a variety of measures intended to reduce “binge drinking”. One of those measures has been to increase rates of duty and excise on “ready to drink” mixed drinks known as Alcopops. Many of you have been following the fate of measures intended to raise customs duty on imported products … Continue reading

National Audit Of Police Capabilities (2009)


The Minister for Home Affairs, Bob Debus, today announced the appointment of Roger Beale AO to conduct a Federal Audit of Police Capabilities in line with the Government’s election commitment. “The Australian Federal Police have had to meet increasing demands in recent years and it’s important we take a comprehensive look at its resources and … Continue reading

Australian Prime Minister’s Australia Day Message (2009)


As we celebrate Australia Day with our friends and families – over barbeques, picnic tables and beach towels – I know that many of you share my concerns about the impact of the global financial crisis on our families. This year will not be an easy one, and to be frank, we face some very … Continue reading

Energy Market Legislation (2009)


The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, has welcomed the release of exposure draft legislation to support the establishment of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). The creation of AEMO, which will require amendment to the National Electricity and Gas Laws and National Electricity and Gas Rules, will implement the decision of … Continue reading

Expert Panel’s Broadband Report (2009)


The Minister for Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy today announced that the final report from the Panel of Experts on submissions to the National Broadband Network process has been received. The Minister stated that the receipt of this report marks a significant milestone in the NBN process: “The Government is now considering … Continue reading

First Ever Victoria Cross for Australia Awarded (2009)


It is with great honour today that we commend the valour of Trooper Mark Donaldson with the presentation of the first Victoria Cross for Australia. This is a truly historic day. Trooper Donaldson’s bravery will forever be engraved in Australian history. Generations of school children will now know of the story of Trooper Mark Donaldson. … Continue reading

Barack Obama Complete Inaugural Speech 2009 (NY Times)


My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation… (APPLAUSE) … as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition. Forty-four Americans … Continue reading

Public Works Committee Hearings $793 Million Defence Project


APH Media Release – 19th January 2009 The Parliamentary Public Works Committee will conduct hearings on $793 million worth of new facilities proposed by Defence for Lavarack Barracks, Townsville, RAAF Base Amberley, Brisbane , and six other locations to support the needs of Enhanced Land Force Stage 1. The project proposes to provide accommodation and … Continue reading

Another Trip And Fall Case Rejected


The Queensland Court of Appeal [McMurdo P, Fraser JA and Mackenzie AJA] has upheld the decision of the Supreme Court in another trip and fall case where the primary judge held that the unfortunate injury was not caused by the negligence of the respondent but rather the plaintiff’s own carelessness. ELLIS V UNITING CHURCH IN … Continue reading

Ten Major Developments In Commercial Litigation In 2008


Economic conditions, court decisions, and a new Federal Government all will generate changes during 2009.  The following are the top ten developments according to Clayton Utz Solicitors. 1. Economic downturn triggers a rise in litigation As the economy slowed in 2008, litigation departments became increasingly busy. Demand for litigation has traditionally been counter-cyclical. The conventional … Continue reading

State Of Mind And Waiver Of Privelege


Do you impliedly waive privilege in your legal advice by putting in issue your state of mind? Generally speaking, two distinct approaches emerged, a broad view and a narrower view, but recently the narrower view has prevailed. The NSW Court of Appeal recently signalled however that it might be prepared to take a broader view … Continue reading

Breach Of Confidence Claims And Awards Of Damages


Key Points Damages are now available for pure mental distress for breach of confidence claims, where the essence of the claim is that there has been a misuse of private information. This could have important consequences for the media in Australia. In this case, the Victorian Court of Appeal chose to adapt the existing action … Continue reading

Second Thoughts Do Not Justify Reinstatement


In Fitzsimmons and Comcare [2008] AATA 919, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (Tribunal) rejected Mr Fitzsimmons’s application to reinstate his claim on the basis that it was ‘dismissed in error’ under section 42A(10) of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (AAT Act). BACKGROUND Mr Fitzsimmons appealed a decision by Comcare that it was not liable to … Continue reading

Jurisdiction To Review An Out Of Time Claim


In Bain v Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission [2008] AATA 884, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (Tribunal) was satisfied that it had jurisdiction to review decisions which the Commission had conceded could be reviewed out of time. BACKGROUND Mr Bain was injured during his Army Service in October 1969. Claims for compensation and other relevant records … Continue reading

Australian Soldier Killed In Afghanistan (January 2009)


Media Release By Prime Minister Kevin Rudd – Jan 5th 2009 I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of an Australian soldier in Afghanistan. This brave soldier, wearing the uniform of Australia, died in the field of duty wearing his nation’s uniform, and wearing it with pride. On behalf of the Government, I … Continue reading

Damages For A Risk Of Injury Where Damages Already Paid


In Muscat v Comcare [2008] AATA 872, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) considered whether an employee was entitled to compensation under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act) in circumstances where he had settled an action for damages against the Commonwealth in the Dust Diseases Tribunal of NSW (DDT). In making its decision, … Continue reading

Julia Gillard Guantanamo Statement


Australia, along with a number of other friends and allies of the United States, has been approached to consider resettling detainees from Guantanamo Bay. This is a request from the Bush administration, and follows President Bush’s statement that he would like to see Guantanamo closed. This is not a request from President Elect Obama. The … Continue reading

New Queensland Liquor Licence Types And Fees


From 1 January 2009 all liquor licences in Queensland will be re-categorised into the new streamlined licence types under the amended Liquor Act 1992 (Liquor Act). On 12 December 2008, the Government promulgated the amendments to the Liquor Regulation 2002, which sets out the new annual licence fee structure. The first instalment of annual licence … Continue reading

New Quality Measures For Australian Aged Care


Tough new measures come into effect on January 1 as part of the Rudd Labor Government’s push to improve the quality of care for the frail and aged in Australia’s 2,830 aged care facilities. They include new laws: * Allowing – in some cases – the verbal lodgment of complaints by residents, family or staff … Continue reading

New Australian Counter-terrorism Agreement With Bangladesh


Australia and Bangladesh have formally agreed to work together against terrorism in South Asia. The Secretary of the Home Affairs Ministry of Bangladesh, Mr Abdul Karim, together with Australia’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Mr Douglas Foskett, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism. The signing ceremony took place in Dhaka. … Continue reading

Comprehensive Response to National Security Legislation Reviews


Attorney-General Robert McClelland today tabled in Parliament the Rudd Government’s comprehensive response to outstanding reviews of national security legislation from the term of the former Government. At the same time, Mr McClelland tabled in Parliament the public report of the Inquiry by the Hon. John Clarke QC into the case of Dr Mohamed Haneef and … Continue reading

Senate Estimates And Other Parliamentary Committees


While the proceedings of Senate Estimates Committees are often reported as just another piece of political theatre, they do represent an important accountability mechanism. Senator the Hon John Faulkner, Special Minister of State and Cabinet Secretary, has described Senate Estimates Committees as the “best accountability mechanism of any Australian Parliament” (Senate Hansard, 13 May 2004, … Continue reading

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United States outmanoeuvres Russia once again? 

United States outmanoeuvres Russia once again? 

In a recent briefing, the US Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Avril Haines warned, “I would characterize it as the Russians aren’t winning, and the Ukrainians aren’t winning, and we’re at a bit of a stalemate here.” So, where is the Russia-Ukraine war heading? What is Russian President Putin planning next? Is Europe ready for […]

China is defying global order to expand power, US admiral warns

China is defying global order to expand power, US admiral warns

The Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are destabilizing international order in an effort to expand their global power, Adm. John Aquilino, commander of the Indo-Pacific Command, warned lawmakers during a House hearing on Tuesday. In his written testimony submitted to the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, Adm. Aquilino explained that the Department […]

China – Autocracy and decoupling technical tests

China – Autocracy and decoupling technical tests

We have noticed that the embrace with China had become suffocating in the last twenty years. The West universe of consumers and China the factory of the world. We started with modest and low value-added materials and products, to refine the trajectory and revolution to the most refined and complex technologies, such as 5G and […]

Four ways China is growing its media influence in Southeast Asia

Four ways China is growing its media influence in Southeast Asia

As President Biden welcomes leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to a special summit this week in Washington, D.C., his administration is affirming Beijing as the U.S.’s main rival and underscoring the region’s importance in U.S.-China competition. The two-day event is part of the U.S effort to woo ASEAN members caught in a […]

Confronting Russia will deter China, says Japanese defense minister

Confronting Russia will deter China, says Japanese defense minister

A strong international response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is critical to deterring China from embarking on territorial conquests in Taiwan or the South China Sea, said Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi. “China has been carefully observing the current situation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and they are paying particularly close attention to what […]

How Russia-Ukraine copied Finland war without lessons

How Russia-Ukraine copied Finland war without lessons

Finland is a unique country with a distinct language and culture. However, its possession was always contested between Sweden and Russia. Though Finland mainly remained under Swedish control in 1809, it was annexed by Russia. Using the end of World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution in late 1917, Finland declared its independence from the […]

China plans system to take out asteroids hurtling toward earth

China plans system to take out asteroids hurtling toward earth

China plans to develop a system for monitoring asteroids that pose a threat to earth, highlighting the nation’s growing ambitions for its space program. The country will also explore ways for taking out asteroids that endanger the planet, Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the China National Space Administration, said in a TV interview, according to […]

Russia-Japan tensions flare anew over the Kurils

Russia-Japan tensions flare anew over the Kurils

Formally, Russia is not at war with Ukraine, where it claims to be conducting a so-called “special military operation.” But with Japan, given that Moscow and Tokyo never signed a peace treaty officially ending World War II, the two Asian neighbors remain technically at war. And after Japan recently described four Kuril islands whose ownership […]

Solomon Islands has Washington in state of alarm after a security pact with China

Solomon Islands has Washington in state of alarm after a security pact with  China

A tiny island chain in the South Pacific has Western governments scrambling after it agreed to a security pact with China that the United States and its allies fear could enhance Beijing’s military power in this strategically important region.  The deal between China and the Solomon Islands, a nation of 700,000 people that had deadly […]

China says its ‘future helicopters’ will be equipped with ground-breaking technologies

China says its ‘future helicopters’ will be equipped with ground-breaking technologies

Militaries all around the world are looking at integrating modern technology into their military weapons. China, as usual, appears to be making serious efforts to prepare for the future battleground, this time, with plans to include artificial intelligence and high-speed features in its future choppers. During a recent public lecture, a prominent Chinese military helicopter […]