In the media

Video urges Victorians to report corruption in local government
Victoria's anti-corruption agencies have produced a video explaining how members of the community can make a complaint or report wrongdoing in local government. With Victorians voting in local government elections this week, Acting Chief Municipal Inspector Dr John Lynch said now was an ideal time to remind people of the importance of integrity in government (05 October 2020).  More...

Updates to the Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards
The Morrison Government is pleased to announce the finalisation of the Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2020 which have been released (02 October 2020).  More...

Most want govt to do more to protect privacy
More than eighty per cent of Australians think the government should do more to protect the privacy of their data, according to a survey by the OAIC. Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk says the survey highlights the importance of data privacy to Australians in a time of rapidly evolving data collection and storage. The OAIC's Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey also shows government is more trusted than business when it comes to the protection of personal information. (28 September 2020).  More...

Report confirms we must make better choices to stop children being locked up
The Sentencing Advisory Council's report Children held on remand in Victoria shows that too many children are being locked away before being found guilty of a crime, due to a lack of basic supports like a home to go to. It provides further evidence that imprisonment is not always a last resort for children in Victoria (28 September 2020).  More...

Information watchdogs mark Access Day
The Australian Information Commissioner joined Information Access Commissioners and Ombudsmen from across Australia and New Zealand to sign a public statement marking Monday of this week as International Access to Information Day (28 September). They said open, transparent and accountable Governments that proactively release information to the community remained fundamental to a democratic society (28 September 2020).  More...

New committee to guide cyber strategy
The Department of Home Affairs has set up an Industry Advisory Committee to help guide the implementation of Australia's Cyber Security Strategy 2020. The 2020 Cyber Security Strategy was firmly focused on protecting families and businesses, especially as they spent more time online both at home and in their workplaces (22 October 2020).  More...

Privacy and Data Protection Deputy Commissioner commences examination of privacy and security in Victorian higher education
OVIC has commenced an examination into the protection of personal information in Victorian universities.
The governance practices and policies of eight Victorian universities that have privacy obligations under the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) will be examined (21 October 2020).  More...

Passenger travel card to go digital
The Department of Home Affairs has announced plans to replace the Incoming Passenger Card completed by Australia-bound travellers, with a new digital system it says will support the quick and secure collection of incoming passenger information. The DPD will facilitate information being collected and shared more efficiently while still using the same authority for collection (19 October 2020).  More...

Victorian public transport sector to face corruption probe
IBAC will examine the integrity of the processes and management of major contracts between V/Line, Metro and suppliers. Victoria's corruption watchdog will open public hearings into whether senior public officers in the state's public transport sector improperly influenced the awarding of contracts (15 October 2020).  More...

OAIC: Protecting and promoting privacy and information access rights in sharp focus in 2019–20
The COVID-19 pandemic has focused attention on privacy and created opportunities for greater transparency through the proactive release of government information, according to the OAIC's 2019–20 annual report (15 October 2020).  More...

New leadership in a time of change
Legal Aid Victoria have appointed three new senior leaders in our Criminal Law program, who will play important roles providing support and direction to our lawyers across the state, private practitioners undertaking legal aid work, and the broader criminal justice sector (13 October 2020).  More...

Empowering victim-survivors to speak on their terms
Attorney-General Jill Hennessy announced amendments to the Judicial Proceedings Reports Act to empower victim-survivors to tell their stories – without having to seek court permission. The Justice Legislation Amendment (Supporting Victims and Other Matters) Bill 2020 will provide more control to victim-survivors over how, when and in what way their identity and story is published (13 October 2020).  More...

IBAC charges four people with conspiracy to defraud and misconduct in public office
IBAC has charged four people with offences, including conspiracy to cheat and defraud and misconduct in public office. The charges follow an IBAC investigation, Operation Merrica, into allegations of serious corruption involving a provider of quantity surveying services, and contracts issued by the Department of Education and Training and the Victorian School Building Authority (13 October 2020).  More...

In practice and courts

Federal Budget 2020-21:
The Federal Government delivered the Budget for 2020-21 on 6 October
Cyber safety: $39.4 million in new funding for the Federal eSafety Commissioner to continue its work protecting Australians from online harms.

Office of the National Data Commissioner Exposure draft: Data Availability and Transparency Bill
We are seeking submissions on the exposure draft of the Data Availability and Transparency Bill and explanatory materials, and an Accreditation Framework discussion paper. Submissions are open between 14 September and 6 November 2020. You can also find a second independent Privacy Impact Assessment that examined the privacy implications of the Bill, and see our response. 

AAT Bulletin
The AAT Bulletin is a weekly publication containing a list of recent AAT decisions and information relating to appeals against AAT decisions.
Issue No. 25/2020, 5 October 2020
Issue No. 26/2020, 19 October 2020

Current APH Inquiries and Consultations

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee
Nationhood, national identity and democracy
The committee's reporting date is extended to 8 December 2020
Guidance for digital check-in providers collecting personal information for contact tracing

Un-redacted Royal Commission reports released
20 October 2020 - Two un-redacted reports and a third previously unreleased report from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse have been made public.  More...

Open Government Partnership – Final public consultation on draft Commitments for Australia's Third National Action Plan
The Open Government Forum is seeking final feedback on the draft Commitments proposed to be included in Australia's Third National Action Plan. The Forum is open to feedback until 6 November 2020.
You can read the draft Commitments in full on the OGP website, and are invited to leave your comments on the website on each draft Commitment.


IBAC: Making it easy for Victorians to report wrongdoing in local government
Victoria's integrity agencies want Victorians to know how they can make a complaint, or report wrongdoing in local government. A new video explains which integrity agency people can complain to about issues and suspected wrongdoing with council matters, councillors, and local government officials (05 October 2020).  More...

OVIC: submissions on prompt FOI decisions and information release
The Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) are conducting an investigation into impediments of prompt FOI decision making and information release in Victorian under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic).The investigation will examine the FOI practices of agencies, to identify factors that are contributing to delay. More information can be found on OVIC's website here. Submissions close 13 October 2020.

Law Library of Victoria
Fortnightly bulletin that summarises the latest legislation and cases for the Victorian jurisdiction, as well as High Court of Australia cases.
Law Library Bulletin No 19 (fortnight ending 9 October 2020)
Law Library Bulletin No 20 (fortnight ending 22 October 2020)

Legal Services Council newsletter: Special edition
On 12 October 2020, the Legal Services Council issued a special edition of its newsletter. The newsletter is available here.

COVID Update: County Court of Victoria
On Monday 19 October, the Court issued the revised Trial by Judge Alone – Emergency Protocol COVID-19. The Protocol is available on the Court's website here.

Inquiry into the Victorian Government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic - Have your say
The Public Accounts and Estimates Committee is accepting submissions to its Inquiry into the Victorian Government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Submissions are open until 30 November 2020.  More...

VAGO annual report 2019-2020
This report covers the activities of VAGO for the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020. It is prepared in accordance with the Audit Act 1994 and the Financial Management Act 1994, and complies with the requirements of relevant Australian Accounting Standards and Interpretations, Standing Directions and Financial Reporting Directions (14 October 2020).  More...

IBAC public hearings
IBAC's public hearings into allegations of serious corrupt conduct in relation to planning and property development decisions in Victoria to resume with expanded scope in November
22 October 2020
IBAC will hold public hearings into allegations of serious corrupt conduct in Victoria's public transport sector
15 October 2020

Magistrates' Court of Victoria
New Practice Directions by the Court this week:
Practice Direction 24 of 2020
The purpose of Practice Direction 24 is to revoke Practice Direction 20 of 2020. Practice Direction 20 is now replaced by Practice Direction 21 of 2020 (for regional Victoria) and Practice Direction 22 of 2020 (for metropolitan Melbourne) – the majority of criminal cases continue to be adjourned pursuant to Practice Direction 5 of 2020, which remains in place until 19 October (for regional Victoria) and 9 November (for metropolitan Melbourne). Practice Direction 24 is available here.
The State of Disaster Declaration – Practice Direction No. 20 of 2020 has been extended to 24 October 2020. The updated Practice Direction is available here.

Published – articles, papers, reports

ANAO annual report 2019–20
ANAO: 28 September 2020
The report addresses all applicable obligations under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013; the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014; the Auditor-General Act 1997; the performance measures set out in the outcome and programs framework in the ANAO's Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20 and the ANAO Corporate Plan 2019–20; and annual reporting requirements set out in other relevant legislation.  More...

Not for publication: Declining transparency in the federal budget
Rod Campbell; The Australia Institute: 09 October 2020
Budgets are a key part of Australia's democratic system, with budget papers giving the public a valuable opportunity to see how much money is spent and on what. In this paper, Rod Campbell argues that while there may be circumstances where non-publication of budget information.  More...

2019–20 annual report from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
OAIC: 15 October 2020
The OAIC has continued to deliver on its purpose to uphold and promote privacy and information access rights throughout the pandemic. The OAIC's annual report also highlights its success in addressing a backlog of privacy cases created by sustained increases in complaints over recent years. View the 2019–20 annual report.


WCB v Roman Catholic Trusts Corporation for the Diocese of Sale (No 2) [2020] VSC 639
STATUTES – INTERPRETATION – historical child sexual abuse – action on a previously settled cause of action founded on personal injury resulting from child abuse – application by plaintiff to set aside deed of settlement – statutory interpretation – limitation of Actions Act 1958 (Vic) ss 27QD and 27QE – Just and Reasonable – retrospective removal of barriers to actions for personal injury resulting from child abuse – no limitation for actions for personal injury resulting from child abuse – Limitation of Actions Act 1958 (Vic) s 27P – identification of Proper Defendant – Legal Identity of Defendants (Organisational Child Abuse) Act 2018 (Vic) – vicarious liability – Prince Alfred College Inc. v ADC [2016] HCA 37; (2016) 258 CLR 134 – lapse of time and prejudice to defendant – Brisbane South Regional Health Authority v Taylor [1996] HCA 25; (1996) 186 CLR 541
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – permanent Stay – abuse of Process – whether it would be manifestly unfair to defendant or would otherwise bring administration of justice into disrepute if claim proceeded – Limitation of Actions Act 1958 (Vic) s 27R – Connellan v Murphy [2017] VSCA 116 – Moubarak v Holt [2019] NSWCA 102; (2019) 100 NSWLR 218.

Anasis v Hume City Council & Anor [2020] VSC 620
JUDICIAL REVIEW AND APPEAL – application for judicial review of decision by VCAT to make enforcement order under s 114 Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic) for contravention of Council Planning Scheme – whether Tribunal erred in weighting of evidence amounting to denial of natural justice – no error of law in Tribunal's approach to evidence – whether denial of opportunity to cross examine on affidavit received after conclusion of evidence amounts to denial of procedural fairness – no denial of procedural fairness arises where Tribunal gave no weight to affidavit – no grounds of review made out – application dismissed.




Competition and Consumer (Consumer Data Right) Amendment Rules (No. 2) 2020 
01/10/2020 - This instrument amends the Competition and Consumer (Consumer Data Right) Rules 2020 to permit the use of accredited 3. Intermediaries to collect CDR data, through an expansion of the rules relating to CDR outsourcing arrangements.



Retail Leases Amendment Act 2020 (Vic)
Date of commencement: 1 October 2020 - Part 3 Division 2 (sections 9 to 14) of the Act came in by forced commencement on 1 October 2020 s. 2(3) Act Number: 26/2020

Statutory Rules

No 107 COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) (Commercial Leases and Licences) Miscellaneous Amendments Regulations 2020
29 September 2020 -To amend the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) (Commercial Leases and Licences) Regulations 2020—(a)to extend the operation of those Regulations; and
(b)to prescribe the eligible lease requirements; and
(c)to modify the operation of certain provisions relating to rent relief; and
(d)to empower the Small Business Commission to make orders directing landlords under eligible leases to give or agree to give specified rent relief to tenants under eligible leases; and
(e)to confer jurisdiction on VCAT to enforce orders referred to in paragraph(d).

Victorian legislation can be accessed here.

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.