: DUAO - Vol 36(3)

DUAO - 2011 - Vol 36(3)

DownUnderAllOver Cartoon

Developments around the country

DownUnderAllOver is a round-up of legal news from both State and federal jurisdictions, and contains topical articles and short pieces from Alternative Law Journal committees around the country.

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Copyright in photographs taken by trespassers

Leanne O'Donnell
Federal

Another long-running legal case came to a close in March this year with judgment delivered in the New South Wales Supreme Court in the matter of Windridge Farm Pty Ltd v Grassi and Ors [2011] NSWSC 196 (28 March 2011).

(2011) 36(3) AltLJ 205

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Breach of privacy

Bruce Arnold
Federal

The Minister for Home Affairs, the Hon Brendan O’Connor, has foreshadowed release of a discussion paper regarding establishment of a statutory tort of breach of privacy. The tort has been proposed in successive Australian and state law reform and parliamentary committee reports, in particular the Australian Law Reform Commission’s 2008 For Your Information: Australian Privacy Law and Practice report, the Victorian Law Reform Commission’s 2010 Surveillance in Public Places final report and the NSW Law Reform Commission’s 2009 Invasion of Privacy report. The proposal for establishment of a statutory cause of action appears to be reactive, reflecting publicity in the UK and US over privacy breaches by major media organisations. It is independent of current parliamentary consideration of major amendments to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth); those amendments do not feature a tort.

(2011) 36(3) AltLJ 205

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National chaplains in schools program: 
Watch this space

Renae Barker
Federal

In January 2010 Ronald Williams, a Queensland father, instigated proceedings in the High Court challenging the National School Chaplaincy Program (‘NSCP’) [Williams v Commonwealth of Australia and Ors]. The NSCP was started in 2007 under the Howard government to ‘support schools to establish or expand chaplaincy services.’

Mr Williams is challenging the NSCP on two constitutional grounds: first that the granting of funds for chaplaincy is outside the executive’s power, and second that the qualifications for the position of chaplains imposes a religious test for office contra to section 116 of the Constitution.

(2011) 36(3) AltLJ 205

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Community input on Economic, Social and 
Cultural Rights

Katharine Young
ACT

The ACT government is currently preparing a response to the question of including economic, social and cultural rights in the list of recognised human rights in the ACT Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT). The Attorney-General tabled the ACT Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (‘ESCR’) Project Report in the Legislative Assembly on 9 December 2010. The report’s primary recommendation was that particular economic, social and cultural rights, including the rights to health care, housing, education, work and cultural life, should be included in human rights legislation in the ACT. The ACT would be the first state or territory in Australia to legislate explicitly for such rights.

(2011) 36(3) AltLJ 206

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Rental housing standards

Deb Pippen
ACT

In April the ACT Greens tabled the Exposure Draft of the Residential Tenancies Act (Minimum Standards) Amendment Bill 2011 (http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/ed/db_41272/default.asp). The Bill sets specific minimum standards for security, energy and water efficiency, as well as providing the platform for the regulation of additional areas.

(2011) 36(3) AltLJ 206

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