: DUAO - Vol 39(1)

DUAO - 2014 - Vol 39(1)

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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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Protecting the anonymity of victims of sexual crimes

The Tasmanian Committee
Tasmania

The Tasmanian Law Reform Institute released its latest report, Protecting the Anonymity of Victims of Sexual Crimes. The paper reviewed section 194K of the Evidence Act 2001 (Tas) which prohibits the publication of information likely to identify the complainant in sexual offence cases, recommending a new statutory regime in which the interests of the complainant, the courts and the principle of open justice are clarified. The report also considered the position of those victims who do not seek the protection of anonymity, recommending that the publication of identifying material be permitted with the consent of the victim if they are over 18 years of age.

(2014) 39(1) AltLJ 63

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From failure to hope? Lawyer regulation in South Australia

Kellie Toole and Suzanne Le Mire
South Australia

Lawyer regulation in Australia is a fraught area. Several attempts to achieve uniformity and national regulation have failed, but two significant events have shaped recent legislative reforms in South Australia.

The death of cyclist, Ian Humphreys, in a ‘hit and run’ provoked 10 years of media and political criticism of the police and the legal profession. In 2003, lawyer and former police prosecutor, Eugene McGee, was driving home to Adelaide from a hotel near Gawler, and collided with Humphrey who died from the impact. McGee left the scene, was assisted by his brother, and telephoned a Queen’s Counsel friend.

(2014) 39(1) AltLJ 63

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News From Queensland

Queensland

Pursuant to his promise to make Queensland ‘the safest place to raise a family’ the Attorney-General has announced plans for legislation under which dangerous sex offenders will face mandatory jail time if they remove or tamper with their electronic monitoring bracelet. This move follows successful challenges to Queensland’s dangerous sex offender legislation in the decisions of Attorney-General (Qld) v Lawrence [2013] QCA 364 (6 December 2013) and Attorney-General (Qld) v Fardon [2013] QCA 365 (6 December 2013). The Attorney-General announced in January that he would not appeal to the High Court.

The Queensland government has granted freehold title to Badu Islanders in the Torres Strait following negotiations between the Badulgal people and the state government over several years. A native title determination was finalised with a full approved determination over Badu Island and adjacent islands in 2005. Native title is held by the Mura Badulgal (Torres Strait Islanders) Corporation RNTBC on behalf of the Badulgal people.

(2014) 39(1) AltLJ 58

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Banana freckle in the Northern Territory

Tom McCrie
Northern Territory

In August 2013, banana freckle (P Cavendishii) was discovered on Cavendish bananas at a number of properties in the Howard Springs area near Darwin in the Northern Territory. Banana freckle creates blemishes on the leaves and fruits and reduces plant yield and commercial values but does not affect the eating qualities of bananas, and consumption poses no risk to human health.

In Australia, the Commonwealth, state and territory governments, Plant Health Australia and national plant industry bodies are parties to the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed. The Deed deals with the management and funding of responses to emergency plant pest incidents, formalising the roles of each of the parties and their contribution towards costs related to approved responses.

(2014) 39(1) AltLJ 62

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NSW Upper House votes down marriage equality legislation

Elyse Methven
New South Wales

On 14 November 2013, the Same-Sex Marriage Bill 2013 (NSW) (‘the Bill’) was defeated in the New South Wales Legislative Council by a vote of 21 to 19. The Bill provided for two adults of the same sex to be eligible to be ‘same-sex married’, if at least one of those adults ordinarily resided in NSW. The Bill also contained a clause so that ministers of religion would not be bound to solemnise same-sex marriages.

(2014) 39(1) AltLJ 62

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