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Federal and State Labor Policy Platform Amendments

Since the beginning of the year, our Committee has been hard at work ensuring that legal issues are at the forefront of Federal and State Labor's policy agenda. 

Recently at the Special Platform Conference of the Australian Labor Party we were successful in amending the National Platform in a number of areas including in criminal procedure, child protection and class actions. A summary of these changes can be found online here

We have also submitted a range of policies to be considered at the NSW State Labor Conference, now scheduled for October 2021. A summary of these proposals can be found online here.

The Committee thanks Committee member Kirk McKenzie for his ongoing work on these policies. 

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NSW Parliamentary Inquiry Delivers Final Report on Religious Discrimination

Members will recall that in August 2020 the Society lodged submissions with the Joint Select Committee on the Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Religious Freedoms and Equality) Bill 2020. That Committee delivered its final report on 31 March 2021.

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Submission to the Select Committee on Job Security

The Committee recently lodged a submission with the Senate Select Committee on Job Security, which is conducting an inquiry into the prevalence of insecure work in Australia. Broadly, the Society argued that gig economy workers, in particular share and food delivery drivers, should be extended minimum entitlements commensurate to other workers in the Australian economy, through amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) or the introduction of sui generis legislation. The Society also recommended that superannuation entitlements be extended to gig workers through amendments to s 12 of the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1993 (Cth).

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Harry Stratton: Allow judges to grant interim injunctions against defamatory publications

I would overturn the rule in Bonnard v Perryman [1891] 2 Ch 269 and allow judges to grant interim injunctions against defamatory publications.

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Amanda Do: Allow the Courts to set aside deeds from causes of action in child sexual abuse matters

Amend the Limitation Act to provide Courts with the discretion to set aside settlement deeds which arose from causes of action in child abuse matters, where it is just and reasonable to do so.

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Daniel O'Neil: Monday-ise the Anzac Day Public Holiday

I would amend the Public Holidays Act 2010 (NSW) s 4(g) so as to ‘Mondayise’ Anzac Day.

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Douglas McDonald-Norman: Abolish fixed time limits on the AAT in some visa cases

I would abolish subsection 500(6L) of the Migration Act, which imposes a fixed time limit on the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in some visa cases.

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Emma Golledge: Regulate the use of NDAs and confidentiality agreements in sexual harassment matters

Amend the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) (SDA) and Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) (ADA) to regulate the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) or confidentiality agreements in sexual harassment matters.   

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Transcript of the Annual Frank Walker Lecture

The Annual Frank Walker Lecture was held on 28 October 2020 to celebrate the life and legacy of former NSW Attorney-General Hon Frank Walker QC. This year's guest was former High Court Justice Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, who delivered a speech on prisoner law reform in Australia. 

A copy of the speech is available here.

A video of the lecture, which was conducted online due to current NSW Government COVID-19 guidelines, will be available shortly. 

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Submission to the ALP's 2020 National Platform Review

On 30 November 2020 the Society lodge a submission to the Australian Labor Party's review of the National Platform calling for, amongst other things, a national framework for discrimination laws, civil liberty protections for journalists and those accused of wrongdoing by national intelligence agencies, the harmonisation of child protection laws and further entrenchment of human rights protections. 


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