Submission to the inquiry into the unlawful underpayment of employees' remuneration

The New South Wales Society of Labor Lawyers has lodged a submission with the Senate Standing Committees on Economics’ inquiry into the unlawful underpayment of employees’ remuneration.

In the submission, the Society calls for significant reform to address the widespread and endemic incidence of underpayments in the Australian economy. The headline recommendation is a financial year audit, to be conducted by companies with over 100 employees, of their compliance with industrial instruments. The Society said:

 

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Final Report on Class Actions and Third Party Litigation Funding

The Australian Law Reform Commission has released its much-anticipated final report on class actions and third party litigation funders. A copy of the report is available online here. The Society provided a submission advocating for a number of reforms to provide greater access to justice for plaintiffs utilising the class action procedure. A copy of the submission is available here.

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Final report of the Legislation Review Committee

The Society has been quoted extensively in the final report of the Legislation Review Committee for their inquiry into the operation of the Legislation Review Act 1987 (NSW). The Society advocated for the introduction of comprehensive human rights legislation in New South Wales and greater scrutiny of new statutes in line with human rights principles.

Download a copy of the Committee's Final Report here.

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Submission to the Inquiry into the operation of the Legislation Review Act 1987 (NSW)

The Society recently contributed to the inquiry into the operation of the Legislation Review Act 1987 (NSW). A copy of the submission is available online here and is extracted below.

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The New South Wales Society of Labor Lawyers (‘the Society’) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Inquiry into the operation of the Legislation Review Act 1987 (NSW) (‘Legislation Review Act’).

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18C

The NSW Society of Labor Lawyers has provided a submission to Commonwealth Government's Exposure Draft of of the Freedom of speech (Repeal of S. 18C) Bill 2014

In summary, the submission argues: 

  1. There is no compelling case for any change to section 18 of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) (the Act), particularly in the form of the Government’s proposals. 
  2. The changes proposed by the Government would result in bad law, effectively denuding the Act of most of its weaponry to combat racial hate speech. 
  3. There is no evidence to suggest that public discourse is adversely affected by the current section 18C, and the accompanying exemption in section 18D that allows for (otherwise racially vilifying) comments that are made reasonably and in good faith. 
  4. The ‘Bolt case’ provides no rationale for a change to the legislation, given the Court found Mr Bolt’s articles were not written and published reasonably and in good faith
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