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environmental crime, environment, environmental law, protection, polluter, pollution, anti-pollution, Environment Protection Authority, clean-up notice, asbestos, mulch, chemicals, recycling, name and shame, disposal, waste, penalty
24 May 2024

Tougher penalties for environmental crime now in force in NSW

The recent discovery of asbestos-contaminated mulch across Sydney has highlighted the fact that NSW’s existing environmental laws do little to protect our surroundings from environmental crime and fail to deter would-be offenders and polluters. New legislation increases penalties for environmental crime Put simply, the existing penalties for committing an environmental crime in NSW were shamefully […]
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cartel conduct, cartel, price fixing, bid rigging, demolition waste, skip bin, Bingo Industries, Aussie Skips, ACCC
17 May 2024

Cartel conduct in waste disposal industry ends in criminal convictions

The words “cartel conduct” usually bring to mind violent international drug crime gangs. But cartels can also mean you pay more when you renovate, repair or build a home, buy a vehicle or just go shopping. Steep penalties for cartel conduct by two bin operators In February 2024, the Federal Court handed down a sentencing […]
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ethical fund, ethical investment, investing, investor, green, greenwashing, environment, sustainable, ASIC, ACCC, fund manager, misleading, Vanguard
16 May 2024

Successful prosecution of “ethical” fund for greenwashing

The Federal Court has ruled a major fund management corporation misled investors about its $1 billion ethical fund, which the company claimed was screened to ensure investments went into environmentally and socially beneficial projects. Fund manager accused of misleading investors over ethical fund It was the first major victory for the Australian Securities & Investments […]
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mentally ill, mental health unit, hospital, patient, mentally ill, doctor, psychiatrist, schizophrenia, paranoid schizophrenia, involuntary patient, duty of care, liable, negligence, negligent, foreseeable, risk of harm, breach, discharge, Mental Health Act, Civil Liability Act, District Court, High Court, Court of Appeal, common law
13 May 2024

Did the hospital owe a duty of care to the friend of a mentally ill patient? Which case won?

A Victorian man had a long history of chronic paranoid schizophrenia and was being treated for his illness at Echuca in Victoria.

In July 2004, while in NSW with a friend, the man was admitted to a regional hospital and detained as an involuntary patient.

Both the psychiatrist and the medical superintendent who saw the man at the hospital recorded their opinion that the man was a “mentally ill person”.

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data collection, privacy, personal information, landlord, tenant, cyberattack, cyber attack, cybersecurity, cyber breach, identity theft, rental property, background check, residential tenancy agreement, Residential Tenancies Act
10 May 2024

Data collection by landlords – what can they legally ask a tenant?

With cybersecurity breaches on the rise, people are becoming increasingly worried about data collection by companies and wondering how secure their personal information is. Data collection demands from real estate agents As the nationwide shortage of rental properties continues unabated, prospective tenants are facing increasing demands from landlords and their agents for more and more […]
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surrogate, surrogacy, parent, birth, mother, agreement, Surrogacy Act, parentage, embryo, donor, egg, sperm, conception, artificial insemination, IVF
01 May 2024

Is it legal to use a surrogate mother to have a child in Australia?

In Australia hundreds, if not thousands, of babies have been born as a result of surrogacy arrangements, where a person or couple arranges for a surrogate mother to bear them a child. Pope calls for a ban on “surrogate motherhood” The Pope recently placed surrogacy in the spotlight when he called for a worldwide ban […]
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IVF, conception, embryo, procedure, egg, donor, birth, mother, child, parenting, family, court, same sex, relationship, parent
29 Apr 2024

Were they in a de facto relationship at the time of the IVF conception? Which case won?

A case heard in the Family Court centred on a dispute between two women who were in a same-sex relationship and had a child through IVF.

The women commenced a de facto relationship in 2004, sharing a residence for the following seven years.

In July 2011, one of the women underwent a successful IVF procedure. The donor of the egg for this procedure was the other woman.

However, the relationship was a tumultuous one. On 21 March 2011, prior to the IVF procedure, the woman who was to be the donor moved out of the residence that the women had shared.

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pet, animal, companion animal, deceased estate, will, foundation, trust, trustee, animal charity
17 Apr 2024

How can I look after my pet in my will?

People are often concerned that their beloved pet – be it a dog, cat, lizard, budgie, parrot, rat, horse or fish – will outlive them, and they want to make sure that companion animal is cared for when they are gone. Your pet is not recognised as a family member in Australia With 63 per […]
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binding contract, contract, landlord, tenant, email, exchange, dispute, premises, negotiation, lease, renew, agent, proposal, document, make good, clause, vacate, damages
15 Apr 2024

When does an email exchange turn into a binding contract? Which case won?

A case heard in the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Western Australia concerned a dispute between a landlord and a tenant of commercial premises in Perth over whether their email exchange constituted a binding contract.

The tenant had occupied the premises for six years and its lease was due to expire on 30 June 2009. In May 2009, the parties began negotiations for a new lease.

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divorce quickly, divorce, separation, de facto, marriage, married, Family Court, divorce order, property settlement, mediation, lawyer, marriage breakdown
10 Apr 2024

How quickly can I get a divorce?

One year of separation required before applying for divorce “I want to get a divorce as quickly as possible. What can I do to speed things up?” Many people want to get divorced as soon as they can, so they can move on with their life. But there are legal matters you should consider before […]
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electric scooter, e-scooter, rent, hire, trial, public road, cycleway, footpath, penalty, helmet, insurance, personal injury, public liability.
04 Apr 2024

Electric scooter trials in regional centres in NSW

The electric scooter is growing in popularity in Europe as a means of urban transport, and there has been pressure in Australia to allow them to be used on cycleways and selected public roads. In many European cities, a person can rent an e-scooter on the spot, ride it wherever they want to go, and […]
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03 Apr 2024

Transfer of property from father and stepmother to son ends in court – which case won?

In 1998, an elderly married couple purchased a 255-acre rural property in northern NSW. By 2004, they were receiving the aged pension and came to believe that owning the property might disqualify them from the pension.

Their belief stemmed from a conversation with their daughter, who allegedly said words to the effect: “If you own over five acres of property, you may no longer be entitled to receive the pension.”

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payment redirection, scam, Scamwatch, scammer, hacker, email, email scam, business email compromise, payment, money
03 Apr 2024

Protect yourself against payment redirection scams

According to the latest figures from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, in 2022 Australians lost more than $3 billion to scammers, including losses due to payment redirection scams – and that is only the losses that were reported to the ACCC. How common are payment redirection scams? As house prices soar, scammers are employing […]
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disconnect, right to disconnect, Fair Work, workplace, Closing Loopholes, employer, employee, employment, job, unreasonable
28 Mar 2024

What is the new right to disconnect?

It’s nine o’clock at night and you are relaxing at home watching a movie before heading to bed. Suddenly the phone rings. It’s the boss calling to discuss a meeting to be held tomorrow at work. You sigh – wishing you could disconnect from your work at this late hour – but you take the […]
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sexual harassment, workplace, work health and safety, WHS, Respect at Work, employer, employee, PCBU, sex discrimination, victim, hostile, prevention, reasonably practicable
26 Mar 2024

New laws preventing and addressing sexual harassment in Australian workplaces

Recently there has been a lot of publicity about new Commonwealth laws, taking effect toward the end of 2023, aimed at preventing and addressing sexual harassment in Australian workplaces. Recurring themes in this publicity are the stimulus for these laws, the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report (2020); and the phrase […]
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small business, unfair, contract, unfair contract, unfair contract terms, employee, turnover, ASIC, standard form contract, bargaining power, imbalance, penalty, breach, PayPal
22 Mar 2024

Unfair contract laws now apply to expanded category of small business

In November 2023 changes to the law on unfair contract terms came into force, applying to a significantly expanded category of small business. Small business definition changes to include larger businesses The legal definition of a “small” business rose from one with fewer than 20 employees, or annual turnover up to $3 million, to a […]
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images on social media, social media, Facebook, Meta, Instagram, copyright, Copyright Act, terms of service, intellectual property, content, ownership, photo, photography, photographer
14 Mar 2024

Who owns images on social media?

Who owns all of the images on social media? All those holiday snaps, happy family memories and eyewitness videos of crazy happenings and crimes that are uploaded daily… Do we still own the images we post on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and Snapchat? Terms of service and images on social […]
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dangerous driver, driver, passenger, seat belt, vehicle, motor vehicle, accelerate, lose control, ute, accident, death, injury, conviction, sentenced, parole, appeal, leniency
11 Mar 2024

Would the Court of Appeal increase a dangerous driver’s jail term? Which case won?

A case heard in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal in 2016 concerned a dangerous driver.

On an evening in 2015, a 19-year-old man was driving the streets of a small country town in a single cab utility motor vehicle, with two passengers in the cabin not wearing seatbelts and a third passenger seated on a toolbox in the back tray.

The driver did not own the vehicle, but had driven it several times and was familiar with it and with the road he was driving along. The driver was the designated driver and had not been drinking that evening.

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