Privacy remedies: When emotional harm can lead to financial pain

By Christina Graves, Senior Associate and Sharon Sangha, Lawyer Determinations made under the Privacy Act 1988 demonstrate that the Privacy Commissioner will likely award compensation for non-economic loss where an individual suffers emotional harm, humiliation or inconvenience as a result of a privacy breach. However, responding to privacy incidents in an efficient and conciliatory way
Read more…

Government Ships – Hands Off!

By Maurice Lynch, Senior Associate A Government owned ship is Teflon and cannot be the subject of in rem proceedings to secure a claimant’s proprietary or general maritime claim under the Admiralty Act 1988 (Cth). What constitutes a Government owned ship for the purposes of the Admiralty Act is likely to be broader than you
Read more…

The application of s 140(2)(c) of the Evidence Act to matters not in dispute

Key lesson: It is erroneous for a court to rely on s 140(2)(c) find that a party to the proceedings has failed to prove a matter which is not in dispute and for which the evidence is one way. The ordinary standard of proof required of a party who bears the onus in civil litigation
Read more…

Who accessed my information – unfairness with the FOI personal privacy exemption?

By Christina Graves, Senior Associate, and Sharon Sangha, Lawyer Key points: A reasonable expectation of confidentiality is a relevant factor for the purpose of determining whether access to an individual’s personal information should be refused under the FOI Act. However, agencies should consider the appropriateness of providing unqualified guarantees of confidentiality in relation to government
Read more…

When are there special circumstances to depart from usual rule as to costs?

Key points: The courts will not depart from the usual rule that costs follow the event merely because the unsuccessful party has appointed a litigation guardian or is represented by pro bono legal counsel It will also be insufficient to merely show that the proceedings concerned novel questions of statutory construction and/or that the proceedings
Read more…

Maintaining the integrity of visa applications – some reminders on the scope and purpose of Public Interest Criterion (PIC) 4020(1)

A number of recent Federal Court decisions have examined the scope and purpose of Public Interest Criterion (PIC) 4020(1). This provision is intended to increase the level of integrity in visa applications by providing a strong disincentive to those considering giving, or causing to be given, a bogus document[1] or information that is false or
Read more…

Biosecurity Bill 2014

Paul Armarego, Special Counsel in our Government & Administrative Law, Commercial and Property team, has recently presented about the introduction of the Biosecurity Bill 2014. The presentation discusses what the bill does, why it’s necessary and the next steps for the legislation. The slides from the presentation can be found here. Contact Mills Oakley For
Read more…

Government to deliver all major services digitally by default: how will it be done?

The Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, and the Abbott government have made it clear that they wish departments and agencies to engage with more innovative ways to deliver services by announcing the establishment of a Digital Transformation Office (DTO) to promote digital service delivery by default from start to finish. The Minister stated on 29
Read more…

To what extent do rules of evidence apply to administrative proceedings?

Key points: Common law rules of evidence such as the Briginshaw principle are not “mandatory” requirements that the AAT is required to apply Whilst not bound by the rules of evidence, the AAT is not prohibited from applying them if it sees fit Administrative decision-makers are not required to overtly refer to rules such as
Read more…

Do unrepresented litigants require special treatment?

Key points: All parties are required to comply with the relevant court rules, whether or not a party has legal representation Self-represented litigants should be given sufficient information about the practice and procedure of the court to enable them to conduct their case appropriately Two recent decisions of the Full Court of the Federal Court
Read more…

FOI snapshot – When do employee details need to be disclosed?

Key points: There needs to be a clear expectation of confidentiality to justify the non-disclosure of a document containing the details of Departmental officers. Otherwise the information will be considered to fall within the realm of performing usual tasks and responsibilities in public duties and therefore be excluded from exemption. In ‘BB’ and Department of
Read more…

Indirect/Consequential Loss – why does this continue to be of importance?

Key points: Whenever a Commonwealth Agency is considering giving an exclusion or limitation of liability in respect of indirect/consequential loss the Agency must determine, in the context of the particular contract under consideration, what the Commonwealth’s indirect/consequential losses might be. Any executed contract which includes an exclusion or limitation of liability in respect of indirect/consequential
Read more…

FOI snapshot – What are reasonably practicable measures?

Key points: Commonwealth agencies should ensure that all options have been considered when evaluating whether there exist reasonable and practicable measures that can be taken to redact exempt material. In ‘BZ’ and Department of Immigration and Border Protection [2014] AICmr 55, the applicant sought access under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) to footage of
Read more…

Privacy Policy | Terms of Use