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Victorian Government Bulletin

26 May 2020


Victorian Government Bulletin

In the media

Consumer Data Right Compliance and Enforcement Policy released
The ACCC and the OAIC have jointly released the Compliance and Enforcement Policy for the Consumer Data Right. The Policy outlines the approach that the ACCC and the OAIC have adopted to encourage compliance with, and address breaches of, the Consumer Data Right regulatory framework (08 May 2020).  More...

LCA: Funding boost will help front line legal services
The $20 million earmarked for domestic violence, $29.8 million towards tenancy disputes, insurance, credit and debt related problems, work related claims and the remaining $13.5 million on IT upgrades is a welcome injection of funding that will help meet a rise in demand for legal services (08 May 2020).  More...

Telco agencies pick up party-line
Telephone and internet users across Australia are expected to benefit from a new approach to collaboration and information-sharing by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) (07 May 2020).  More...

OAIC confronts PS pandemic privacy
The OAIC has revealed that Government Agencies and other organisations are struggling with their obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 while combating the spread of COVID-19 (07 May 2020).  More...

COVID-19: The duty to document does not cease in a crisis, it becomes more essential
Australian and New Zealand Information Access Commissioners join with their international counterparts in their clear call for documentation, preservation and access to information during COVID-19 (06 May 2020).  More...

Extension for Royal Commission in Victoria
The final reporting date for the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants has been extended after a request from the Royal Commission. Given the seriousness of the matters involved, it’s important the Royal Commission is able to fully complete its vital work to preserve the integrity of the criminal justice system (05 May 2020).  More...

Law Council President’s statement on the COVIDSafe exposure draft
The public release of the government’s exposure draft Bill underpinning the COVIDSafe app is welcomed by the Law Council. The Bill proposes to replace the Determination made under the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cth) with primary legislation, by inserting a new provision in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (05 May 2020).  More...

Legislation for COVIDSafe App Privacy Protections
Attorney-General, Christian Porter, has released draft legislation which will codify the existing protections for individuals' data collected by the COVIDSafe app that have been established in the Health Minister's Biosecurity Act Determination (04 May 2020).  More...

Supreme Court rules Victorian Government prima facie breached duty of care to person in prison in their response to COVID-19 pandemic
In an important decision, the Supreme Court of Victoria has found that the Victorian Government has prima facie breached their duty to take reasonable care for the health of a person behind bars during the COVID-19 pandemic (01 May 2020).  More...

Laws Commence To Deliver Fairer Birth Certificates
Trans and gender diverse Victorians can now alter the sex recorded on their birth certificate without having to undergo invasive and costly sex affirmation surgery, with new laws now in effect (01 May 2020).  More...

Commission welcomes COVIDSafe App
The Australian Human Rights Commission has welcomed the COVIDSafe App as an important public health initiative, which can help protect the rights of Australians to health and life. The App also opens the possibility of easing restrictions on other human rights, such as freedom of movement and freedom of association (27 April 2020).   More...

In practice and courts

ACICA Guide - Managing the Impact of COVID-19: Use of Arbitration to Mitigate Risk
The Guide is intended to raise awareness and promote the use of arbitration in appropriate circumstances to resolve disputes and manage risk during COVID-19. It contains links to relevant ACICA resources (29 April 2020).  More... 

Attorney-General: COVIDSafe draft legislation
We have developed draft legislation, the Privacy Amendment (Public Health Contact Information) Bill 2020, to support the COVIDSafe app (released on 26 April 2020) and provide strong ongoing privacy protections. The Australian Government intends to introduce this draft legislation in Parliament in the week of 11 May 2020.  More...

AAT Bulletin
The AAT Bulletin is a weekly publication containing a list of recent AAT decisions and information relating to appeals against AAT decisions, including immigration and citizenship Issue No. 14/2020 (4 May 2020).  More...


Value of Fee and Penalty Units set for 2020-21
The Treasurer has set an annual rate increase for 2020-21 of 0.00 per cent. The values of a fee unit and a penalty unit or the next financial year commencing 1 July 2020 are: the value of a fee unit is $14.81; and the value of a penalty unit is $165.22.  More...

Victorian Courts
The Supreme Court of Victoria is following State and Commonwealth government advice regarding coronavirus (COVID-19).
7 May 2020 - Electronic court books for virtual courtrooms
7 May 2020 - Updated - Virtual hearings page now includes new eCourt Book Guide
7 May 2020 - Updated - Guidance for criminal proceedings affected by coronavirus
7 May 2020 - Updated - Guidance for civil proceedings affected by coronavirus
6 May 2020 - Orders admitting new lawyers to practice
1 May 2020 - Information about accessing virtual hearings
1 May 2020 - Criminal Division trial by judge alone COVID-19 emergency protocol


Defteros v Google LLC [2020] VSC 219
DEFAMATION – Publication – Whether internet search engine provider published search results and webpage reached by clicking on hyperlink within search results – When defendant was on notice that search results included matters complained of – When and to whom matters published – Whether pleaded imputations conveyed by the matters published.
DEFAMATION – Defences – Common law qualified privilege – Whether community of interest between defendant and users of its search engine – No community of interest – Statutory qualified privilege – Whether users of search engine had ‘interest or apparent interest’ sufficient for statutory defence – Sufficient interest established for some but not all users – Whether defendant acted reasonably in publishing matters to users with sufficient interest – Whether statutory defences of fair report, innocent dissemination and triviality established – Whether defence of consent established – Defamation Act 2005 (Vic), ss 29, 30, 32, 33.
DEFAMATION – Damages – Hurt and distress of plaintiff – Seriousness of imputations – Limited publication – No evidence of grapevine effect – Whether aggravated damages warranted by conduct of defence – Whether damages mitigated – Defamation Act 2005 (Vic) ss 34, 38.

NTJ v NTJ (Human Rights) [2020] VCAT 547
Human Rights List – Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 (Vic) – Open Courts Act 2013 (Vic) – Preliminary matters to be determined – Whether applicant an ‘eligible applicant’– Whether decision of applicant a ‘decision’ pursuant to s 4 of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Vic) and the enabling enactment - Whether subject person eligible for access to voluntary assisted dying – Requirement that subject person be ordinarily resident in Victoria and ordinarily resident in Victoria for 12-months at time of making first request – Where subject person retired and travelling – Indicia of residency – Meaning of ‘ordinarily resident’ considered – Held subject person ordinarily resident in Victoria – Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 (Vic) ss 1, 5, 9(1)(b)(ii)-(iii), 68, 72(a), 72(c). 



Statutory Rules
No 27 County Court (Chapter I Warrant of Seizure and Sale Amendment) Rules 2020
28 April 2020

No 28 Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Miscellaneous Amendments Rules 2020
30 April 2020

No 29 Supreme Court (Chapter I Interpreters Amendment) Rules 2020
These Rules come into operation on 1 June 2020.

Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Amendment Act 2019 (Vic)
Sections 1 to 38 of this Act came in by forced commencement on 1 May 2020 s.2(2)
Act Number: 25/2019 

Appropriation (Interim) Bill 2020
Date of second reading speech: 23 April 2020
Secures $24.5 billion in emergency funding to save lives, support jobs and businesses, and set Victoria up to recover from the pandemic over the next two years
See Appropriation (Interim) Act 2020 (Vic) Act Number: 12/2020 Date of assent: 28 April 2020
Appropriation (Parliament) (Interim) Bill 2020
Date of second reading speech: 23 April 2020
Provides funding for the ongoing operations of parliament and oversight bodies including IBAC
See Appropriation (Parliament) (Interim) Act 2020 (Vic) Act Number: 13/2020 Date of assent: 28 April 2020

Victorian legislation can be accessed here

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