Christmas Parties & the Law

Christmas Parties & the Law Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a summary and general overview only. It is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a lawyer (whether barrister or solicitor) working in the area of employment and human rights law before acting or relying on any of its content. Everyone loves a good work Christmas party. However, few people appreciate just how quickly a work Christmas party can go from fun and festivity to an employment law nightmare. Two years ago I was involved in a matter where an organisation organised a congenial work dinner followed by a karaoke session at a bar for its employees. The night st

Backpackers and international students suffer significant wage theft

Backpackers and international students suffer significant wage theft Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a summary and general overview only. It is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a lawyer (whether barrister or solicitor) working in the area of employment, migration and/or human rights law before acting or relying on any of its content. On 21 November 2017 the findings of a national survey of temporary workers and Working Holiday Makers in Australia has uncovered systematic evidence of exploitation of backpackers and international students working in a range of industries. The study was carried out by UNSW, UTS and the U

Northern Territory Royal Commission into the Protection & Detention of Children

Northern Territory Royal Commission into the Protection & Detention of Children The Royal Commission and Board of Inquiry into protection and detention systems of the Northern Territory has revealed systemic and shocking failures and said that fundamental reform is needed to end approaches that continue to fail children, families and the community. See: https://childdetentionnt.royalcommission.gov.au/media-centre/Documents/Royal-Commission-Board-Enquiry-Media-release.pdf Posted by Sebastian De Brennan, Barrister, s.debrennan@humanrightslaw.com.au

WILDLIFE OFFENCES

WILDLIFE OFFENCES Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a summary and general overview only. It is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a lawyer (whether barrister or solicitor) working in the area wildlife offences and/or the area of wildlife prosecutions before acting or relying on any of its content. The export and import of animals is regulated under both Commonwealth and State legislation. Commonwealth legislation Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) This Act creates a number of offences relating to the import and export of certain species: Sections 303CC and 303CD state that a person will be

$47 MILLION PACKAGE TO COUNTER VIOLENT TERRORISM

$47 MILLION PACKAGE TO COUNTER VIOLENT TERRORISM Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a summary and general overview only. It is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a lawyer (whether barrister or solicitor) before acting or relying on any of its content. On 2 November 2015 the NSW government announced that it would be spending $47 million on strategies aimed at identifying students at risk of radicalisation, and to help counter violent extremism in schools. Measures include the creation of five expert teams comprised of former principals, psychologists and student support workers who will be deployed to 'at risk' NSW schools

SACKED TEACHER WINS PAYOUT

SACKED TEACHER WINS PAYOUT Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a summary and general overview only. It is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a lawyer (whether barrister or solicitor) working in the area of education law and/or human rights law before acting or relying on any of its content. A 59 year old teacher who was sacked from his position at Padua College in Victoria has been awarded almost $90,000 in damages by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). John Martin, 45, was fired in 2013 after it was discovered that he was in a relationship with a recent graduate of the school. Following complaints from

NATIONAL COMPENSATION SCHEME FOR VICTIMS OF CHILD SEX ABUSE

NATIONAL COMPENSATION SCHEME FOR VICTIMS OF CHILD SEX ABUSE On 5 November 2015, Victoria and NSW joined faith-based institutions such as the Catholic Church and Salvation Army in supporting the creation of a national approach to compensating victims of child sexual abuse. The urgent need for the scheme has been emphasised by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which has found that existing schemes – thatare either state-based or run by the institutions where the abuse happened – have been manifestly inadequate. This is because they rarely provide psychological help, and payments for victims (when they were available) could vary widely. Accordingly, the Co

INVESTIGATION REVEALS WIDESPREAD CHEATING AMOUNG NSW UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

Investigation reveals widespread cheating among NSW university students Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a summary and general overview only. It is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a lawyer (whether barrister or solicitor) working in the area of education law and/or human rights law before acting or relying on any of its content. On 13 November 2014 an investigation by the Sydney Morning Herald revealed that thousands of university students across NSW have used the services of Sydney-based company MyMaster to write their assignments. Students can pay up to $1000 for an essay, assignment or online test, with prices vary

Have you been a victim of terrorism?

Have you been a victim of terrorism? Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a summary and general overview only. It is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a barrister or solicitor working in the area of criminal law before acting or relying on any of its content. If you have been a victim of overseas terrorism you may be eligible for compensation under the Social Security Amendment (Supporting Australian Victims of Terrorism Overseas) Act 2012 (Cth). Payments have been made under this legislation in connection with the Bali and London bombings under the Social Security Act 1999 (Cth), specifically Part 2.24AA. Under this scheme

EDUCATION LAW

EDUCATION LAW Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a summary and general overview only. It is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a lawyer (whether barrister or solicitor) working in the area of education law and/or human rights law before acting or relying on any of its content. On 3 February 2017, Universities Australia (the peak body representing Australian universities) observed that Australian education export earnings hit a record $21.8 billion in 2016. Universities Australia also noted that the education of international students is Australia’s third largest export, behind only iron ore and coal. At the same time, inte

Court awards former teacher $1.2 Million over ‘unruly’ students

Court awards former teacher $1.2 Million over ‘unruly’ students Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a summary and general overview only. It is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a lawyer (whether barrister or solicitor) working in the area of education law and/or human rights law before acting or relying on any of its content. On 5 September 2014 the Victorian Supreme Court awarded over $1.2 million in damages to a former high school teacher who developed chronic depression after teaching badly behaved students and children with disabilities for years without proper support or training. In coming to his decision, Justice Ti

WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY OBLIGATIONS

WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY OBLIGATIONS Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a summary and general overview only. It is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a barrister, solicitor (or lawyer) working in the area of occupational health and safety law before acting or relying on any of its content. From 1 January 2012, workplace health and safety obligations in New South Wales have been governed by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) (‘The Act’). The Act is based on a model recommended by Safe Work Australia, which has also been adopted by most other jurisdictions to create a broadly consistent national scheme. The current

Working with Children Checks

Working with Children Checks Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a summary and general overview only. It is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a barrister or solicitor working in the area of working with children checks before acting or relying on any of its content. From 15 June 2013 a new regime was phased in requiring anyone wishing to engage in paid or volunteer work involving direct contact with children to apply to the NSW Children’s Guardian for a Working with Children Check clearance. “Child related work” is broadly defined to include: Mentoring and counselling services for children Child protection services The pro

WHISTLEBLOWERS

WHISTLEBLOWERS Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a summary and general overview only. It is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a barrister or solicitor working in the area of employment and human rights law before acting or relying on any of its content. A whistle-blower can be understood as an individual who exposes wrongdoing or corrupt conduct within an organisation. Whistleblowers can be subject to retaliation for their disclosures. This is especially common when the whistleblower is an employee of the organisation responsible for the wrongdoing or corrupt conduct. However, there are laws that operate specifically to

Real Estate agents and Trust Account Fraud

Real Estate agents and Trust Account Fraud Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a summary and general overview only. It is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a barrister or solicitor working in the area of real estate and/or criminal law before acting or relying on any of its content. Are you a real estate agent who has been charged with offences relating to a trust account? In addition to the penalties that arise under the criminal law, misappropriation of client funds constitutes serious misconduct at the professional (or Department of Fair Trading) level. Real estate agents (like lawyers) are effectively custodians of the

REDUNDANCY

Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a summary and general overview only. It is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a lawyer (whether barrister or solicitor) working in the area of employment and/or human rights law before acting or relying on any of its content. Redundancy A redundancy occurs where an employee’s job is abolished or restructured, resulting in the termination of employment. The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the Act) provides that employees are entitled to redundancy pay if their employment is terminated: By the employer because they no longer require the job done by the employee to be done by anyone; or Because of

THE POLICE INTEGRITY COMMISSION

THE POLICE INTEGRITY COMMISSION Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a summary and general overview only. It is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a barrister or solicitor working in the area of criminal and/or human rights law before acting or relying on any of its content. The Police Integrity Commission (PIC) is an independent and accountable body whose primary function is to detect, investigate, and prevent corruption and other serious misconduct by police. PIC Officers The PIC is prevented from employing currently serving or former members of the NSW Police Force on staff. As an independent body it employs: Lawyers; Acc

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

SEXUAL HARASSMENT Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a summary and general overview only. It is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a barrister or solicitor working in the area of employment law, criminal law or human rights law (depending on the factual matrix of your case) before acting or relying on any of its content. With Hollywood tycoons such as Harvey Weinstein looming large in the media of late for alleged inappropriate and (according to some) outright criminal behaviour, the topic of sexual harassment in the workplace seems to be finally getting the attention it deserves. In recent times, Australian courts have re

SERIOUS MISCONDUCT, SUMMARY DISMISSAL & IMMEDIATE TERMINATION

SERIOUS MISCONDUCT, SUMMARY DISMISSAL & IMMEDIATE TERMINATION Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a summary and general overview only. It is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a barrister or solicitor working in the area of employment and/or human rights law before acting or relying on any of its content. Summary dismissal refers to the immediate termination of employment. The employee loses the right to a notice period or pay in lieu of notice. This occurs where serious misconduct is said to justify an immediate dismissal. However, an employer must establish that the employee has engaged in serious misconduct and must foll

PRISON INFORMATION FOR NSW

PRISON INFORMATION FOR NSW By Sebastian De Brennan, Lawyer, 2016. Email: s.debrennan@humanrightslaw.com.au Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a summary and general overview only. It is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a barrister or solicitor working in the area of criminal law or human rights law before acting or relying on any of its content. Anyone working in the criminal law has the unfortunate task of having to explain to the accused’s family and loved ones what is to happen to the accused if he or she is sent to gaol/jail. The chief legislation dealing with prisoners and prisons is: (1) The Crimes (Administrati

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