find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
An all-Labor SCAG tackles broad law reform agenda

An all-Labor SCAG tackles broad law reform agenda

WORKPLACE PRIVACY, interstate fine enforcement and surrogacy were all on the agenda at last week’s meeting of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) — the committee’s first…

WORKPLACE PRIVACY, interstate fine enforcement and surrogacy were all on the agenda at last week’s meeting of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) — the committee’s first meeting since the Rudd Government was elected to power last November.

The meeting provided a rare opportunity for decisive action to be taken on the legal reform front, with the Labor party now in power in all jurisdictions.

SCAG members, comprising federal, state and territory attorneys-general, the federal Minister for Home Affairs, the Associate Justice Minister of New Zealand and the Norfolk Island minister with responsibility for police and legal issues, gathered in South Australia for the meeting last week.

SCAG agreed, in principle, to the implementation of a system allowing the mutual recognition of court-imposed and administrative fines between the state and territories.

This would allow fines imposed by a court in one state to be registered for enforcement in accordance with the laws of the state or territory where the defendant lives, and for interstate administrative fines to be enforced using local laws and enforcement mechanisms.

Another important outcome of the meeting was an agreement by SCAG to develop a united framework for the legal position of surrogate parenting arrangements. Under the proposed new national framework, commercial surrogacy would remain illegal, while non-commercial surrogacy would be lawful, but agreements would be unenforceable. It would be possible, however, to get a court order recognising the intended parents as the legal parents, where the surrogacy arrangement meets the legal requirements and it is considered to be in the best interests of the child.

The ministers also considered several options for possible workplace privacy reform, agreeing in principle on a minimum model for nationally consistent workplace privacy regulation which would comprise mandatory and/or voluntary codes of practice supported by legislation. It was agreed however, that if a jurisdiction currently imposes a stricter standard, as NSW does, that would not have to be lowered.

The committee looked at the issue of legal harmonisation, agreeing to convene a one-day seminar on the topic during the year, drawing together stakeholders from the profession, the industry and academics from throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Other issues discussed included reform to personal property securities law and the potential regulation of litigation funding. They also agreed to the development of a judges exchange program between officers of state and territory courts and members of administrative appeals tribunals throughout Australia, and potentially, New Zealand.

The next meeting of the SCAG is in July. For a more in-depth look at the issue of legal harmonisation, see News Review on page 14.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

An all-Labor SCAG tackles broad law reform agenda
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
Oct 19 2017
‘Ego status’ compelled ex-lawyer to defraud $2.97m, court told
Debarred lawyer John Gordon Bradfield told an NSW District Court that he was driven by “ego status...
Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA), Queensland’s new industrial manslaughter legislation,
Oct 19 2017
ALA welcomes ‘tough’ Qld manslaughter laws
The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has welcomed Queensland’s new industrial manslaughter legisl...
Legal podcasts, tune in, microphone
Oct 19 2017
Legal podcasts you have to tune in to right now
The rise of the internet has hailed in a new dawn for storytelling. Here’s our top pick of podcast...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...