- Inquiry into the making of delegated legislation in NSW
- Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
- Proposed changes to the Fair Work Commission Rules 2013 for declarations
- Cognitive Impairment Diversion Program
- Australian Government International Strategy on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery
- Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Complaint Handling) Bill 2020
- Motor Accidents Compensation Regulation 2020
- Law Council of Australia consultation: Australian Banking Association and Best Practice guide in relation to Elder Abuse
- COVID-19 related legislation
Inquiry into the making of delegated legislation in NSW
The Public Law Committee contributed to a Law Society submission to the NSW Legislative Council Regulation Committee inquiry into the making of delegated legislation in NSW. The Law Society submitted that it has long been concerned about the wide-spread practice of dealing with matters of substance and policy in delegated legislation, and the use of shell-legislation.
The submission noted that the current legislative and regulatory response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, while justified in this situation, provides an extraordinary example of the uses to which delegated legislation can be put. This underscores the importance of effective scrutiny, particularly while Parliament is adjourned.
The Law Society noted that following a similar inquiry last year, the powers of the Senate Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation Committee to carry out inquiries and review matters, including draft delegated legislation, were expanded. The Law Society suggested similar changes to the scope of the Regulation Committee, in order to address the gaps in scrutiny available.
Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
The Environmental Planning and Development and Indigenous Issues Committees contributed to a submission providing input to the Law Council of Australia on the Independent Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (‘EPBC Act’).
The Law Society identified concerns that need to be addressed to enable the EPBC Act to operate more effectively including: reconsideration of the principles of ecologically sustainable development (‘ESD’) and better integration of ESD throughout the Act, addressing cumulative impacts, more transparent decision-making and establishing an effective enforcement regime.
The Law Society also supported the suggestion that Indigenous Australians and their knowledge should have a greater role in the Act.