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Key developments

  • Uncontested probate applications move online
  • Safe and responsible AI in Australia
  • Review of Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Prohibited Hate Symbols and Other Measures) Bill 2023
  • Amendments to the migration framework to support visa holders experiencing domestic and family violence
  • Jurisdiction of Courts (Cross-Vesting) Act 1987
  • Data and Digital Government Strategy
  • Continuing Professional Development for Legal Practitioners on Coercive Control
  • Potential procedural protections for victims of sexual harassment in civil proceedings
  • Proposed reform to the execution of Commonwealth statutory declarations
  • Commencement of Schedule 1 of the Fisheries Management Amendment Act 2009
  • Letter to the Judicial Commission Taskforce
  • Criminal Legislation Amendment (Knife Crimes) Bill 2023

Uncontested probate applications move online

The Elder Law, Capacity and Succession Committee contributed to a letter to the Supreme Court, in relation to the new online process for uncontested probate applications. Our letter raised concerns in relation to the implementation timeline for the new process.

We noted the effective impact of the commencement of the new system on existing applications and requested an extension of time to file paper-based probate applications for at least an additional month, which was granted by the Court. The Court has subsequently announced a further extension of the deadline until 6 October 2023.

In response to feedback from members, the Law Society’s CPD Department ran a complimentary webinar for members on the new online process on 9 August 2023, with Ms Rebel Kenna, Director and Prothonotary, Supreme Court of New South Wales and Richard Neal, Co-Chair of the Elder Law, Capacity and Succession Committee. A recording of the webinar is available here. The Law Society is continuing to liaise with the Court on the rollout of the online system.

Safe and responsible AI in Australia

The Privacy and Data Law Committee contributed to a submission to the Law Council of Australia on the Discussion Paper ‘Safe and responsible AI in Australia’ issued by the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science and Resources. The Discussion Paper focused on governance and regulatory mechanisms to ensure artificial intelligence (‘AI’) is developed and used safely, in both the private and public sectors, and to mitigate risks.

In our submission, we supported the development of a risk-based regulatory framework, with a strong focus on transparency, accountability, and responsibility. We supported the adoption of principles-based legislation, providing for legal responsibility and accountability of entities across the AI service supply chain, including measures to ensure those entities have appropriate incentives to adopt risk of harms assessments, mitigation and management of residual risks, supported by a risk management framework.

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