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Key developments

  • Road Transport Legislation Amendment (Penalties and Other Sanctions) Bill 2018
  • Driving disqualification stayed pending appeal
  • Extending unfair contract terms protections to insurance contracts
  • Exposure Draft – Treasury Laws Amendment (Consumer Data Right) Bill 2018
  • Regulators obtaining evidence
  • Competition and Consumer Amendment (Gift Cards) Bill 2018 (Cth)
  • Designing a modern Australian Business Number (‘ABN’) system
  • Property Law Committee stakeholder meetings
  • Draft Design Guide for Heritage
  • The practice of dowry and the instance of dowry abuse in Australia
  • Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, Cruel, Inhuman and Other Degrading Treatment (‘OPCAT’) in Australia
  • Australia’s Sixth Periodic Report under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (‘CAT’)
  • Options Paper – Reform options to facilitate greater admissibility of tendency and coincidence evidence in criminal proceedings
  • Draft Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Amendment (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) Bill 2018
  • Automatic Referral Pathway to the Men’s Telephone and Counselling Referral Service – consultation paper
  • My Health Record system
  • Appearance before the Standing Committee on Law and Justice
  • Questions to consider when preparing an enduring power of attorney
  • National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Act 2018 and Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Act 2018
  • Statutory review of the Tribunals Amalgamation Act 2015
  • Inquiry into the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Lowering Voting Age and Increasing Voter Participation) Bill 2018
  • Joint Select Committee on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse – oversight of redress related recommendations
  • Indigenous lists in the Federal Circuit Court – letter to Chief Judge Alstergren

Road Transport Legislation Amendment (Penalties and Other Sanctions) Bill 2018

The Criminal Law Committee contributed to a submission on the Road Transport Legislation Amendment (Road Safety) Bill 2018. The Bill establishes penalty notices for low-range PCA offences and driving with the presence of an illicit drug offence for a first-time offence. Police will be able to issue an immediate three-month licence suspension notice for low range drink driving offences at the roadside or station.

The Law Society raised concerns that the effect of the ‘drink driving is a crime’ campaign would be diluted if low-range PCA offences are dealt with by penalty notices rather than by the courts. We expressed the view that the reforms will decrease deterrence, increase offence and recidivism rates, and have a significant impact on people’s livelihoods – particularly those living in regional and remote areas. We also raised concerns that despite being designed to reduce the pressure on the Local Court, the reforms may in fact have the opposite effect.

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