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0488 999 980 or 18004POTTS

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Blog

Human Rights Act

Adam Moschella, criminal lawyer at Potts Lawyers Brisbane is a member of the Queensland Law Society Human Rights and Public Law Committee.   In this article, he draws attention to the potential impact on criminal law matters of the recent introduction of human rights laws in Queensland.   On 1 January 2020 the Human Rights Act 2019 came into force in Queensland. This makes our state one of only three jurisdictions in Australia to enact specific human rights legislation. The other jurisdiction being the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria.   The main objects of the Act are to protect and promote human rights, help build...

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Part I – The Requirements of Unfair Dismissal

When an employee is dismissed from their employment, an important consideration for the parties is determining whether the dismissal was unfair. Failing to consider this factor can lead to issues for an employer and may entitle the employee to compensation.   There are particular circumstances where an employer is well within their right to dismiss a person from their employment, which is usually based on justified and well-established grounds for dismissal.   In some cases, an employee is might have been dismissed on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations or inappropriate personal reasons.   Whatever the circumstance, it is important to note that time limits apply to...

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The law of double jeopardy in Queensland confirmed – Director of Public Prosecutions v TAL [2019] QCA 279

An application pursuant to s678B of the Criminal Code 1899   Last month in a unanimous decision, the Queensland Court of Appeal dismissed an application brought by the Director of Public Prosecutions for an order pursuant to section 678B of the Criminal Code that a person be retried for a murder for which they were previously acquitted. This was the first occasion that a court in Queensland has heard such an application.   Brief Background The respondent was charged with the deceased’s murder. The only issue at the respondent’s 1988 trial was the identity of the killer. The jury acquitted the respondent.  The...

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Domain Name Disputes – An easy option?

The internet has provided a platform for businesses and individuals to gain greater access to a wider audience and market share by registering a domain name. Some of these businesses and individuals rely on their hard-earned and well-established goodwill to continue to operate.   Often domain name disputes arise because someone recognises another business or individual’s goodwill and decides to exploit the goodwill of another in order to obtain a commercial benefit. Other times, domain name disputes arise because a competitor has registered a domain name to disrupt another individual or business and is not necessarily seeking to obtain any commercial benefit...

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Industrial Manslaughter in Queensland  

Queensland Mines Minister Anthony Lynham has announced the intention of the government to introduce new laws in response to the recent spate of Queensland mine deaths – 7 in the past year. An offence of industrial manslaughter will be introduced for the mining sector. The offence of industrial manslaughter does presently exist in Queensland. However, these laws do not yet apply to the mining sector. As an example, earlier this year ‘Multi-Run Roofing’ Director, Gary Lavin was found guilty of reckless conduct after a 62 year old roofer died at a worksite in 2014. He was sentenced to a period of 1...

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Medical Negligence and Vicarious Liability: Holding the State of Queensland Accountable

Masson v State of Queensland [2019] QCA 80 Losing a loved family member or friend or seeing them in a seriously disabled condition is devastating and can have long term psychological and financial repercussions. In cases where a person has died or suffered unnecessarily as a result of another person’s negligence, there is a possibility that significant compensation may flow from that event. Of course, money cannot take away the pain but it can help ease the financial and other burdens which can ruin the lives of surviving family members and friends. In some cases, there might be a perceived need to ensure...

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Fair Work Commission General Protection Provisions

Introduction The general protections provisions under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the Act) afford certain persons protection from prohibited conduct which would otherwise place an aggrieved person in a disadvantaged position. Breaches of these provisions primarily go before the Fair Work Commission and can resolve early on at a conciliation conference or may proceed all the way to a hearing. The Fair Work Commission provides a cheaper and quicker mechanism for parties to resolve their dispute which may relate to a dismissal or a non-dismissal issue. Alternatively, and in some rare cases, it may be appropriate for a breach of a general...

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Important Changes to Special Hardship Order Applications

The Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Driver Licensing) Regulation 2010 governs Special Hardship Orders. This regulation has recently been amended. For those wishing to apply for a Special Hardship Order, it is important to understand how these changes may affect you.   Change 1 – Removal of 21 Day Time Limit Prior to 1 April 2019, eligible drivers had 21 days from the date of their suspension to apply for a Special Hardship Order. This restriction has now been removed to allow drivers to apply for a Special Hardship Order at any time during their suspension period. This amendment takes into account the fact that circumstances...

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How Informant Evidence can Prevent Justice and Lead to Wrongful Convictions

Last week, on 26 July 2019, convicted murderer Faruk Orman, walked free after serving 12 years in prison. His conviction was overturned following shocking revelations that his barrister, Lawyer X (aka Nicola Gobbo) was providing information to police that led to his ultimate conviction. The Victorian Court of Appeal held that the information provided by Ms Gobbo led to a contamination of his case and found that the conviction was a “substantial miscarriage of justice”. This is the first conviction to be overturned by the Court of Appeal in Victoria since the start of the Royal Commission. Sadly, though, it is...

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Public Interest Criterion 4020: Lessons from Wehbe v Minister for Home Affairs

In the High Court matter of Wehbe v Minister for Home Affairs [2018] HCA 50 the court upheld the delegate of the Minister’s decision to refuse a visa applicant on the basis of a bogus document pursuant to the Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) (‘the Regulations’) Schedule 4 Public Interest Criterion 4020. There are important lessons from Wehbe for visa applicants who are required to satisfy Public Interest Criterion 4020. We provide some equally important key takeaways of this case further below. In our article Everything you need to know about public interest criterion 4020 we discussed the requirements of Public Interest Criterion...

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