Australian court finds government has duty to protect young people from climate crisis.
Eight teenagers, along with 86-year-old nun, launched case to prevent the approval of a massive coalmine.
The federal court of Australia has found the environment minister, Sussan Ley, has a duty of care to protect young people from the climate crisis in a judgment hailed by lawyers and teenagers who brought the case as a world first.
Eight teenagers and an octogenarian nun had sought an injunction to prevent Ley approving a proposal by Whitehaven Coal to expand the Vickery coalmine in northern New South Wales, arguing the minister had a common law duty of care to protect younger people against future harm from climate change. Read More.
Victoria unveils $250m support package for lockdown-hit businesses.
As Victoria remains in lockdown affected businesses will receive some monetary assistance from the state government in the form of a $250 million support package to help up to 90,000 companies.
The ‘Circuit Breaker Support Package’ features initiatives for small-to-medium-sized businesses and sole traders, as well as targeted support for the hospitality and events industries.
As part of the support package, $190.01 million will form a second round of the Business Costs Assistance Program which will offer grants of $2,500 for eligible businesses directly affected by the circuit breaker restrictions, including restaurants and cafes, event suppliers, accommodation providers and non-essential retailers.
A $40.7 million new round of the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund will provide businesses holding an eligible liquor licence and food certificate with a $3,500 grant per premises. Finally, $20 million will be dedicated to supporting operators in the events industry who have incurred losses due to the circuit breaker restrictions. Read More.
European court’s shock ruling could rock petrol industry worldwide.
A Dutch court has ordered Royal Dutch Shell to cut its carbon emissions by net 45 per cent by 2030 compared to 2019 levels in a landmark case brought by climate activism groups, which hailed the decision as a victory for the planet.
The Hague District Court ruled that the Anglo-Dutch energy giant has a duty of care to reduce emissions and that its current reduction plans were not concrete enough. The decision could set a precedent for similar cases against polluting multinationals around the world. Activists gathered outside the courtroom erupted into cheers as the decision was read out loud. Read More.
Trans-Tasman courts deliver judgement in first-ever joint sitting.
In a world-first, Australian and New Zealand courts participated in a joint hearing and each delivered final judgements last week.
The Australian Federal Court (FCA) and the New Zealand High Court (NZHC) came together over the liquidation of Halifax, an Australian entity that owned 70 per cent of the funds in a New Zealand subsidiary, Halifax New Zealand, that was also placed into liquidation.
The courts initially contemplated a physical joint sitting to precede over the ongoing Halifax case but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ultimately conducted proceedings via the audiovisual link in December last year. Each counsel was physically present in each court and both the FCA and NZHC received the same submissions and heard the same evidence. Read More.
Deloitte Australian Privacy Index 2021: Australians demanding more control over their personal information.
The 2021 edition of the Deloitte Australian Privacy Index – the firm’s seventh annual assessment of consumer views on privacy, and the privacy practices of leading Australian consumer brands – finds that the overwhelming majority of consumers think that information used to track them online should be protected by the Privacy Act, bringing that information within the scope of individual citizen rights. When made aware of the right to erasure that exists as an individual right in privacy laws in other countries, they expressed a desire to have this right included within Australian law.
They have also expressed concerns over the increased use of AI by businesses, with a lack of trust in AI-made decisions and an inability to challenge, or have control over, decisions they feel have been made through machine learning.
Understanding the balance between consumers’ desire to act on this right, and organisations’ ability to effect it, is key to developing law that protects both consumer and business interests. Read More.
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