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ANZ says fees will not rise after High Court win

Associate Professor Michael Legg speaks to The Financial Review (27 July 2016) on the recent class action against ANZ regarding its $35 late payment fees.

Professor Legg said that the recent action allowed more customers to band together and take on larger opponents.

'However, now it demonstrates that sometimes the class action plaintiffs lose' Legg notes, 'But from a public policy perspective, we would not be having the debate over bank fees, the law on penalties and consumer protection laws without the class action being commenced.'

Is a royal commission the best response to the NT juvenile justice crisis?

OPINION: Melanie Schwartz and Professor Chris Cunneen, ABC The Drum, 27 July 2016.

It is tempting to back the Prime Minister's call for a Royal Commission into juvenile justice in the Northern Territory. The impulse that urgent action must be taken is the correct one, and a Royal Commission seems to carry the clout and gravity that reflects the public outrage with the abuse of power leading to the traumatisation, and arguably torture, of children in detention.

Legal experts divided on Turnbull government's latest terrorism laws

Professor George Williams AO speaks to The Sydney Morning Herald (25 July 2016) regarding new legislation that will keep convicted terrorists in jail after their sentence has ended.

Professor Williams noted that the new legislation, "Needs to be targeted at serious offenders, not just someone who's jailed for giving a small amount of money to a terrorist organisation. That's very different from someone who has been convicted of a terrorism offence."

The constitutional implications of Myanmar's peace process

OPINION: Dr Melissa Crouch, Constitution Net, 25 July 2016.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) is leading a major peace process that could see not only an end to decades of conflict against armed ethnic groups, but also a way forward for the future. If an agreement can be reached, this will undermine the military's efforts to block constitutional reform.

Government faces tricky trade-off over Trans-Pacific deal

OPINION: Professor Leon Trakman, The Courier Mail, 25 July 2016.

With the prospect of the Turnbull Government facing obstacles in passing legislation through the Senate, intense debate is likely to resume over whether it can ratify the far-reaching Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

Malcolm Turnbull to bring in new laws allowing indefinite jail for high-risk terrorists

Professor George Williams AO speaks to The Sydney Morning Herald (25 July 2016) regarding new national laws that will hold convicted terrorists beyond their jail sentences if they are deemed to still pose a risk.

Professor Williams commented, "This is an extraordinary measure to take and can only be justified in the most exceptional cases," he said, "We have to make sure there isn't just a vague risk to the community but a present, real danger."

Long walk to the altar for same-sex marriage plebiscite

OPINION: Professor George Williams AO, The Sydney Morning Herald, 25 July 2016.

The re-elected Turnbull government is determined to get moving on a same-sex marriage plebiscite. The greatest challenge is to gain Parliament's support to hold the vote. The plebiscite should be backed by a new law setting down matters such as the question on the ballot paper and who can vote.

Parliament seems ill-disposed to pass such a law. Labor and the Greens have indicated their opposition, and it is anyone's guess what approach will be taken by the motley crew of Senate crossbenchers.

Government officials of secretive Citizenship Loss Board named

Professor George Williams AO speaks to The Guardian (22 July 2016), after the identity of officials from one of the most powerful government boards in Australia, the Citizenship Loss Board, has been revealed for the first time. 

Professor Williams notes that the role of board continues to raise concerns stating, “This body may not in law be the decision maker but in practice its influence is likely to be decisive,” he said. “It really undermines any conception that this law is self-executing.”

Offshore processing: failing those we should protect

OPINION: Madeline Gleeson, The Law Society Journal, June 2016.

The human face of Australian immigration law can be hard to see, hidden away offshore. For almost four years it has been obscured behind the high walls of closely guarded detention centres in one of the most remote parts of Papua New Guinea (PNG) or on the far-flung island nation of Nauru where visa restrictions keep out all save a select few. The human face is hidden, but it is there.

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