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Since 1989 DNA evidence has been relied upon in Australian courts to secure convictions. In subsequent years there has been significant developments in the technology used to obtain DNA, from 9 to 21 loci and STRMix, and the application of DNA including the establishment of a national DNA database. Every step along the way has been the subject of legal challenge with a considerable body of case law being the result.
The future for practitioners is likely to see just as much development with an increasing reliance in prosecutions upon familial searching, the profiling of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome DNA and forensic DNA phenotyping (FDP). This seminar will discuss these changes and explore future directions.
On 4 September 2019, Dr Matt Collins AM QC gave a speech to the National Press Club in Canberra about the law of defamation in Australia. In that speech, he advocated that the defamation laws were out-of-date and flawed. He advocated that there should be a new cause of action: declaration of falsity and that the burden to prove falsity ought to reside with the plaintiff.
The speakers at this seminar will debate the contents of his speech and discuss where the laws of defamation are headed.
In this seminar there will be a discussion of techniques and strategies on how to champion and see the passage of legislation while serving in the minority party of a legislature, with specific reference to:
Tax issues such as CGT (including rollover relief), Division 7A as well as trust and corporate law issues frequently arise in family law property proceedings. A recent trend has also seen the Commissioner of Taxation intervening in s79 proceedings to secure payment of tax debts owed by a party or parties to the marriage prior to any distribution of property.
As solicitors and barristers, it is our duty to assist the members of the judiciary to carry out their judicial function. In carrying out that duty, we are subject to very important obligations imposed by the Civil Procedure Act 2010 and the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976. As the consumers of our advocacy services, who better to hear from on such an important topic than the judges.
This session will be focussed on practical measures that can be taken to avoid annoying the court and to ensure that proceedings run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
The seminar will include a discussion on the High Court’s decision in the context of recent developments and the implications this has on taxpayers’ rights in dealings with the ATO.
The High Court decision has clarified how liquidators of corporate trustees may deal with trust assets and the application of the priority regime prescribed by the Corporations Act 2001 to the distribution of the proceeds of trust assets to trust creditors. The decision also resolves the long-standing tension between the decision of the Full Court of the Supreme Court of South Australia in Re Suco Gold Pty Ltd (in liq) (1983) SASR 99 and the Full Court of the Supreme Court of Victoria in Re Enhill Pty Ltd  1 VR 561.
This session builds on the previous Victorian Bar CPD session that provided an introduction and overview to blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. This session will survey the extant Australian case law considering blockchain and cryptocurrencies, drawing out the key themes and implications for the law and legal practice. The session will also delve into current regulatory trends and make predictions about the types of evidentiary, legal, and jurisdictional issues that may arise in the context of future legal disputes.
Discussion: Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner Fiona McLeay & Dr Matthew Collins AM QC, President of the Bar
The seminar will discuss the following topics:
Commissioner of State Revenue v Placer Dome Inc  HCA 59 (5 December 2018) provides valuable insight into valuations in a mining context and a detailed discussion of legal and valuation issues related to goodwill. The decision is likely to be influential in many different tax contexts, including stamp duty, capital gains tax and tax consolidations. Eugene Wheelahan S.C. will explain the decision and explain some of its potential implications for tax law.
The Commercial Bar Civil Procedure Section is pleased to present a panel discussion on the vexed issue of making applications to judicial officers to recuse themselves on the grounds of apprehended bias. The panel will review recent decisions in this area and will provide an overview as to how best to (or how best not to) approach such an application.
THE IMPLICATIONS OF TECH MAHINDRA LIMITED v CoT and
SATYAM COMPUTER SERVICES LIMITED v CoT
It is commonly stated that a double tax agreement is a shield to protect taxpayers from double taxation and cannot of itself give rise to taxation liabilities. However, the October 2018 decisions of the Full Federal Court in Tech Mahindra Limited and Satyam Computer Services Limited mean that the “source of income provisions” found in many of Australia’s double tax agreements have “what amounts to some ‘sword-like effect in practice”. The decisions have immediate implications for Indian-resident taxpayers in receipt of payments for ‘technical services’ from Australian customers, but the possible implications are much broader.
The Bar and the County Court, working together, have designed a new pilot scheme for pro bono referrals which commenced on 1 October in the County Court’s Commercial and Common Law Divisions.
The protocol provides clear written guidance as to eligibility and the operation of the scheme. Referrals are to occur by Court Order, which will provide clarity as to the scope of requests. The new procedures are aimed at improving the quality of experience for members in providing pro bono legal assistance, in turn improving the outcome for clients and the courts.
A panel of speakers from the County Court and Victorian Bar will discuss the practical operation of the new referral scheme.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the enactment of the Cross-Border Insolvency Act 2008 (Cth), which adopted the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency. In the decade since its adoption, the Model Law has provided a clear and consistent basis for the courts in Australia to grant recognition and assistance to foreign insolvency proceedings.
This seminar explores the conceptual framework behind the Model Law, the extent to which it has been adopted and adapted by jurisdictions in the Asia Pacific region and the experience of the Model Law in Australia. The Model Law is an interesting example of legal convergence (and divergence), particularly in view of the increasingly global nature of business activities and operations, and the benefits that accrue to debtors, creditors and other stakeholders in dealing with cross-border insolvency issues on a uniform basis.
When brutality is alleged against police, impartial investigation is essential – to ensure accountability for misconduct, to vindicate the human rights of victims, and to embed a culture of respect for rights within our police force. In March 2018 IBAC found ‘concerning deficiencies’ in the manner in which Victoria Police reviews serious incidents, including those that result in the serious injury or death of members of the public. The IBAC findings raise significant legal and human rights concerns.
The Annual Industrial Law Update CPD took place on 15 October 2018 discussed:
This seminar provided an update on principles of loss and damage in particular the time for assessment, and when loss and damage first arises. An understanding of these issues is critical for trial.
This seminar examined the boundaries of remedies available under the Australian Consumer Law by reference to gain-based measures of relief as a means both of providing recompense to the plaintiff and deterring misleading conduct.
The High Court handed down its decision in the case of the Federal Commissioner of Taxation v Thomas  HCA 31 on 8 August 2018. This seminar covers the key aspects of the case and their implications, including declaratory relief and the limits of the Executor Trustee case.
This seminar examined the first decided case in which the Commissioner of Taxation disqualified a trustee of a self-managed superannuation fund for not being a fit and proper person and for various breaches of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993.
Directors of companies that trade overseas, and those of subsidiaries of overseas companies, may have duties imposed upon them by foreign law and be subject to the jurisdiction of foreign courts, especially where entities or their holding companies are approaching insolvency. Legal advisers have to be aware of the potential for that to occur. This presentation discusses the potential liability and provides examples of it. It also looks at and discusses the need to develop an understanding of how different legal systems impose duties on directors. This seminar is open to barristers, solicitors, in-house counsel and insolvency practitioners.
The Commissioner has broad powers to compulsorily obtain information under s 353-10 of Sch 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953. In this practical seminar, a panel of experts discuss issues including: