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Media Briefing – Technology-neutral privacy principles should govern rapidly developing ICT

The impact on privacy of rapidly developing information and communications technology is a central consideration for the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) in its report For Your Information: Australian Privacy Law and Practice, released publicly today. The ALRC addresses privacy concerns by recommending the implementation of technology-neutral privacy principles, which should be supported by a

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Media Briefing – Reform of the credit reporting system

The Privacy Act regulates the system of credit reporting, allowing information about an individual’s credit-worthiness to be collected and disclosed to credit providers, such as banks, finance companies, mortgage companies, and mobile phone service providers. In Australia, this information is collected by a small number of specialist credit reporting companies from credit providers and from

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DNA testing online: marketing hype or medical breakthrough?

Public meeting: DNA shampoo? Diet and exercise regimes tailored to your own genetic makeup? Cosmetics blended to address your particular ‘wrinkle genes’? A DNA test to determine which sport best suits your child? DNA tests available on the internet to calculate your genetic risk for breast cancer, diabetes or Alzheimer’s disease? This is no longer

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ALRC to tackle government secrecy laws

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) welcomed the announcement today by the Commonwealth Attorney-General, the Hon Robert McClelland MP, of new Terms of Reference for the ALRC to review secrecy provisions in federal legislation. The Terms of Reference ask the ALRC to focus on: ‘the importance of balancing the need to protect Commonwealth information and

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FOI Inquiry deferred pending Government reforms

Tuesday 22 July 2008: Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) President, Professor David Weisbrot, said today that the ALRC had been informed by the Attorney-General that an inquiry into Freedom of Information (FOI) laws was being suspended as part of the FOI reform process announced by Cabinet Secretary John Faulkner this morning.  Professor Weisbrot said: “We

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Scrutinising Privacy – ALRC Discussion Paper

Justice Berna Collier, Part-time Commissisoner, Australian Law Reform Commission, QLS Government Lawyers Conference, Brisbane, Thursday 17 April 2008. On 30 January 2006 the then federal Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, referred a review of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) to the Australian Law Reform Commission for inquiry and report. The task of the ALRC was to consider the extent to

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Will ‘animal rights’ become the next great social justice movement?

Increasing concern for animal welfare and consumer demand for organic and free range products—backed up with stricter food labelling requirements—is likely to trigger the next great social justice movement in Australia, according to the latest edition of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s journal Reform, launched in Sydney today. ALRC President, Professor David Weisbrot AM, said

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Overhaul of client legal privilege in federal investigations

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has recommended 45 changes to the handling of claims of client legal privilege over material sought by federal investigatory bodies and royal commissions of inquiry. The ALRC report Privilege in Perspective: Client Legal Privilege in Federal Investigations, tabled in Parliament today, is the culmination of a year-long public inquiry

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ALRC addresses costly disputes over client legal privilege

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) today released a Discussion Paper, Client Legal Privilege and Federal Investigatory Bodies (DP 73), containing 42 proposals aimed ataddressing lengthy and costly disputes over client legal privilege in federal investigations. ALRC President, Professor David Weisbrot, said that the ALRC recognised the need for a clear and consistent approach to

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ALRC proposes overhaul of ‘complex and costly’ privacy laws

The Australian Law Reform Commission today released a blueprint with 301 proposals for overhauling Australia’s complex and costly privacy laws and practices.Releasing Discussion Paper 72, Review of Australian Privacy Law, ALRC President Prof David Weisbrot said it was the product of the largest public consultation process in ALRC history: “We have received over 300 submissions

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