Higher Education Focus

July 2011

In this edition

Obligations of officers of the University and University entities under the new OHS harmonisation legislation

As you will be aware, 1 January 2012 is the go live date for OHS harmonisation. A new OHS Act, Regulation and Codes of Practice will commence in the Commonwealth and in each State and Territory at this time. The new package of OHS legislation will be based on model legislation, so will be substantially similar in each jurisdiction.

The proposed experimental use exemption: the devil is in the detail

On 22 June 2011 the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Bill 2011 (Cth) (Bill) was introduced into the Australian Senate. The Bill introduces an exemption from patent infringement for experimental activities and is aimed at giving researchers "greater certainty about where they have freedom to operate around patented technology".

A basic guide to the Australian Consumer Law

On 1 January 2011, the Trade Practices Act 1974 (TPA) was consigned to history and replaced by the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA). Other than the Competition and Consumer (Australian Consumer Law) Amendment Regulations 2010 coming in to force in the same form as released in draft, 1 January 2011 came and went without the world of consumer protection law going into meltdown. An overview of the changes made to the CCA and Schedule 2 – the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) – can be found in the article "Overview of the Australian Consumer Law reforms – how will the law change from 1 January 2011?"

Senate and House of Representatives pass TEQSA legislation

Following the introduction of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Bill 2011 (Bill) and the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2011 (Transitional Bill) into the Commonwealth Parliament (as reported in our news alert of 23 March 2011), the Senate referred the Bill and the Transitional Bill to the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee (Committee).

Universities – reputational risk from the internet

Reputation is critical to a university's success. Attacks on reputation can come from a range of sources. The rise of social media and mobile networks can expose universities to serious reputational risk and undermine the public's perception of them as places of serious research and education.