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Yesterday the High Court of Australia upheld the decision of the New South Wales Court of Appeal that the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) does not have power to investigate allegations that Ms Cunneen counselled a person to lie to police. This decision has serious implications for past and future corruption investigations and inquiries.
GST is back on the agenda for the national conversation with the Treasurer confirming at the recent Council on Federal Financial Relations Meeting that GST will be charged on electronic imports into Australia. In this article we look at particular aspects of the approaches taken by South Africa and the EU and consider what lessons their experiences provide for Australia. We also examine whether Australia can impose an electronic services tax on non-residents that have no presence here, and how this could be enforced.
Various clauses of the Code of Banking Practice (Code) have been considered judicially, however, the recent decision of the Supreme Court of Victoria in Commonwealth Bank of Australia v Steven Doggett & Anor  VSC 423, handed down in September 2014, is the first authority to construe clause 25.1 of the Code.
In the last three months, there have been two further Supreme Court decisions. The decisions are likely to have far reaching consequences for lenders.
On 18 March 2015, the Australian Government announced it will support most of the recommendations in the Independent Review Report Robust New Foundations - A Streamlined, Transparent and Responsive System for the 457 Programme. The recommendations are designed to strengthen the integrity of the Subclass 457 visa program while being responsive to the needs of the business community.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) released the new Foreign Investment Industries Guidance Catalogue on March 10, 2015 (“2015 Version”) which will supersede the current 2011 Version from April 10, 2015.
Two recent NSW Court of Appeal decisions highlight that what is an obvious risk under s 5F of the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) is very much in the eye of the beholder.
The Federal Court has for the first time confirmed that "springboard" relief is available in patent cases in Australia. The Court's findings were made in a patent infringement and invalidity case between two suppliers of residential street lights, Streetworx Pty Ltd (Streetworx) and Artcraft Urban Group Pty Ltd (AUG).
The final tranche of the Investment Manager Regime (IMR) concessions have at last been released for comment. These rules have been greatly anticipated and will provide much needed certainty for foreign funds and their investors once implemented.
Austrade and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) are developing a new framework for the Significant Investor Program (SIV) visa, including a new Premium Investor Visa (PIV) category).
The Australian Government has released a draft of the internationally negotiated rules and operational arrangements for the Asia Region Funds Passport for public consultation.
Following a spate of decisions in 2014 on patent licences the Federal Court of Australia announced two further decisions which provide additional guidance to parties to a patent licence. Both of these decisions are a reminder that in addition to contract law, the parties to a licence of Australian patents should consider the relevant provisions of the Patents Act 1990.
On Monday 15 December the Australian Government announced its 'Efficiency through Contestability Programme', as part of the Mid-Year Economic and Financial Outlook. Under the Programme the current functions of all Commonwealth entities will be reviewed, and some may be subjected to 'contestability' with a view to achieving better value for money.
The federal government has confirmed that there will be 'single-sided' reporting for Phase 3B entities. While the exact details are yet to be provided, this is clearly a significant development, and follows extensive lobbying by ourselves and a number of other parties.
The Final Report of the Financial System Inquiry chaired by Mr David Murray was released on 7 December 2014. Here, we discuss key points arising from the Report and Mr Murray's speech to CEDA.
Following the Wein Review and considerable public consultation since early 2013, the new Franchising Code of Conduct has been released and, assuming it is enacted, will take effect on 1 January 2015. The New Code contains a number of significant regulatory changes which franchisors will need to understand, in order to determine what changes they will need to make prior to the commencement date.
ASIC has now delivered an updated regulatory guide (new RG49) and two new class orders – one for listed bodies (CO 14/1000) and one for non-listed bodies (CO 14/1001).
The Australian Government announced an independent review of the integrity of the Subclass 457 programme on 25 February, 2014. The review report, 'Robust New Foundations – A Streamlined, Transparent and Responsive System for the 457 Programme' was released in September 2014 with 22 recommendations. On 14 October 2014 the government further announced that the following reforms will be adopted from the review.
The Australian Government has released its interim report, the Agriculture Competitiveness Green Paper, which reflects the wishes and suggestions from almost 700 stakeholder submissions. The Green Paper is the first major output of the comprehensive analysis of the Australian agricultural industry commissioned last year; it outlines nine key policy principles and dozens of ideas aiming which if implementedwill change the face of Australian agriculture forever.
On 16 September 2014 the OECD issued its paper on BEPS Action 15: Developing a Multilateral Instrument to Modify Bilateral Tax Treaties. This Alert outlines the OECD's proposal to develop a multilateral treaty as part of the OECD's response to BEPS issues.
On 16 September 2014, the OECD issued its Hybrid Recommendations to ensure the coherence of corporate income taxation at the international level in a document entitled, 'Neutralising the Effects of Hybrid Mismatch Arrangements' (Hybrid Recommendations). The Hybrid Recommendations deal with Action 2 of the OECD's wider, 15 point, Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Action Plan.