Doing Business in Australia

The Australian Government welcomes foreign investment. With well-developed infrastructure, a stable political environment, robust economy and easy access to Asia Pacific, Australia is an ideal investment location for foreign companies looking to grow internationally. There are important considerations for foreign investors to make when deciding on how to enter the Australian market. Whether it’s the […]

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Government contracts and future discretions

People rightly expect freely negotiated contracts to be honoured. When a contract is with government, the expectation is not lessened. Indeed, it is accompanied by the reasonable expectation (if not the obligation) that the agreement will be administered fairly and according to law. The government’s failure to meet these expectations creates a form of sovereign […]

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Human Rights Act passes Queensland Parliament

The Human Rights Act 2018, which will have far-reaching implications for public decision making in Queensland, passed Queensland Parliament on 27 February 2019.  What will it mean for public entities on commencement? As noted in our Public Law Tracker in December 2018, the HRA will directly impact the design and interpretation of legislation and, at […]

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Termination for convenience clauses in government contracts

Termination for convenience clauses are commonly included in government contracts, sometimes thoughtfully but often reflexively. Their reflexive use can be a form of security blanket that is rarely necessary and potentially risky. A termination for convenience (TFC) clause is a contractual escape hatch, giving the party with the benefit of the clause the right to […]

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Human rights at the forefront

On 31 October 2018, the Queensland Government introduced new human rights legislation into Parliament. Although not constituting a statutory bill of rights, the Human Rights Bill 2018 (Qld) (“the Bill“), if passed, will increase the focus of government, courts and tribunals on internationally recognised civil and political rights,[1] while providing modest new remedies for some […]

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Procedural fairness not readily ousted

Administrative decision makers are subject to a common law duty to accord procedural fairness for decisions which affect rights, interests and legitimate expectations, unless the governing statute clearly provides otherwise.[1] This is a subset of the broader principle of legality, that courts will not interpret legislation as abrogating or contracting fundamental rights or freedoms unless […]

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Not all errors are equal

The nature of jurisdictional error has long confounded and confused. Not all errors of law are equal. Some errors deprive decision makers of authority, others do not. Some errors may be reviewed; the review of others may validly be excluded. There is a distinction of principle between errors characterised as jurisdictional errors and errors characterised […]

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Two wrongs don’t make a legal right

Equal treatment is a fundamental principle of justice. This is well understood in the abstract, but what it might mean in practice and how it might be enforced is less clear, as is demonstrated by an important recent UK decision[1] that will be monitored closely by Australian lawyers.   The case As a result of […]

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Ethics of Public Sector Decision Making

Governments keep getting bigger. The exercise of their powers is more far-reaching than ever before. As powerful as government may be, there is no such thing in Australia as unlimited official power. Governments can only exercise the powers vested in them. Governments exist only to serve the public interest and the courts will hold them […]

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