PM tested on secrecy laws

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Olivia Caisley
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 22-Oct-19

The issue of press freedom came under scrutiny in federal parliament on 21 October. Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated that any decision to prosecute a journalist should be based on the rule of law rather than the "whim of politicians". Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses has responded by calling for Attorney-General Christian Porter to withdraw a recently-issued directive to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions regarding the prosecution of journalists for alleged breaches of four statutes.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS

Tweaking will not protect journalists

Original article by Chris Merritt
The Australian – Page: 24 : 4-Oct-19

Attorney-General Christian Porter is at odds with Law Council president Arthur Moses over a ministerial directive that allows him to veto prosecutions against journalists over reports that may breach secrecy laws. Porter’s ministerial directive also seemingly contradicts one issued by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in early August, in the wake of the Australian Federal Police’s media raids. Porter’s ministerial directive could potentially enable him to kill off AFP cases against media companies and journalists that have been sanctioned by Dutton.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE

A-G’s media plan misses mark

Original article by Chris Merritt
The Australian – Page: 6 : 2-Oct-19

The effectiveness of the federal government’s proposal to provide new legal protections for journalists continues to be questioned. News Corp Australia executive Campbell Reid contends that providing the attorney-general with ministerial discretion to block legal action against journalists for publishing legitimate news reports will have no effect on the level of scrutiny and investigation into journalists. Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses and Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance CEO Paul Murphy also contend that the reforms are insufficient.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS ALLIANCE, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES

A-G given veto to safeguard journalists

Original article by Chris Merritt
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 1-Oct-19

News Corp Australia executive Campbell Reid says the federal government’s proposal to provide new legal protections for journalists is insufficient. Attorney-General Christian Porter has issued a ministerial direction to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions which will require it to seek permission from the attorney-general to pursue legal action against journalists if such prosecution is deemed to be in the public interest. Law Council president Arthur Moses has also expressed reservations about the reforms.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS

Cartels cave as ACCC hits three a year

Original article by Ben Butler
The Australian – Page: 17 & 28 : 16-Apr-19

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims says it plans to run three cartel prosecutions a year for the foreseeable future. He says a memorandum of understanding with the FBI to share information with the ACCC will help it to prosecute criminal cartel behaviour. The ACCC currently has five criminal cartel cases before the courts, covering industries such as banking and construction. Forming a cartel in Australia has only been illegal since 2009, although it has been illegal in the US since 1890.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, UNITED STATES. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, AMCOR LIMITED – ASX AMC, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, NYK LINE (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, VISY INDUSTRIES AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, KAWASAKI KISEN KAISHA LIMITED

Criminal charges await bankers

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 3 : 20-Feb-19

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission released its response to the final report of the Hayne royal commission on 19 February. ASIC has disclosed that it is prioritising 11 instances of misconduct by eight companies or individuals in the banking sector that were referred to it by the inquiry, with a view to recommending criminal charges. ASIC is assessing an additional 16 cases to determine if there are grounds for prosecution, while it is also investigating 12 case studies that were presented to the royal commission but were not specifically referred to the corporate watchdog.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK ASIA, DOVER FINANCIAL ADVISERS PTY LTD, CLEARVIEW WEALTH LIMITED – ASX CVW

Prosecutors told to push the envelope

Original article by James Frost, Liz Main
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 6-Feb-19

The fees-for-no-service scandal has cost Australia’s four major banks and wealth manager AMP more than $2bn to date. They may also face prosecution under section 1041G of the Corporations Act, after the final report of the financial services royal commission recommended that ASIC should expand its existing probe into potential breaches of this section to include more companies. This is in addition to a recommendation by commissioner Kenneth Hayne that 24 cases of misconduct should be referred for potential civil or criminal action.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, IOOF HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX IFL, SUNCORP GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUN, COLONIAL FIRST STATE GROUP LIMITED

Criminal cases will take a decade to resolve

Original article by Ben Butler
The Australian – Page: 5 : 5-Feb-19

The banking royal commission’s final report has recommended criminal charges against two unnamed financial institutions over the fee-for-no-service scandal. Commissioner Kenneth Hayne has also indicated that the Australian Securities & Investments Commission is considering charges against a third, while 15 financial institutions have been referred to ASIC and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority for further investigation. Professor Dimity Kingsford Smith from the University of New South Wales says it may take up to 10 years for all of the proposed criminal proceedings to be completed.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, SUNCORP GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUN, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, IOOF HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX IFL, ALLIANZ AUSTRALIA LIMITED, TAL HOLDINGS, YOUI PTY LTD

CFMEU faces cartel criminal charges

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 17-Aug-18

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has launched legal action against the construction union, alleging that its Australian Capital Territory branch engaged in cartel activity. The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union’s ACT secretary Jason O’Mara has also been charged with cartel offences. He could face up to 10 years’ jail if convicted, while the CFMMEU could be fined up to $10 million or 10 per cent of its turnover. The charges arise from a joint investigation by the ACCC and an Australian Federal Police taskforce in the wake of the trade union royal commission.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO TRADE UNION GOVERNANCE AND CORRUPTION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

New spy laws to hinder legitimate work of media

Original article by Ean Higgins
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 6-Feb-18

Attorney-General Christian Porter has conceded that some changes to proposed foreign interference laws may be needed to alleviate the concerns of the media industry. Robert Todd of law firm Ashurst has warned that the laws as presently drafted could potentially make a wide range of persons criminally liable for dealing with confidential information. He says the proposed laws provide very limited protection for journalists, while there would be almost no protection for other people, including social media users.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, ASHURST AUSTRALIA, MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS ALLIANCE, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS