Newsletter 126

Listed mining company fined $450k for continuous disclosure breaches

ASX-listed mining and exploration company Australian Mines has admitted to failing to disclose material information to the market.

“ASIC will continue to take enforcement action to ensure that Australia’s markets operate fairly and are transparent.”

The regulator noted that its proceedings against Mr Bell are still ongoing.

India- Australia Trade Agreement: LMT Update

No exclusions from the Labour Market Testing are specified in the agreement, according to a close analysis of the original India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (IAECTA) document. DFAT’s website interprets:

In accordance with the terms of the current visa and the pledges made in the earlier free trade agreements, Australia has promised to offer India mobility outcomes. This does not, however, include a waiver of the labour market testing and includes equal commitments on categories of entrant, length of stay, spouses, and dependents.

In the event that LMT is covered by an international trade agreement, applicants are reminded that each of these agreements has its own unique and special LMT provisions. Applicants should thus refer to the LMT obligations set down in the relevant country agreement.

Law students have highest alcohol misuse, suicide ideation rates

New research suggests that students undertaking law courses show higher levels of alcohol misuse and are more likely to endorse suicide ideation and plans than other students on campuses.

When it comes to drug abuse, law students were slightly more likely (8.7 per cent) to engage in such behaviour compared to the campus-wide average (6 per cent). Those studying business reported the highest levels of drug abuse, at 10.5 per cent.

More troubling, however, are the tendencies of first-year law students towards suicide ideation, planning and attempts.

When surveyed about myriad mental health ailments, law students reported a higher prevalence of most disorders, including depression (17.4 per cent of law students cited this), panic disorder (10.6 per cent), social anxiety (31.7 per cent) and ADHD (32.1 per cent).

Firms join forces on Medibank action

Following one of the worst data breaches in Australian history, three companies have joined forces to seek compensation on behalf of millions of people.

Announcing that it had discovered “unusual activity” on its network on October 13, 2022, Medibank Private Limited then revealed that client data had been accessed and stolen, potentially affecting 9.7 million present and former Medibank, AHM, and international student customers.

The breach involved highly personal information of millions of Medibank customers, including names, dates of birth, phone numbers, email addresses, some Medicare and passport numbers.

Significant implications of judgment allowing foreign citizens in Australia class actions

The High Court ruled in late 2017 that non-residents might join groups in Australian class actions. Here, a partner at a BigLaw firm describes how this can alter how class actions are perceived in Australia.

Australian Federal Court class actions may include individuals who are not Australian residents, according to a ruling issued by the High Court of Australia in October 2022.

The ruling established that foreign residents who purchased a company’s shares on the ASX are permitted to be group members. It also established that persons who purchased a dual-listed multinational company’s shares on a foreign stock exchange could have their claims determined by the Federal Court of Australia — as long as the claims fall under the Federal Court’s jurisdiction.

Perth lawyer found guilty of professional misconduct granted access to documents that may support appeal

The Legal Profession Complaints Committee WA has been ordered to hand over medical documents to a Perth solicitor as part of an appeal following disciplinary proceedings, which found the solicitor to have engaged in professional misconduct.

After being found to have engaged in professional misconduct in May last year, Barrie Goldsmith appealed that decision and demanded the disclosure of certain documents from the LPCC.

In the recent Supreme Court of Western Australia Court of Appeal judgment, Justice Graeme Harold Murphy and Justice Robert Mackenzie Mitchell ruled in favor of Mr Goldsmith and granted part of his appeal, ordering the LPCC to hand over medical documents relating to a matter in 2016.

The court also ruled that any application to amend the grounds of appeal by reference to the health report, together with any application to adduce additional evidence on the appeal in that regard, be filed and served “on or before 4.00pm, 20 January 2023” and reserved the costs of the application.

Hyundai, Kia to face class actions

Hundreds of thousands of Hyundai and Kia car owners could be entitled to compensation after class action investigations revealed that a number of “worthless and dangerous vehicles” caught fire at random.

The class actions against the motor companies will allege owners suffered loss and damage after Hyundai and Kia breached consumer laws after defective Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS) rendered some of the Korean manufacturers’ most popular models potential fire hazards.

The proposed Kia class action involves almost 58,000 Sportage and Stinger model vehicles manufactured between 2016 and 2019.

ASIC commissioner named as new head of Vanguard’s Office of the General Counsel

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