Parties may believe that a loved one was influenced in suspicious circumstances surrounding their last will. The validity of wills can be challenged where it is suspected that a will maker did not have the legal capacity to make a will or where it was executed under duress, or other suspicious circumstances.
Justice Maxwell recently stated in a speech to the Victoria Law Foundation Oration that exposure to the conclusions of the Royal Commission into banking and financial services that the conclusion of the Royal Commission highlights warnings about predatory behaviours, pressurisation of customers, and unconscionable conduct. Unconscionable conduct is dealt with in ASIC legislation and Federal and State consumer affairs laws. Justice Maxwell stated "Given the centrality of this moral concept in the framework of business regulation, commercial lawyers should be making sure that the moral dimension is quite explicit in the advice they give". Hear hear.
The Law Institute of Victoria recently has suggested that CCTV cameras be installed in abattoirs to enable review of protection of fair treatment of animals. You can hear the interview with the President on 3AW. This move is suggested to protect not only the animals but also farmers who may be the subject of vigilante type action. New Federal Laws are being discussed to protect farmers with new farm trespass laws.
New religious discrimination laws are proposed by the Australian Attorney General Mr Christian Porter. They will aim to protect people from discrimination. The laws will be in Parliament in September 19.
Proposed new laws to apply two year jail sentences and fines of up to $25,000 aim to prohibit the cash economy in limiting the use of cash to $10,000. This has arisen from the governments Black Economy Taskforce. Some parties have labelled this move as Orwellian but small businesses should be aware of this change if it comes into law.
The Victorian government is contemplating a move against employers falsifing employee records or failing to keep proper records. This is on top of the record keeping requirements of the Fair Work Act, which are substantial. Employers should be aware of their considerable record keeping obligations.
Workplace Relations cases
Here are some recent cases in employment law, care of the Workplace Relations Section of the Law Institute of Victoria -
Cameron v Goldwind Australia Pty Ltd  FCCA 1541 -
Ms Cameron brought an injunction application to restrain Goldwind from terminating her employment. The injunction was sought in aid of an asserted contravention, by Goldwind, of s 351(1) of the Fair Work Act. This section provides that an employer “must not take adverse action against a person who is an employee because of the person’s political opinion”. Ms Cameron claimed that Goldwind made a decision to terminate her employment because she held political opinions associated with Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party. The application was dismissed.
Dutta v Telstra Corporation Limited  FCAFC 103
The applicant, Mr Dutta, alleged that Telstra, having terminated his employment, contravened s 340 of the Fair Work Act, because the termination was an act of adverse action. Specifically, for exercising the workplace right to make complaints about one’s employment. The case was dismissed
Lakhani v Westpac  FWC 3505
This case concerns an application for unfair dismissal remedy: Fair Work Act s 394. The applicant, Mr Lakhani, was a Lending Area Manager for Westpac. The Commission found that the termination of Mr Lakhani’s employment was actually a genuine redundancy. Therefore, the Commission was jurisdictionally barred and had to dismiss the application.
Tran v Kodari Securities Pty Ltd  FCA 968
The applicant, Mr Tran, alleged that his employment was terminated by Kodari Securities because he exercised a workplace right: that is, the right to seek legal advice before signing a new contract.
Electronic Conveyancing in Victoria
Victoria is from 1st August, practically 100% electronic in terms of conveyancing. All documents regarding property transactions are now lodged via the States conveyancing platform PEXA.