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This edition of the newsletter examines topical issues relevant to the defence and space industries, including ethical considerations for artificial intelligence, consultation on the Space (Launches and Returns) Act 2018, changes to whistleblowing legislation, and the application of Incoterms to domestic and international supply arrangements.

This edition includes the following:

Whistleblowing Bill receives royal assent

On 19 February 2019 the House of Representatives passed the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Bill 2018. Having received Royal Assent on 12 March 2019, the new whistleblowing legislation will commence operation on 1 July 2019 and serves to consolidate and expand the existing private sector whistleblowing regime. Read more.

Procurement contracts and INCOTERMS: How to ensure your supply contracts are not INCO-mpatible with INCOTERMS

Since they were first published in 1936 and through various revisions since (most recently in 2010), the ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) published International Commercial Terms or “Incoterms” have been widely adopted in many domestic and especially international supply arrangements around the world. These Incoterms provide standard obligations and charges of the buyer and seller at the various stages of delivery (specifically in relation to risk, payment and insurance). Read more.

Ethical guidelines for artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a rapidly emerging field, with stakeholders constantly needing to consider not only the legal, but also the ethical implications in its development and use. Two key developments in this area include Europe’s “Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence,” published by the High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence, and Australia’s Proposed Ethics Framework (5 April 2019) published by the CSIRO’s Data61. For defence companies, an evolving area is the weaponisation of AI. Although offering a variety of benefits for the future of warfare, decision-makers are being confronted with a range of ethical dilemmas. Read more.

Space (Launches and Returns) Act 2018 and consultation on rules

Draft rules made pursuant to the Space (Launches and Returns) Act 2018 have been released, providing greater detail in relation to many of the Act’s novel provisions. The Act itself passed both house of Parliament last year following the Australian Government’s review of the outdated Space Activities Act 1998. Changes to the legislation were made to support innovation and investment in the domestic space sector, while also accommodating the changing operating environment for space activities. Read more


Ken Gray is a partner in the Melbourne office of Baker McKenzie where he advises on banking and finance transactions. He has extensive experience working in Asia and is a member of the Firm's Regional Council. He has been an integral part of Baker McKenzie's successful expansion into Asia.


Adrian Lawrence is the head of the Firm's Asia Pacific Technology, Media & Telecommunications Group. He is a partner in the Sydney office of Baker McKenzie where he advises on media, intellectual property and information technology, providing advice in relation to major issues relating to the online and offline media interests. He is recognised as a leading Australian media and telecommunications lawyer.