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The Securities and Futures Commission recently released its Consultation Conclusions on Proposed Enhancements to the Competency Framework for Intermediaries and Individual Practitioners. Changes to the existing Guidelines on Competence and Guidelines on Continuous Professional Training will take effect in January 2022. These changes impact the competence and ongoing training requirements for new and existing Responsible Officers and Licensed Representatives of Licensed Corporations, as well as Executive Officers and Relevant Individuals of Registered Institutions.

Infrastructure Victoria has recently released an updated 30-year Infrastructure Strategy which the Victorian Government is currently considering. Following remarks from the Treasurer, we anticipate the Victorian Government to issue its response to IV’s stated infrastructure priorities within the next 12 months.

The privilege against self-incrimination has long been a feature of Australia’s common law and recognises the important concept that individuals should not be compelled to incriminate themselves. The privilege has also been protected by legislation, including in sections 128 & 128A of the Evidence Act 1995 (Cth). A recent High Court decision in Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Zu Neng Shi [2021] HCA 22 considered whether disclosure of privileged information was in the interests of justice.

On 2 September 2021, the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Bill 2021 was passed by both the Senate and the House or Representatives. Once it receives royal assent, it will operate to amend the following pieces of legislation: the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986, the Fair Work Act 2009, and the Sex Discrimination Act 1984.

The Supervisors Law of the People’s Republic of China was recently promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on 20 August 2021. Together with other legislation and enforcement activities, the Supervisors Law aims to strengthen President Xi’s anti-corruption campaign and is scheduled to take effect on 1 January 2022.

On 20 August 2021, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress passed the Personal Information Protection Law of the PRC (PIPL), after deliberating two draft versions and seeking public comment in a ten-month span. The passage of the PIPL signifies that China is stepping into a more robust and comprehensive personal information protection regime by establishing a unified, cross-sector legislation, as the EU does with the aid of the General Data Protection Regulation.

The Singapore High Court refused a consumer’s attempt to re-file a failed claim after the lower court issued a final and unappealable decision. The consumer first brought a claim against e-commerce platform Lazada at the Small Claims Tribunal. After a decision was made, the consumer applied to the District Court for leave to appeal against the decision. The District Court refused to grant leave to appeal, which, under law, is considered as final. However, the consumer still brought a claim before the High Court, arguing that she was filing a fresh claim in respect of the damages that were not granted. The claim was refused.

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, at his recent National Day Rally speech, acknowledged the anxiety felt by middle income Singaporeans over foreign work pass holders, especially with the economic uncertainty heightened by COVID-19.

Addressing what he described as personal and emotional arguments by Singaporeans over perceived foreign competition for jobs and opportunities, the prime minister signaled that the government will introduce new anti-discrimination laws with a range of penalties extending beyond the current administrative penalties, such as restrictions on an employer from hiring foreign workers.

Earlier this month (7 August), the MIC released and called for public consultation on the draft decree amending and supplementing several provisions of Decree No. 25/2011/ND-CP guiding the implementation of the Law on Telecommunications (“Draft Decree”). The deadline for contribution to this consultation is 7 October 2021.