8 frequent myths about Australian legislation

8 frequent myths about Australian legislation

We’ve all been at a piece or household gathering when somebody has supplied a seemingly authoritative assertion about the best way the legislation operates.

With out some data of the sector of legislation, listeners might merely nod their heads sagely and tut-tut concerning the perceived inadequacies and injustices which have been revealed.

However there are numerous misconceptions concerning the legislation. Listed below are eight frequent falsehoods.

1. If folks chuckle at my joke then it’s not sexual harassment

This isn’t appropriate. Sexual harassment is outlined as any unwelcome sexual behaviour that makes an individual really feel offended or humiliated, the place that response is affordable within the circumstances.

A survey by the Australian Human Rights Fee discovered over the previous 5 years, one in three staff skilled sexual harassment of their office. The survey discovered reporting of office sexual harassment stays alarmingly low, at solely 18%.

Girls (41%) have been much more probably than males (26%) to expertise harassment. Greater than three-quarters of harassers have been males.

In November, the federal parliament handed the Respect@Work invoice which creates a constructive responsibility on all employers to implement measures to stop sexual harassment.

2. I don’t have to present my title and tackle to police, as I’ve a proper to silence

The appropriate to stay silent when questioned by police is a basic safety offered by the frequent legislation. Nonetheless, this proper just isn’t absolute, and doesn’t imply you don’t have to present them sure private info.

Laws in each Australian jurisdiction offers police the best to ask for particulars that can help their enquiries. For instance, in South Australia, you should present your full title, date of start and tackle if a police officer has cheap trigger to suspect you will have dedicated or are about to commit an offence, or in case you might be able to help within the investigation of an offence.

It’s an offence to refuse to present police your private particulars, or in case you present false or deceptive info. Police also can ask you to determine drivers of motor automobiles during which you’re travelling. However they will’t demand that you just reply any additional questions, and should offer you a warning that something you may say could also be later utilized in proof.

The place there was a violent arrest, or the arrested individual is unable to understand or perceive their rights, the warning should be repeated as soon as the arrested individual has settled down or sobered up.

8 frequent myths about Australian legislation
Your ‘proper to silence’ doesn’t lengthen to giving cops your title and tackle.
Lukas Coch/AAP

3. My boyfriend moved in with me a yr in the past and left final week, so now I’ve to present him half of my property

For an individual in a de facto relationship to achieve success in any property settlement, they have to fulfill the Household Court docket that:

  • the connection has lasted not less than two years

  • or the events have had a baby collectively

  • or the connection was registered beneath a state or territory relationship registration scheme

  • or one occasion has made substantial monetary or non-financial contributions to the opposite occasion and that critical injustice would end result if an order weren’t made.

Additionally, there’s no presumption of a 50:50 break up in Australian household legislation. In figuring out a simply and equitable division of property, the court docket will contemplate the events’ respective property, the contributions every occasion has made to the connection, and every occasion’s future wants.

4. I’m not chargeable for issues others write on my Fb

Whereas it might be laborious to consider, you should still be responsible for issues others put up in your social posts, even in case you don’t find out about them.

In 2021 the Excessive Court docket dominated that media corporations may very well be responsible for defamatory feedback made by readers on their Fb posts. The ruling extends past Fb and sure applies to any social media platform together with Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Learn extra:
Excessive Court docket guidelines media are responsible for Fb feedback on their tales. Here is what meaning to your favorite Fb pages

It additionally extends past media corporations and covers companies and personal people, together with these working on-line group teams and boards, corresponding to directors of Fb teams.

However watch this area – state and territory attorneys-general have simply given in-principle settlement to amend defamation legal guidelines to guard “web intermediaries” corresponding to social media directors. The main points are but to emerge however will not be prone to defend egregious feedback that ought to have been observed and eliminated by an individual posting on their very own social media platforms.

Hand holding a phone with Facebook open
Underneath present case legislation, you’re chargeable for what others write in your social media posts.

5. I can depart my children within the automobile for a couple of minutes as long as I depart a window open

This isn’t true. Whereas each jurisdiction in Australia has barely totally different legal guidelines, it’s usually an offence to depart a baby unattended in a automobile no matter whether or not they undergo any misery or harm.

Any police consideration, and fees which will circulation from that, will rely upon the circumstances of the alleged neglect, together with the ambient temperature, the extent of kid misery (if any), and the proximity of the motive force together with the time taken for them to, for instance, pay for gas.

Opening a automobile window doesn’t negate legal fees.

6. I can urinate in public if it’s on my again tyre

If this was as soon as the legislation with horses and drays, it’s now not the legislation as we speak. Any such shows in public (particularly in a constructed up space) can quantity to “offensive behaviour” and will be prosecuted.

Nonetheless it’s solely contextual. For instance, marathon runners who obtain pressing calls from Mom Nature could be unlikely to be prosecuted.

7. Saying you want Charles would cark it so William will be king is treason

The offence of treason nonetheless exists, however one should do greater than declare disparaging (and even treacherous) ideas concerning the reigning monarch to excite the authorities into prosecuting.

The Commonwealth Legal Code part 80.1 units out what quantities to treasonous behaviour. You actually must be critical about appearing in your declarations earlier than the treason threshold is reached.

8. Australian consulates abroad are Australian territory

It is a frequent false impression. Article 31 of the Vienna Conference on Consular Relations supplies some safety to consular premises from exterior intrusion.

This features a rule that the police of the host state can’t enter consular premises with out the consulate nation’s permission, except it’s an emergency. However this doesn’t flip the consulate into Australian territory.

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