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Government Lawyers Legal Update 2020

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Picking winners – state support for target businesses

1 Substantive Law CPD Point

Targeted government support for industry development, such as start-ups and investment attraction hubs, is part of a new age of economic intervention in an increasingly competitive world. But governments have traditionally struggled to understand private sector needs and deliver outcomes aligning social objectives with those needs whilst discharging their public interest obligations. This session will discuss the challenges of facilitating new businesses and some structural options for improved outcomes, with probity and effectiveness.

Anatomy of an ICT project

1 CORE (Practice Management & Business Skills) CPD Point

This hypothetical case study, grounded in deep experience with public entities Australia-wide, will highlight common risks and pitfalls of critical ICT projects in the public sector. These expensive and vital projects all too frequently fail to deliver key outcomes and expose participants to extraordinary risk. This session will address the optimal framing of a public sector IT project at inception, management of critical risks, and symptoms of a project in distress, demonstrating the logical interaction of project management and practical independent advice.

The Butterfly Effect – insolvency, class actions and government

1 Substantive Law CPD Point

Challenging economic times inevitably lead to increased litigation, from which government is not immune whether in the enforcement of powers or contracts or in the defence of ambit claims. This
session examines recent changes in the current environment, exacerbated by COVID-19 challenges to the content of laws and the practical administration of justice and the relentless rise of the class action.

Public sector whistle blowing – vaccine or epidemic?

1 Substantive Law CPD Point

Public sector whistleblowing and associated corruption complaints are the new normal, exposing both criminal behaviour and petty grievances to the jurisdiction of anti-corruption bodies with extraordinary powers. This session provides a practical road map for anti-corruption investigations from inception to conclusion, including necessary actions following a complaint, assessment of complaints, investigative powers, what constitutes a public interest disclosure, and whistle blower protection.

Misleading regulatory guidance – can (or must) I rely on what you tell me?

1 Substantive Law CPD Point

We live in the age of statutes. The increasing volume and complexity of rules makes compliance challenging. Governments frequently offer guidance to help citizens understand their obligations and to aid fair administration, particularly as policies change. What happens when governments get it wrong?

Climbing ladders, avoiding snakes and using your own dice – internal investigations

1 CORE (Professional Skills) CPD Point

Project failure, misconduct and probity, amongst a much longer list, are all potential catalysts for the now ubiquitous “internal investigation”, a process which of itself should ring warning bells in any organization for both investigator and subject. This practical session will offer guidance for public entities conducting internal investigations, including on framing issues, progression through investigation phases, current best practice, pitfalls, observations and key takeaways.

Navigating the infrastructure landscape for effective major project negotiations

1 Substantive Law CPD Point

Most significant publicly funded developments for major infrastructure – roads, rail, ports, tunnels and the like – intersect with other core infrastructure, such as utilities – gas, water, electricity – which may be highly regulated but are usually privately owned. Negotiating the rights, obligations and risks of the respective parties is delicate and difficult, complicated by the proliferation of external contractors. This session draws on our deep experience at the frontline of significant project infrastructure negotiations, with important lessons for government about approaches to indemnities, insurance, damages, force majeure and other risk-defining contractual provisions

The Ten Cases

1 Substantive Law CPD Point

A survey of 10 important cases over the last year, covering constitutional, administrative, private law, governance and enforcement issues, and what they mean for government.

Contracts in an online world

1 Substantive Law CPD Point

The societal shift to electronic contracts and automated contract performance was well underway before the COVID-19 led overnight to adoption of electronic contracting as the new normal for most businesses. This session examines key legal issues contracting parties should keep front of mind when transitioning from paper to an online environment.

The ethics of public sector decision-making

1 CORE (Practical Legal Ethics) CPD Point

This session refreshes and updates our popular 2018 presentation, focusing on the unique ethical duties of government lawyers that transcend model litigant obligations and the duties of private sector lawyers. These duties go to the heart of the rule of law and arise from the exercise of public power.