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International Wills

Dec 28, 2015

Category: International Law

To simplify succession law in Australia, the Australian Government acceded to the Convention Providing a Uniform Law on the Form of an International Will 1973 which entered into force for Australia on 10 March 2015. All states and territories have passed legislation to give effect to the convention. The convention was developed by the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), a forum which aims to develop international instruments to assist in the harmonisation of private international law principles between member countries. Australia has been a member since 1973. The convention seeks to harmonise and simplify proof of formalities for wills that have international characteristics. It does this by setting up a uniform law introducing a new form of will, known as an 'international will', which is recognised as a valid form in all countries that are party to the convention. The uniform law is annexed to the convention and establishes the international will as an alternative form of will available to prospective testators. More information about the convention is available on the UNIDROIT website.

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Category: International Law

If you have an extended family which includes foreigners, here is a real nasty contained in the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers regulatory Structure. Check out the new example of a foreign person for whom it is a criminal offence to acquire an interest in Australian Residential land without Scott Morrison's approval. "A discretionary trust is established in Australia and the trustee is an Australian citizen. Four individuals hold a beneficial interest in the trust, as potential beneficiaries of any of the income or property of the trust. One of those individuals is not ordinarily resident in Australia and is not an Australian citizen, and the others are Australian citizens. The individual who is not ordinarily resident in Australia is a foreign person and taken to have a 100 per cent interest in the trust (irrespective of how the trustee may exercise his or her discretion in practice). The trustee of the trust is a foreign person for the purposes of Australia’s foreign investment framework. The trustee therefore needs to apply for and receive approval for any proposed purchase by the trust of residential land."

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Category: International Law

Australia's Department of Immigration and Border Protection officers are from time to time demanding the surrender of Australian passports from their holders. An Australian passport can be a valuable document, and in the face of a uniformed officer demanding it and threatening an Australian citizen with a criminal offence if they do not comply, an Australian citizen might want to know the law and their rights

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Non-citizens are encountering difficulties rolling funds into their SMSF - the identification required mostly pre-supposes Australian citizenship, and discriminates against foreigners.

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Innocent passage and freedom of navigation are two different legal concepts, both important in the happenings in the South China Sea

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Australia is proposing to widen the scope of its laws regarding the bribery of foreign officials. It is proposed to amend the Criminal Code so that it is no longer necessary for the prosecution to prove that it was intended to bribe a particular foreign official.

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Interest continues to accrue, and is recoverable against the bankrupt, following bankruptcy with respect to interest bearing pre-bankruptcy debts. The decision of the Full Court of the Supreme Court of Tasmania in Edwaards v Stocks [2008] TASSC 12 is plainly wrong in light of the decisions and reasoning of the High Court of Australia Coventry v Charter Pacific Corporation Ltd [2005] HCA 67 and Foots v Southern Cross Mine Management Pty Ltd [2007] HCA 56 and ought not be followed.

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Diaspora Legal

Oct 08, 2015

Category: International Law

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We have begun practising under the name Diaspora Legal. The name is chosen to give, alongside our southern cross logo, a sense of the practice direction in supporting the various diasporas which come into contact with Australian law. These can be the Australian diaspora in its various locations or the diasporas of other people who come to know Australia.

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Many examples of customary international law have been around for a long time - but is there such a thing as "instant" international law? Why does it make diplomatic protest important?

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Did the AFP have to?

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