The latest issue of the Australian Business Law Review (Volume 39 Part 6) contains the following material:
In 2009, the Australian Parliament enacted the “protected cartel” information scheme in response to successful attempts by private parties to gain access to documents obtained by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission under its Immunity Policy. This article examines the competing public interests in facilitating private actions on the one hand, and protecting the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Immunity Policy on the other hand. Using the United States as a comparison, it concludes that the protected cartel scheme may have struck the incorrect balance.
Deductibility of interest: A comparative perspective – conceptual issues – Chris Ohms and Karin Olesen
Interest payable on borrowed funds or on amounts owing by reason of the operation of the law (for example interest that may be payable on statutory debts such as tax owing) in relation to an income earning activity is a significant (potential) deductible expense throughout the Commonwealth. The traditional “form” approach derived from the leading decision Inland Revenue Commissioners v Duke of Westminster  AC 1 requires that the underlying transaction giving rise to the interest, and the interest itself, be characterised according to the legal rights and obligations created evident from the objective intention of the parties. On the other hand, an “economic substance” approach allows for the same characterisation to arise having regard to the economic consequences that flow from the transaction. These issues have been considered and the movement towards the development of a conceptual framework which relies on commercial legal forms and absorbs this into its measurement and recognition basis.
Australia’s new harmonised occupational health and safety (OHS) regulatory regime is scheduled to commence operation on 1 January 2012. The new harmonised regime is the most significant reform to OHS regulation in Australia since the adoption in the 1970s and 1980s of the Robens reforms. Yet such has been its evolution and the nature of the final product, that questions about its sustainability and future are already being asked. This article examines the new harmonised regime and concludes that much of the skepticism surrounding it is well founded: that the regime may not deliver the uniformity of law and consistency of experience its advocates seek; that it may prove slow and cumbersome in maintaining its currency; and that it is vulnerable to the introduction of new jurisdictional differences over time. Experience across a range of other regulatory regimes teaches us that when concerns such as these materialise, the alternative to which governments often turn is greater centralisation. With this possibility in mind, the article reflects upon the lessons of the past and asks some important questions that should be answered before we commit to that future. The answers to these questions are relevant not only to the future of OHS regulation in Australia, but to all areas of business regulation that are – or may in the future be – the subject of centralising forces.
COMPETITION LAW AND MARKET REGULATION – Stephen Corones
- Counterfactual analysis in merger cases: A reality check for the ACCC – Stephen Corones
- Shootout at the real chance café: Aiming s 50 – Peter Heerey QC
BANKING AND FINANCE – Paul Ali
- New national responsible lending obligations – Bruce Taylor
For the pdf version of the table of contents, click here: ABLR Vol 39 Pt 6 Contents.