Privacy Legislation Amendment Bill 2022
The Parliament of Australia recently approved the Privacy Legislation Amendment Bill 2022, amending the Privacy Act of 1988. The bill increases data breach fines to as much as AU$50 million or based on data monetisation and 30% of adjusted quarterly turnover. A new three-factor penalty scheme, considering the severity, length, and cooperation of the breach, will determine the appropriate fine, crucial in ensuring privacy in the digital age.
Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011
The Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011 allows for the crediting of greenhouse gas reduction from emissions reduction activities. The 2014 amendment established the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) with three components: crediting emissions reductions, purchasing emissions reductions, and safeguarding emissions reductions. The ERF incentivises reducing or avoiding emissions and sequestering carbon in soil or trees.
Education and Training (Welfare of Children) Act 2021
The Education and Training (Welfare of Children) Act 2021 is to impose responsibilities on certain education and training providers to ensure the safety and well-being of children. This act was enacted by Her Majesty the Queen, with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in the present Parliament, and with the authority of the same.
Health and Social Care Levy (Repeal) Act 2022
The UK has enacted the Health and Social Care Levy (Repeal) Act 2022, which repeals the Health and Social Care Levy Act 2021 which was enacted in October 2021. The original act aimed to increase funding for health and social care through a new 1.25% tax based on National Insurance contributions (NICs) for individuals who were still working and earning above the state pension age. The new tax was to go into effect in April 2023 but has now been repealed. Instead, the government has chosen to fund the increase in health and social care through other means.
Federal Climate Protection Act 2019
The Federal Climate Protection Act in Germany outlines the country’s plan to combat global warming and meet European Union targets. It balances environmental, social, and economic consequences and aligns with the Paris Agreement and UNFCCC. The Act’s goal is to limit global warming to 2°C, with a target of 1.5°C. In accordance with the goals stipulated in the Act, Germany seeks to honour its commitment to the UN climate summit in New York on the 23rd of September 2019 to pursue Greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050.
Labour Protection Law
The Labour Protection Law requires employers to prioritise the health and safety of their workers. Employers are obligated to minimise physical and mental health hazards in the workplace and to take extra precautions to protect vulnerable employees. Non-compliance with these regulations can result in penalties including fines up to 25,000 euros and possible imprisonment for up to one year for repeated intentional or negligent acts that endanger the life or health of workers.
Terrorism Prevention and Intelligence Gathering 2021
The law renews and expands on measures from a 2017 law, including the ability of the government to close places of worship promoting terrorism, and the use of algorithms to scan internet data for terrorist activity. The law also authorises the use of satellite interceptions, restricts access to national security archives, and allows the government to scramble drone signals. The Conseil Constitutionnel found most provisions constitutional but struck down provisions for 2-year monitoring of terrorism convicts and limited the provisions on national security archives.
Child Influencers Protection Law 2020
The law protects child influencers on platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram by treating them similarly to child actors and models (< 16yrs old) under the French Labor Code. Parents must now seek government authorisation before their child can engage in online activities that can be considered a labour relation. The new legislation also covers situations where the child earns a significant amount of money or spends a lot of time making videos, requiring the parents to submit a declaration to the government. The child’s income will be protected, with a portion going to the parents and the rest to a savings account accessible when the child becomes an adult. The law also grants minors the right to request the removal of their videos from platforms.
Italian Sunshine Act 2022
The Italian Sunshine Act came into effect in June 2022 and requires transparency in the relationship between life sciences and healthcare companies, healthcare professionals, and healthcare organisations. Companies must publicly disclose transfers of value, agreements with healthcare providers, and identification details of healthcare providers who hold shares/bonds. The law also allows for administrative monetary sanctions and whistleblowing reports that must be addressed directly to the Ministry of Health. Sanctions will be made public on the Ministry of Health website and will be entered into the Telematic Public Registry. The law requires companies to provide more information in employment contracts and the reporting of data.
Environment and Climate Change Law 2022
Environmental protection is a global priority due to increasing pollution and climate change. Italy has updated its legislation to address environmental issues, including the mandatory use of green procurement for certain public contracts. The constitutional protection for the environment lacks enforcement, but the development of environmental legislation in Italy started in the 80s and culminated in the Public Contract Code which provides legal protection and combats pollution.
The Protection from Harassment Act 17 of 2011
The Protection from Harassment Act 17 of 2011 in South Africa aims to protect individuals from harassment by offering legal remedies, such as protection orders. The act also amends the Firearms Control Act to prevent individuals with protection orders from possessing firearms. The goal is to create a safe and secure environment for citizens and provide an effective system for protection against harassment.
South African Judicial Education Institute Act 14 of 2008
The South African Judicial Education Institute Act 14 of 2008 establishes a national education and training institution for the judiciary with the goal of promoting independence, impartiality, dignity, accessibility, and effectiveness of the courts through judicial education. The aim of the institute is to provide proper, appropriate, and transformational judicial education and training to aspiring and newly appointed judicial officers, as well as continued training for experienced judicial officers, in order to enhance judicial accountability and transform the judiciary in line with the values mentioned in the Constitution.
General Law for Sustainable Forest Development in Mexico 2020
Mexico has updated its General Law for Sustainable Forest Development, replacing the 2003 version. The new law aims to promote sustainable forest management to reduce emissions and increase carbon stocks, while also considering sustainable rural development. The federal state has the responsibility to develop strategies to avoid carbon loss and increase carbon stocks in forests. The definition of “forest land” has been expanded to include all areas covered by forests according to the international classification, with licensing procedures, fines, and land use planning affected. The Regulation of the General Law of Sustainable Forest Development was approved in 2020, replacing the 2005 version.
Special Tax Law on Production and Services (Carbon Tax and Credits) 2013
Mexico introduced its carbon tax in 2012, which is applied to the sales and imports of fossil fuels by manufacturers, producers, and importers, capped at 3% of the sales price of the fuel. The tax is based on the additional emissions generated compared to using natural gas, which is not taxed. Companies can opt to pay the tax using credits from local carbon trading schemes within Mexico. The carbon tax is updated annually and announced in December for implementation on January 1st. The 2013 amendments also introduced carbon credits for projects under the UNFCCC to pay taxes using credits based on the carbon market price, determined by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit.
The Intellectual Property and Antitrust Laws 2018
Argentina protects Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) under its Federal Constitution and competition through the Federal Constitution and the Competition Law of 2018. The Competition Law applies to entities engaged in economic activities in or outside the country, as long as it affects Argentina. It prohibits behaviour that restricts competition and competition entry or abuse of dominance and may harm the general economic interest. Hardcore cartels are deemed illegal, while other conduct is subject to a rule of reason analysis. IPRs and competition have developed independently from each other in Argentina so far.
SOE Monitoring Framework 2016
In 2016, the Argentine government introduced a new framework to monitor State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) to reduce information asymmetries and improve the performance of these companies. Companies must now provide monthly information on their financial and operational situation, including management indicators aligned with the strategic plans agreed upon with the JGM and shareholder/Ministry. The aim of the new framework is to provide relevant and reliable data to better evaluate the performance of SOEs.
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA)
Signed into law on August 16, 2022, directs new federal spending toward reducing carbon emissions, lowering healthcare costs, funding the Internal Revenue Service, and improving taxpayer compliance. The act aims to catalyze investments in domestic manufacturing capacity, encourage procurement of critical supplies domestically or from free-trade partners, and jump-start R&D and commercialization of leading-edge technologies such as carbon capture and storage and clean hydrogen. It also allocates money directly to environmental justice priorities and requires recipients of many funding streams to demonstrate equity impacts. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the law will reduce budget deficits by $237 billion over the next decade.
The CHIPS and Sciences Act of 2022
Signed into law on August 9, 2022, is designed to boost US competitiveness, innovation, and national security. The law aims to catalyze investments in domestic semiconductor manufacturing capacity. It also seeks to jump-start R&D and commerciali¬zation of leading-edge technologies, such as quantum computing, AI, clean energy, and nanotechnology, and create new regional high-tech hubs and a bigger, more inclusive science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce. The CHIPS Act directs $280 billion in spending over the next ten years. The majority—$200 billion—is for scientific R&D and commercialization. Some $52.7 billion is for semiconductor manufacturing, R&D, and workforce development, with another $24 billion worth of tax credits for chip production. There is $3 billion slated for programs aimed at leading-edge technology and wireless supply chains.