COVID Emergency Measures Act

9 April 2020

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Novel Way to Amend Other Acts
COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Act 2020

The above was introduced to and passed by the NSW Parliament 24 March 2020. Its passing is not surprising.

The legislation will implement sundry COVID19 emergency measures to deal with a number of legal situations created by COVID 19.

The Act only identifies 20 NSW Acts of Parliament to be refined or suspended. They are:-

Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 Children (Detention Centres) Act 1987
Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013
Constitution Act 1902
Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999
Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007
Criminal Procedure Act 1986
Electronic Transactions Act 2000
Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979
Evidence (Audio and Audio Visual Links) Act 1998
Health Practitioner Regulation (Adoption of National Law) Act 2009
Jury Act 1977
Local Government Act 1993
Mental Health Act 2007
Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017
Private Health Facilities Act 2007
Public Health Act 2010
Retail Trading Act 2008
Subordinate Legislation Act 1989
Workers Compensation Act 1987

Legislation with particular execution and witnessing requirements, such as the Powers of Attorney Act 2003 and the Succession Act 2006 to do with making of Powers of Attorney, Wills and the like, are not the subject of express provision.

However, they need added flexibility in this extraordinary time. The Act adopts a novel way to do so.

The amendment to the Electronic Transactions Act 2000, is particularly novel. It adds a new section in very wide terms which envisages Regulations under “any relevant Act“ to alter arrangements for signature, execution witnessing certifications and the like.

These proposed regulations can override other legislation. Thankfully “any relevant Act” includes the Succession Act 2006 and the Powers of Attorney Act 2003.

As soon as detail of those envisaged regulations is seen, we will post something about it.

The above was prepared for and is intended to provide a broad general overview of issues. It is not intended, and must not be relied upon, as definitive legal advice.

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