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
Important though those Act are, unfortunately no other Acts were added in the course of debate.
That unfortunately means 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 Wills have not been the subject of express provision.
They too need added flexibility in this extraordinary time.
The Succession Act 2006 does have some provisions to do with dispensing with the requirements for execution, alteration or revocation of wills but that requires approval of the Court, which does not really help much with people self-isolating and socially distancing.
The amendment to the Electronic Transactions Act 2000, 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 i see detail of any regulations being made, I will post about it in my blog
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.