2007 business regulation in review

2007 ended with a "one in 10 year" change of federal government which in retrospect defined 2007 as a  year of policy reviews and proposals mixed in with marginal regulatory improvements and some significant court decisions.

Whilst 2008 is likely to bring substantive regulatory changes in the areas of commonwealth-state relations, business deregulation, climate change, freedom of information, tax reform and workplace relations, 2007 was a year of media releases in preparation for an election.

At the same time, regulators sought to show they were effectively implementing and enforcing their area of supervision.

What happened in 2007?

The Do Not Call Register started.

Anti-money laundering law implementation continued.

In financial services regulation, Basel II starts on 1 January 2008 after a long gestation period.

The Corporations Act was updated with the Simpler Regulatory System changes.

ASIC defended itself against criticisms of its performance of its consumer protection mandate and launched some major actions with mixed results. (Westpoint, Citigroup)

The ACCC had some successful cartel and price-fixing prosecutions (including Visy).

The Access Card proposal sank without a trace.

What are the "sleeper issues"?

Privacy and security of customer data (especially electronically stored information) and business integrity and ethics (eg AWB) are issues that will continue to trouble businesses.

I’ll continue this blog in 2008 with my RSS feeds, regular email newsletters and occasional podcasts. Thank you for reading.

NEW YEAR BONUS: 2007 has seen a few new Australian legal blogs…check them out here

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