The lunatics HAVE taken over the asylum

A government agency lobbying a Government for “law reform”.  This is the new wave.  Forget deep state; there is nothing deep about it.

As reported in the AFR:

Competition regulator Rod Sims has vowed to campaign on law reform to make big businesses pay for unfair contract terms in their standard contracts with individual customers and small businesses.

Interesting.  Spartacus thought that it was the role of regulatory agencies to administer the laws and it was up to the Parliament to write the laws for the regulatory agencies to administer.

Governments may seek “expert” views of regulators, but for a regulatory agency to actually lobby and campaign for law reform, that is activism and not regulation.

At least there is honesty in the ACCC.  Most other government agencies surreptitiously lobby for their agendas.

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17 Responses to The lunatics HAVE taken over the asylum

  1. Whalehunt fun

    Jail the loon.
    LOCK. HIM UP.

  2. Nob

    Do any of them, or the media reporting them, even know there is a difference?
    Do they care?
    Do they know what their job is and what restrictions it entails?

  3. Bruce

    They have been doing this for decades.

    Back in 1980, a government agency, not even an entire department, basically presented changes to some “regulations” to a couple of Feral Ministers who basically signed it, as the “Governor in Council”.

    This goes an all the time at state and Feral level.

    The “governor in council” is, essentially, the minister of the portfolio. No tabling, no readings, no debate, no “Royal Assent”, just a massive raft of regulations that massively extend the power of the “enforcers” who, of course, had a BIG hand in writing it).

    Due process? Well, it’s a process.

    Expediency, writ large.

  4. Paridell

    Spartacus thought that it was the role of regulatory agencies to administer the laws and it was up to the Parliament to write the laws for the regulatory agencies to administer.

    Spartacus appears to be under the spell of the U.S. doctrine of separation of powers. Here, it is expected that regulatory bodies (“agencies” again betrays his American sources) will mount campaigns in the public interest. If they do not, as witness ASIC and the banks, they are viewed as failing in their duty.

  5. Entropy

    Bruce, All regulations are signed by the governor in council (the governor in the presence of the premier and other minister(s)). The relevant minister must first approve the drafting of the new regulation, which can only cover things it is allowed to by an Act to which it is subordinate. The minister must approve the draft regulation and sends it to the governor who then gives it assent. The minister can’t give a Reg assent. It then must be tabled in parliament, where parliament *could* vote it down within a fortnight. Otherwise it becomes law.

  6. Snoopy

    This is exactly what the police have been doing for years.

  7. Stimpson J. Cat

    This is the first I’ve heard about it.
    Nobody told me.

  8. struth

    Anything that is not firstly presented to parliament as a bill and debated
    and passed both houses cannot be signed into law.
    Our constitution makes that perfectly clear.

    So for example if a bill gets past that states from now on whatever brainfart a minister comes up with regarding road rules will be able to be signed off as law….it’s unconstitutional.
    You can’t change the process of creating a law without constitutional change via a referendum.
    Full stop.

  9. Competition regulator Rod Sims has vowed to campaign on law reform to make big businesses pay for unfair contract terms in their standard contracts with individual customers and small businesses.

    Has this been properly quote, given it’s the AFR? Perhaps what has been proposed is a review on contractual terms that are legal, but ostensibly, unconscionable and often not understood by customers and small business owners, thus putting them at the mercy of large companies.

    Given what’s come out of the Banking Royal Commission, for example, and my own experiences with contracting with major organisations as well as what I read daily about people being screwed by such contacts, I have no doubt that there’s some substance to the claim.

  10. John Comnenus

    I wonder if those reforms will apply to government contracts? Oh of course not. They will be able to terminate for convenience apply penalties thinly disguised as liquidated damages and be able to summarily dismiss other parties employees with impunity. The worst and most unfair contractor is the government. Good luck getting the ACCC to force the government to be a good contractor.

  11. I wonder if those reforms will apply to government contracts?

    Most likely not, but governments don’t raise contracts with individuals and less often with small businesses. And anyone considering entering into a government contract would be a fool not to seek legal advice on the terms and conditions of the contract (which are pretty standard anyway – it’s the SORs that vary).

    Personally I think the ACCC is is an organisation looking for something to do and occasionally pulls its head out of its arse to see if anything is happening. Choice does a better job of identifying crap than does the ACCC, and they’re self-funded. However, if the ACCC does once in a while, by accident or not, raise a valid issue, then I think that’s a good thing.

  12. Habib

    The ACCC is mostly utterly useless, a colossal waste of time and money. They’ll no doubt get this and more money and staff, and do fuck-all. Swamp? Swamps at least produce something, even if it’s only methane and mosquitos. Where’s our Trump?

  13. Government agencies have always advised their ministers on whether amendments to existing legislation or the drafting of new legislation is needed: yes it is/no it’s not.

    Is Spartacus suggesting that if a government department, based on its experience in using its enabling legislation, saw that legislation was needed or that existing legislation was deficient, it should not advise its minister to that effect?

    Spartacus doesn’t seem to comprehend that such advice is advice and whether anything happens from that point is entirely the decision of the minister.

    A good minister, of course, based on his/her experience of what is happening and what is needed, might also direct his/her department to draft such legislation or amendments, even against the department’s advice.

    That’s the way the system works. Always has.

    The trouble with the ACCC, especially when Graeme Samuel was chairman, was that it failed to to provide good advice, failed to use the legislative powers available to it and failed to take cases to court to clarify untested legislative powers and/or concepts.

  14. Kneel

    “The ACCC is mostly utterly useless, a colossal waste of time and money.”

    Not completely – here’s my story.

    Purchased product from Telstra.
    Product required Telstra “registration” to work as advertised.
    My product was NOT registered.
    They modified it without my knowledge or permission and stopped it doing what it had before and what I purchased it for.
    I complained to Telstra. They said “too bad”.
    I complaind to ACCC.
    Telstra then decided that they could provide me with monetary compensation for my loss.
    They did, depositing said compensation direct to my account.

    So not COMPLETELY useless. Close, but not completely.

  15. Pyrmonter

    Pause for a moment and remember that these at large ‘unconscionability’ provisions were given effect to under St Antony of Waringah, that martyr to small government (in the views of some).

    Don’t say you weren’t warned …

    http://catallaxyfiles.com/2015/04/29/guest-post-pyrmonter-on-freedom-of-contract/

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