Posted on Mar 1, 2023
Lawyers are facing a year of fast-paced change in 2023, following a flurry of legislative updates across many areas last year - from privacy to workplace safety and climate change.
The high-profile cyber attacks on Optus and Medibank have prompted organisations in all industries, including law firms, to review their cyber security and technology use. These data breaches led to significant increases in the maximum penalties under the Privacy Act for serious and repeated breaches of privacy. Lawyers must keep an eye on further changes coming, including broader consumer rights changes as well as the potential expansion of the Privacy Act to cover small businesses.
Workplace safety laws have also undergone significant reforms, and lawyers advising small and large businesses alike have had their work cut out keeping up with these changes. The changes so far have been expansive and include a new onus on employers to prevent sexual harassment and eradicate workplace cultures that are hostile to employees on the grounds of sex. As we head into 2023, lawyers need to ensure that any businesses they advise, as well as their own practices, actively respond to these changes.
Climate change and corporate responsibility are other areas set to see significant shifts in the year ahead. Following a legislative commitment to reduce Australia's net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, the government started consulting on new requirements for companies to make climate-related financial risk disclosures. Reporting on climate-related risk is closely connected with ESG and sustainability – two topics that continue to climb higher up the agenda each year for investors, shareholders, regulators, and the wider community. Lawyers have an increasingly important role in advising companies and directors on their evolving obligations.
Using your ten hours of mandatory CPD wisely means you can use your time to stay current whilst ensuring you meet your annual requirements. We've highlighted the ten most sought-after courses for 2023 to help you make the most of your ten mandatory hours of continuing legal education.