What is Legal Compliance?
The University is responsible for operating within the requirements of the law. The University must not only comply with Commonwealth and state law but in some cases International law may apply. Staff and students at the University must be aware of relevant legislation and their responsibilities under it. In most cases the requirements of law are transcribed into Universities policies and procedures, however sometimes this does not occur.
Why does UTAS need to Comply?
Failure to comply with the law can have serious consequences for people, the environment and the University, either through:
- Physical or financial damage
- Reputational damage
- Possible criminal charges and financial penalties
How do we comply?
The University's legal compliance system is developed in accordance with Australian Standard, AS3806-2006 Compliance Program. The main elements are:
- Legal Compliance Policy
- UTAS Legal Compliance Register
- Compliance monitoring system and reporting
Requirements of legislation are captured within many University policies and procedures.
Key Legislative Risks
Sanctions are coercive or punitive measures imposed by governments as a means of influencing regimes to alter their behavior. Australia imposes two main types of sanctions measures:
- multilateral sanctions (UN Sanctions) based on resolutions made by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) implemented under the Charter of the United Nations Act 1945 and its regulations
- Australian autonomous sanctions implemented under the Autonomous Sanctions Act 2011 and the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011.
Sanctions measures of particular relevance to the University include general prohibitions on providing a 'sanctioned service' and dealing with a 'designated person or entity'.
There is also a general prohibition on financial transactions of $20,000 or more with Iran.
Before collaborating with other universities or academics, researchers will need to consider whether the collaboration may contravene a sanctions measure and check the Consolidated List of all persons and entities subject to all UNSC and Australian autonomous sanctions regimes.
Where the University is involved in any collaborative research project with a party outside of Australia, the University must comply with the requirements of the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012.
The Act strengthens Australia's existing export controls by regulating the intangible (such as electronic –email, facsimile, the internet, or remote access via a server) supply of controlled military and dual-use technologies on the Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL) and brokering the supply of DSGL goods and technology and it implements the Australia-US Defence Trade Cooperation Treaty.
The measures for seeking permission to supply controlled technology to an entity outside Australia are not yet in force, as they are being introduced through a phased two-year implementation period. When the Act's offence provisions come into force, after the two year transition period, there will be an offence for the intangible supply of DSGL technology from Australia to a person outside Australia without a permit.
Individuals or organisations can self-assess whether their goods or technology are listed in the DSGL and therefore controlled by either the Customs Act 1901 (goods and tangible technology) or the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 (the supply of technology via intangible means). The university is well-placed to identify the technical capabilities of their research, goods and technology and whether these are to be exported or supplied overseas from Australia.
The University must also adhere to the Customs Amendment (Military End-Use) Act 2012 that amends the Customs Act 1901, including a power to prohibit the export of 'non-regulated' physical goods that may contribute to a military end-use that may prejudice Australia's security, defence or international relations.
The University must also adhere to the Weapons of Mass Destruction (Prevention of Proliferation) Act 1995 that ensures goods are not supplied or exported, and services are not provided, in circumstances where the goods will or may be used in, or the services will or may assist, the development, production, acquisition or stockpiling of weapons that are capable of causing mass destruction or missiles that are capable of delivering such weapons.
Work, Health and Safety
Significant changes to Tasmanian work, health and safety legislation has been enabled by the WHS team at UTAS.