Changes to Directors’ Duties in Queensland

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Queensland has made some big changes in respect of directors’ liability.  More than eighty pieces of legislation are affected. The Directors’ Liability Reform Amendment Act 2013 (Act) was assented to on 29 October 2013 after being passed by Queensland Parliament on 16 October 2013 in response to Council of Australian Governments (COAG) guidelines agreed on 25 July 2012. The Act amends over 80 pieces of Queensland legislation containing approximately 3,800 direct executive liability provisions. The Act is substantially different from the Bill tabled last year. The number of offences have been reduced to approximately 260. There has also been a significant decrease in the number of deemed liability offences.  Notably, for the remaining offences the onus of proof is not reversed. 

The Act will commence on 1 November 2013 with minor amendments to the Crime and Misconduct Act 2001 to commence on 9 November 2013. 
 
In the second reading, the Attorney-General said ’significantly, as part of that review, the government has decided that directors liability provisions should generally not be included in state legislation and where included the case for the provision will need to be appropriately justified.’ The second reading can be found here .