Attorney-General’s new enews on copyright has been published. It is available here. Helpfully, it notes that the Copyright Amendment Act 2006 will shortly be available on the ComLaw website and a consolidated version of the Copyright Act 1968 is likely to be available on ComLaw by the end of January 2007. Not much new there for followers of the process, except the comments on when the law is due to come into effect:

The Bill is awaiting Royal Assent. Some of the provisions in the Bill will commence on Royal Assent (new exceptions and responses to Digital Agenda review in Schedules 6-8 and Copyright Tribunal provisions in Schedules 10 and 11). The encoded broadcast provisions in Schedule 9 commence 28 days after Royal Assent and the remaining provisions (criminal offences and other provisions in Schedule 1-5 and technological protection measures provisions in Schedule 12) commence on 1 January 2007.

So here’s what I’m wondering. How can the criminal provisions come into effect when the Guidelines for enforcing the strict liability provisions haven’t been drafted? I guess this is what comes of the absence of a requirement that there be guidelines (unlike some other legislation, like the Customs Act). Why constrain a broad discretion to engage in selective enforcement, after all? (and isn’t it far from ideal that these complicated new laws come into effect even before a consolidated Copyright Act is available?)