The Investigation Powers of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission

The Australian Securities and investments commission has extensive powers of investigation and information gathering. These powers are not limited to the exercise of functions under chapter 7 of the corporations act because the Australian securities and investments commission can cooperate with the Australian Stock Exchange in regulation activities.

The body can receive complaints from many informal sources. Of course, complaints may be made to other bodies such as the stock exchange although its responsibilities are limited to VISTA companies and its sanctions are considered to be constrained by their contractual foundation and limited statutory supplements. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is the principal complaints handling body by reason of its statutory responsibilities and powers given to it under part three of the relevant legislation. The exercise of the statutory powers enables the body to gather information which may used to launch criminal, civil or administrative proceedings relief, remedy or other section. As noted, these powers are not limited to their application to the financial market provisions of chapter 7 but applied to the generality of provisions of the act. However, many complaints received by the commission apply to investigations made upon its own intuitive understanding of events and will not normally involve the exercise of formal powers under part three, unless informal investigation indicates a need some more formal enquiry and the exercise of coercive powers granted to the agency under part three.

An investigation conducted under the investigative powers of the agency has significance not to elicit the information of the widgets triggers for the range of may be founded upon the mere fact of the commencement or upon evidence obtained during the. First, where is the result of an investigation it appears to the agency that a person may have committed an offence against the corporations legislation and ought to be prosecuted for defence, the agency may initiate a prosecution. The agency may require a person other than the the the the water were reasonably believes can give information relevant prosecution to provide assistance. Secondly, where, following an investigation examination under part three, it appears to the agency to be in the public interest per person to sue for damages from his conduct committee in connection with the matter to which investigation examination related, or for the recovery of a person’s property, the agency may commence such proceedings in the person’s name.

Thirdly, the fact that investigation has been initiated permits the agency to seek protective orders. The agency may also release the record of an investigation to a lawyer to the proceedings were at the party, if the commencement of an investigation confer standing to seek statutory remedies of wider application. Sixthly, statements made on an examination are admissible against examinees in criminal proceedings, subject to protective provisions relating to self-incrimination and legal professional privilege. The report of the investigation itself is admissible in civil proceedings as privacy evidence and matters disclosed. So the agency does have a quite broad powers to investigate the misconduct of corporations and to gather information about these issues.

Surrogacy: The Legal and Ethical Issues

The ever-raising pervasiveness of sterility world has lead to the advancement of Assisted Reproductive Technique (ART) treatments. Herein, the surrogacy comes as an alternative where the sterile couples can have the baby through this process. Surrogacy is an agreement where a substitute mother bears and delivers a baby for commissioning couple. Gestational surrogacy is the most common type of surrogacy arrangement which is also considered legal by many state laws. In gestational surrogacy, an embryo, which is fertilized by In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), is implanted into the uterus of a substitute mother who carries pregnancy for nine months and delivers a healthy baby. In traditional surrogacy, which is not popular and also considered illegal by many state laws, the substitute mother is impregnated by the sperms of commissioning father by Artificial Insemination (AI) therapy. In traditional surrogacy process, the substitute mother is genetically connected to the new-born. Therefore, this type of surrogacy is banned by most of the state laws.

At a glance, the surrogacy process seems to be very attractive alternative for poor women as they get good money by this process. The commissioning couples get their long desired biologically connected baby, but the real fact divulges the bitter truth. In most of countries like England, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Italy, surrogacy and surrogate agreements are considered illegal. These countries do not allow both types of surrogacy. Therefore, infertile couples from these countries move to India, United States of America, Ukraine and California where the surrogacy is considered legal. However, it is painful to know that none of these countries have proper legislation for surrogacy. Due to lack of proper legislation and transparency in the system, both commissioning couples and surrogate mother are exploited and profit is earned by the middlemen. There may be chances of getting involved in legal problems as none of these countries have regulations and transparency in laws governing surrogacy.

When the commissioning couples visit other countries to realize their dreams of parenthood by having a biological baby, they need to fight a long legal battle by crossing the language and cultural barrier to get their baby. Even if everything goes well with the commissioning couples, they need to stay at least two to three months to complete the required formalities after the birth of a new-born. While the intended couples face all these difficulties, surrogate mothers have another set of problems. The things with the surrogate mothers are even worse and unethical. If the substitutes are selected from rural background, the middlemen exploit them constantly. Sometimes, these ladies even don’t get complete compensation paid by the intended parents.

In conclusion, we can say that, if commissioning couple desire to have their own biological child, they need to contact the best agency where they will be guided legally and ethically, where the agencies conduct psychological screening and legal counselling for surrogate mothers (mandatory in the US). If you succeed in finding the best agency, then you can realize your dreams of parenthood without any legal and ethical difficulties.

Website Legal Compliance – FTC Accelerates Crackdown On Fake News Sites

We’ve all seen headlines in search results like this one – “XYZ Exposed: Miracle Diet or Scam”. And perhaps we actually believed there was objective reporting or unbiased commentary behind the headline. But after reading the web page, it was clear that the headline was just a clever way to catch your attention and lure you to a sales page with an aggressive sales pitch.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has seen these headlines too, and the FTC doesn’t think they’re clever at all. In fact, the FTC believes they constitute deceptive and unfair trade practices, as indicated by the FTC’s accelerated crackdown on affiliates of a popular diet drink with aggressive weight loss claims.

Modus Operandi

The modus operandi of these sites was to start with attention grabbing headlines such as the one listed above and these additional ones – “News 6 News Alerts,” “Health News Health Alerts,” or “Health 5 Beat Health News.”

The sites presented what appeared to be a skeptical commentator who raises the question of whether the diet drink is really effective. The commentator appeared to be objective; however, after a few paragraphs the commentator would conclude that use of the diet drink would result in a 25-pound weight loss in 4 weeks – all this without changing diet or exercise according to the FTC.

The prices for the supplement ranged between $70 and $100.

The FTC’s Claims

When the FTC originally initiated law suits against these sites, Charles Harwood, Deputy Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection stated: “We are alleging that nearly everything about these Web sites is false and deceptive”. In addition, the FTC pointed out that the defendants aggressively promoted the deceptive ads by spending millions of dollars for placement on high volume websites resulting in millions of views by consumers and substantial sales.

Specifically, the FTC contended that the offending sites –

* failed to disclose their material relationships involving the payment of affiliate commissions with the merchants of the products;

* failed to produce independent tests to support the claims made prior to public dissemination;

* included a section of “consumer comments” that were completely fabricated;

* used infringing logos of reputable media outlets such as ABC, Fox News, CNN and Consumer Reports to give the false impression of credibility; and

* misappropriated the image of a French reporter for use on the sites.

The Settlements

The cases brought by the FTC were against six affiliates of the merchant that manufactured and supplied the weight loss supplement.

In the settlements, the defendants agreed that they will permanently cease their allegedly deceptive practice of using fake news websites. In addition, the settlements require that the defendants cease making deceptive claims about their other products, including work-at-home schemes and penny auctions which most of them promoted.

The big hammer in the settlements included fines in an aggregate amount which represented the affiliate commissions the defendants received through their fake news sites.

These settlement results clearly indicate that the FTC aggressively pursued every dollar they could under the circumstances (the final amounts left most of them with few real assets, if any):

* one defendant’s $2.5 million judgment was suspended when he pays $280,000 and records a $39,500 lien on his home;

* another defendant’s fine of $204,000 was suspended pending the payment of $13,000 plus the proceeds from the sale of a BMW automobile, and

* still another defendant was suspended pending the payment of almost $80,000 over a 3 year period.

Conclusion

The take-aways from these cases include –

* fake news sites are virtually guaranteed to get you sued by the FTC,

* ditto for fake testimonials or user comments,

* diet supplements of any kind are high on the FTC’s radar screen for regulatory scrutiny,

* the FTC is serious about enforcing its guidelines that affiliates are required to conspicuously disclose the fact that they are paid commissions for endorsements, and

* consistent with the FTC’s long-standing policy, advertising claims should be substantiated prior to public dissemination.

The FTC continues to make it absolutely clear that the days of the “Wild, Wild West” on the Internet, when it was open season on deceptive marketing practices, is clearly over for good.

This article is provided for educational and informative purposes only. This information does not constitute legal advice, and should not be construed as such.