TechDirt – Glyn Moody – Here on Techdirt, we are big fans of technology and innovation — provided, of course, they are not abused. That means we always happy to see ways of promoting research and development. The state of South Australia (SA) has come up with a rather novel approach to doing just that, spotted by Computerworld:
SA’s lower house last month passed the Research, Development and Innovation Bill 2017. The proposed legislation is currently being considered by the state’s Legislative Council.
The bill would allow a minister — via a recommendation to the state’s governor — to suspend the application of laws or regulations to research and development projects or activities in the state.
The logic of the proposed legislation (pdf) seems to be that since technology generally moves much faster than legislation, there may be outdated laws and regulations preventing innovative new products or services from being developed. Rather than trying to repeal or modify those laws — a process that is invariably long, and often impossible in practice — they are put into abeyance for up to 18 months, with a possible further 18 months’ extension, in order to allow research and development to proceed immediately. However, as the Law Society of South Australia points out in an open letter to the state’s attorney-general (pdf):