IMPACT! National Journal of Environmental Law

IMPACT! is a contemporary and topical national journal of environmental law

As a national environmental law journal, IMPACT! focuses on the Australian legal context of these issues, with reference to the international situation where appropriate.View earlier editions in the IMPACT! archive

EDOs of Australia acknowledges and thanks the Environment and Planning Law Association NSW for sponsoring the production of Impact!

For further information or expressions of interest please contact the editor Emily Ryan on 02 9262 6989 or email us.

Impact Issues

Australia’s environment: Breaking the One-stop-shop deadlock

Australia’s environment: Breaking the One-stop-shop deadlock

By Nari Sahukar, Senior Policy and Law Reform Solicitor, EDO NSW

IMPACT! Issue 97, 2016 - Download Issue

An exploration of the 'Onestop shop' agenda for environmental approvals, under which the Australian Government devolves to state and territory governments important Commonwealth powers of assessment and approval for projects likely to significantly impact on matters of national environmental significance - such as on World Heritage properties, threatened and migratory species, important wetlands, and iconic places like the Great Barrier Reef. This article critically reviews the Australian Government's attempts to implement the agenda, highlights the problems that this poses, and offers suggestions for a smarter approach.

Queensland Litigation to Protect the Great Barrier Reef

Strategic Assessment Under the EPBC Act

Fundamental Principles for Best Practice Biodiversity Offsets

Environmental Legal Aid Slashed When Australia Needs It Most


IMPACT! Issue 96, 2014 - Download Issue

Five big challenges for the NSW planning reforms

OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises: a potential forum for environmental disputes

Fullerton Cove case “epitomises” public interest litigation

On the value of law for the planet

Recent developments in the Tarkine evidence the need for a landscape scale approach to resource management


IMPACT! Issue 95, 2013 - Download Issue

The role of the NSW Planning Assessment Commission in ‘reviewing’ planning projects

The Olympic Dam decision: Mines, Uncle Kevin and judicial review under the EPBC Act

Politics vs science – Making better decisions

Limited access to justice in environmental law in the Northern Territory


IMPACT! Issue 94, 2012 - Download Issue

Victory in defeat: A case note on MyEnvironment Inc v VicForests and the importance of public interest environmental litigation

The COAG environmental law reform agenda

The role of planning laws in protecting the environment

Carbon compliance – enforcement in Australia’s new ETS


IMPACT! Issue 93, 2012 - Download Issue

The Murray-Darling Basin and groundwater – Selling the dog twice

Merit appeal rights in New South Wales – Improving environmental outcomes

The Victorian critical electricity infrastructure offences and climate change protest

Blue Mountains Conservation Society v Delta Electricity


IMPACT! Issue 92, 2012 - Download Issue

Making Sense of the Principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development

Trends in the Application of ESD in NSW Planning

Treading Cautiously: How the NSW judiciary appear reluctant to apply the precautionary principle

Are We There Yet? The integration of ESD into environmental decision making


IMPACT! Issue 91, 2011 - Download Issue

Green Claims and the Trade Practices Act

When Green Wash Won’t Wash: Avoiding misleading environmental claims

Green Marketing: Environmental claims and consumer rights

Carbon Offsets and Consumer Protection

Environmental Labelling of Food Products

Case Study: The Debate Over Egg Labelling


IMPACT! Issue 90, 2010 - Download Issue

Pest or Protector – The Environmental Defence Lawyer in 2010

Public Interest Environmental Law in Australia: Challenges and opportunities over the next 25 years

Access to Justice and the Need for Public Interest Environmental Lawyers

Return of the Grumpy Old Greenies

Access to Justice and the Need for Public Interest Environmental Lawyers


IMPACT! Issue 89, 2010 -  Download Issue

Making law work: Compliance and enforcement of native vegetation laws in NSW

River Red Gum: Barking Owls and broken laws on the Murray River

Native vegetation management in the Northern Territory - Preserving one of the last remaining expanses of natural areas on Earth

Encouraging effective carbon sink forests: Distinguishing the good from the bad and the ugly

Natural green carbon: A critical element in the fight against dangerous climate change

BioBanking in NSW – Stalemate between landowners and developers?


IMPACT! Issue 88, 2009 - Download Issue

Much hubbub about gas

Sink or swim?: An assessment of the legal responses to rising seas

Ocean acidification: The other CO2 problem

Killing the ‘men in the grey suits’: Australia’s shark (fin) fisheries

Walking away from considering climate change

Port hinchinbrook seadumping application refused!

Cases from the deep: Key coastal cases in the public interest


IMPACT! Issue 87, 2009 - Download Issue

Agriculture and climate change: the harsh truth

Can we eat coal? Human rights and coal mining

Building food security: living in the past or reinventing the future?

Are biofuels creating unfair competition for food?

How GM food is regulated in Australia and New Zealand: A story of standards, oil and sausages...

...and more!


IMPACT! Issue 86, 2008 - Download Issue

Gunns’ Proposed Tasmanian Pulp Mill – Does the End Justify Any Means?

Slip, Slop, SLAPP: It’s Time For Action

Justice in the Northern Territory?

Civil Society and Dissent: The Federal Government Strikes Back

Abiding by the Umpire’s Decision: Special Legislation and the Planning System in NSW and Australia

Plus 3 case notes


IMPACT! Issue 85, 2008 - Download Issue

IMPACT! Issue 84

2006 - Download Issue

Bob Brown and the beetle: How two birds and a beetle saved a forest, Jacquie Svenson

Gray v Minister for Planning & Centennial Hunter Pty Ltd, Jacquie Svenson

ANEDO Submission on Amendments to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, Rachel Walmsley

Court of Appeal Ruling - Developments can be approved without a Statement of Environmental Effects, Josie Walker

Will Planning laws contribute to the extinction of cassowaries at Mission Beach?, Kirsty Ruddock

What’s New? Changes to the EP&A Act in December 2006

IMPACT! Issue 83

2006 - Download Issue

Court Case Challenges Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Coal Mines, Chris Mcgrath

Is the Precautionary Principle Still Alive in North Queensland?, Kirsty Ruddock

Environment and Planning: Community involvement and appeal rights limited by Part 3A of the EP&A Act, Ian Ratcliff

Community Litigants in the Queensland Planning and Environmental Legal System, Jo-Anne Bragg

Climate Litigation First: Californian Attorney General Sues “Big Six” Automakers for Global Warming Damages

Intergenerational and Intragenerational Equity, Honourable Justice Brian J. Preston

IMPACT! Issue 82

2006 - Download Issue

Tribunal looks at adopting precautionary approach in landfill decision, Lewis Shillito

“Illegal, Unsustainable and Unbeneficial” - External Report on Logging in Papua New Guinea

The Future of Renewable Energy in Australia

Inquiry into Australia's National Parks, Conservation Reserves and Marine Protected Areas

Chief Judge Brian Preston Defines the Precautionary Principle

International legal frameworks for climate change and biodiversity, Ilona Millar

IMPACT! Issue 81

2006 - Download Issue

Climate Change Policy Developments, Larissa Waters

Legal frameworks for joint managements of Aboriginal owned conservation Areas, Tom Holden

The invisible line between modification and substantial difference, Jess Feehely

Sanctuaries, protected species and politics - how effective is Australia at protecting its marine biodiversity under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (Part 2), Ilona Millar

IMPACT! Issue 80

2005 - Download Issue

Legal Implications of the lmpacts of Shark Meshing on Endangered Species, Jessica Simpson

Marine Sanctuaries, Protected Species and Politics How Effective is Australia at Protecting its Marine Biodiversity?, Ilona Millar

IMPACT! Issue 79

2005 - Download Issue

Disincentives for Sustainable Land and Water Management in New South Wales, David Jeffery

Grumpy Old Greenies: Waiting lists, wasted opportunities and wayward pork barrelling in Australia’s biodiversity programs, Nicola Beynon, Michael Kennedy, and Alistair Graham

Plus case updates

IMPACT! Issue 78

2005 - Download Issue

The Myth of Shareholder Primacy, Charles Berger

Compulsory Acquisition of Land for Private Parties, David Jeffery

Legal Strategies for Promoting Implementation of International Biodiversity Law in the South Pacific: Part 2, Pepe Clarke

Undermining Public Participation in Western Australia

Plus case updates

IMPACT! Issue 77

2005 - Download Issue

Legal Strategies for Promoting Implementation of International Biodiversity Law in the South Pacific: Part 1, Pepe Clarke

Plus case updates and news

IMPACT! Issue 76

2004 - Download Issue

The Precautionary Principle and the Public Interest, Jeff Smith

Plus case updates

IMPACT! Issue 75

2004 - Download Issue

Application for Jurisdictional Fact Doctrine to Controlled Action Decisions under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, Jessica Simpson

Implications of the Nathan Dam Case for Environment Assessment in Victoria, Barnaby McIlrath

Establishment of an Environment Protection Authority for the Northern Territory, Tom Cowen

Plus case updates

IMPACT! Issue 74

2004 - Download Issue

National Water Initiative, Ilona Millar

Hindmarsh Island Bridge Defamation Decision: Implications for Community Conservation Campaigns, Joanna Cull

The Changing Nature of Environmental Law: Recent Developments In Public Participation, Jeff Smith

Plus case updates

IMPACT! Issue 73

2004 - Download Issue

NSW Land and Environment Court to Hear First Climate Change Case in a Decade, Elisa Nichols

Australia-USA Free Trade Agreement Continues to Raise Significant Environmental Concerns, Jeff Smith

The State and Access to Environmental Justice From Liberal Democracy to Ecological Democracy, Dr Robin Eckersley

India’s National Environmental Law Regime: Population, Poverty and Pollution Control, Elaine Johnson

Plus case updates

IMPACT! Issue 72

2003 - Download Issue

Commonwealth Environmental and Heritage Law Amendments, Larissa Waters

Recent Developments in National Water Policy, Ilona Millar,

False and Misleading Environmental Impact Statements: Application of the Commonwealth Trade Practices Act 1974,  Warren Kalinko and Jessica Simpson

Environmental Assessment of Meander Dam Proposal, Nick Mackey

Queensland Draft Biodiscovery Bill 2003, Stephen Hall

IMPACT! Issue 71

2003 - Download Issue

Review of Commonwealth Mandatory Renewable Energy Target, Ilona Millar

Review of the Environmental Policy of the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, Elisa Nichols

Productivity Commission Inquiry: Native Vegetation and Biodiversity Regulation, Rachel Walmsley

Victorian Water Law: Environmental Flows, Barnaby McIlrath

Genetically Modified Organism Free Zones, Lee McIntosh

IMPACT! Issue 70

2003 - Download Issue

False and Misleading Referrals Under the EPBC Act, Chris McGrath

Shelburne Bay Saved from Sand Mining, Matt Patterson

South Australian Contaminated Land Law: Mobil Refinery Clean-up, Cara Dowling

Public Availability of Information under the IFOA Process - Part 2, Paul Toni

A New Model for Landscape Conservation in New South Wales: The Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists’ Report to Premier Carr, Jeff Smith

Commonwealth EPBC Act Audit and Enforcement Policy

IMPACT! Issue 69

2003 - Download Issue

New Clearing Laws Proposed for WA, Lee McIntosh

Conservationists Await Queensland’s Biodiscovery Laws, Matt Patterson

Against compensation: Water, Property Rights and the Law, Jeff Smith

International Environmental Law - Part 3: Public Participation and Environmental Impact Assessment, Gillian Walker

A Legislative Response to Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Electricity Supply Amendment (Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction) Act 2002, Elisa Nichols

IMPACT! Issue 68

2002 - Download Issue

Australian Capital Territory Proposed Bill of Rights

Western Australian Laws: Making a Photographic or Video Recording, Sandra Boulter

Public availability of information under the IFOA process, Paul Toni

International Law - Part 2: Precautionary Principle, Gillian Walker

Sustainable Development and Exercise of Judicial Discretion, Elisa Nichols

IMPACT! Issue 67

2002 - Download Issue

Hindmarsh Island Bridge: Defamation Case, Mark Parnell

Law Review: Victorian Environmental Assessment Review, Rebecca Hoare

Land Clearing and Law Reform: Synoposis of the paper delivered at the EDO Conference Sydney July 2002, Jo Bragg

International Law - Part 1: Sustainable Development, Gillian Walker

Trade Practices Act review, Paul Toni

IMPACT! Issue 66

2002 - Download Issue

Where’s Wally?: The EPBC Act and its impact on local government, Jeff Smith

The Collingwood Bay case: Protection of the environment and indigenous rights in PNG, Elisa Nichols

The Commonwealth and land clearing,  Jeff Smith

Plus case updates

IMPACT! Issue 65

2002 - Download Issue

Land clearing: reforming the law in WA,  Michael Bennett

Environmental rights: Are there implications for Australian law?, Dr Nicola Pain

Endocrine disruption: gambling with human health?, Steve Wawrzonek

Security for costs revisited: Melville v Craig Nowlan & Associates Pty Ltd & Anor [2002] NSWCA 32,  Debbie Phillips

Animal activism trumps corporate privacy: Australian Broadcasting Corporation v Lenah Game Meats Pty ltd [2201] HCA 63,  Steven Wawrzonek

IMPACT! Issue 64

2001 - Download Issue

Significant Impact: First trial under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999), Elisa Nichols

Velvet Worms Vs Woodchips: Landmark Decision on Forestry and Threatened Species in Tasmania’s Resource Management and Planning System, Stephen Hall

The new law governing genetically modified organisms, Warren Kalinko

Court Inquiry leaves Unanswered Questions, Chris Norton

Security for costs - a worrying trend?, Dr Nicola Pain

IMPACT! Issue 63

2001 - Download Issue

A critique of the Commonwealth’s renewable energy law, Warren Kalinko

Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act Wildlife Amendments, Aviva Gulley

Corporate Code of Conduct, Chris Norton

Planning for Urban Bushland, Tim Holden

IMPACT! Issue 62

2001 - Download Issue

Plan First, Court Case Later, Tim Holden and Chris Norton

Senate Committee Heritage report: Commonwealth’s heritage scheme strongly criticised, Marc Allas

Global Chemical Treaty means Australia must act on dioxin, Matt Ruchel

Pacific Youth Environment Network Calls For Global Action, Viisti Dickens

The Fraser Island Dingo Case, Chris McGrath

Plus case updates

IMPACT! Issue 61

2001 - Download Issue

WA Mining Warden finds hidden treasures at Cape Range: Finesky Holdings Pty Ltd v Australian Speleological Federation (Inc) & Others [2001] WAMW 1, Sandra Boulter

First third party test of EPBC Act: Carol Jeanette Booth v. Rohan Brien Bosworth [2000] FCA 1878, Elisa Nichols and Rob Stevenson

Tasmanian bilateral agreement signed, Louise Blazejowska

New Commonwealth heritage scheme unveiled, Louise Blazejowska

Blue Mountains listed as World Heritage, Marc Allas

Integrated natural resource management in NSW?, Tim Holden

East Timor: building a new country, Lisa A Ogle

IMPACT! Issue 60

2000 - Download Issue

A Brave New World? Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, Louise Blazejowska

EPBC Act - A Dramatic Improvement, Jamie Pittock

What role should the Commonwealth play in protecting the environment - leadership or crisis management?, John Connor and Michael Kerr

Public participation in the referrals process under the EPBC Act, Sophie Chapple

The long arm of the law: extra-territorial regulation of Australian corporations, Lisa Ogle

Book Review: “Water Law”: D.E. Fisher, LBC Information Services, Sydney 2000, Tim Holden

Plus case updates

IMPACT! Issue 59

2000 - Download Issue

The Implementation of Ecologically Sustainable and Appropriate Development, Marc Allas

Not waving, drowning! EDO Analysis of the Water Management Bill 2000 (NSW), Tim Holden

Litigation made easy? The New Federal Magistrates Court up and running, Andrew Macdonald

Plus case updates

IMPACT! Issue 58

2000 - Download Issue

The Commonwealth Government and Environment Protection Obligations: A critique of the present legal framework, Dr Cecilia O’Brien

Ministerial Directions - Legal Obligations or Mere Statements of Principle?, Louise Byrne

Community Road Kill: Standing issues in North Queensland, Michael McNamara

Regulating a Brave New Genetically Modified World, Donald K Anton

Plus case updates

IMPACT! Issue 57

2000 - Download Issue

Tuna Feedlots, ESD and the Burden of Proof, Mark Parnell

A Brave New Genetically Modified World? A Look at the Gene Technology Bill 2000 (Cth), Donald K Anton

Australia’s new nuclear watchdog – has it got teeth?, Jean McSorley

Environmental Reporting at the Crossroads, Marc Allas

The New Queensland Vegetation Management Act 1999, Jo-Anne Bragg

IMPACT! Issue 56

1999 - Download Issue

A New Green Agenda – New Commonwealth Environmental Laws: A Review of the EDO Network Conference, Tim Holden and Katherine Wells

The Southern Bluefin Tuna Cases: Provisional Measures and the Precautionary Approach, Donald K Anton

The Draft National Framework for the Management and Monitoring of Australia’s Native Vegetation, Donald K Anton

EDO Network Response to the Consultation paper Issued by Environment Australia: “Regulation and Guidelines under the EPBC Act 1999, Katherine Wells

An Overview of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999: A State’s Perspective, John Scanlon and Megan Dyson

Plus case updates

IMPACT! Issue 55

1999 - Download Issue

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Commonwealth): An EDO Perspective, Katherine Wells

A Year of Integrated Development Assessment: What Has Been Achieved?, Chris Norton

Subverting the Rule of Law? Retrospective Legislation in NSW Environmental Planning, Chris Norton

Upcoming WTO 3rd Ministerial Conference: Conspicuous Absence of Environmental Concern, Donald K Anton

Plus case updates

IMPACT! Issue 54

1999 - Download Issue

Security for Costs – Restricting Justice to the Wealthy?, Chris Norton

Review of NSW’s Strategic Land-use Planning Legislation, Katherine Wells,

Industrial Chemicals, NICNAS and Confidential Listing: Time to Open the Doors, Don Anton

Queensland Code Assessment, Joanne Bragg and Fleur Kingham

Papua New Guinea Landowners Win Damages for Illegal Logging, Lisa Ogle

Book Review: The Environmental Law Handbook 3rd Edition, Marc Allas

IMPACT! Issue 53

1999 - Download Issue

Towards Ecologically Sustainable Development: Benchmarking Corporate Performance and the Company Law review Act 1998, Donald K Anton

Greening the Warden’s Court: Michael Bennett

Tricky Legal Business: The Impact of Legal processes on the Campaign Against the Hindmarsh Island Bridge, Greg Ogle

Plus case updates

IMPACT! Issue 52

1998 - Download Issue

Community Land Goes Back to the People, Chris Norton

Safe Speech, Bruce Donald

Reforming the Aquaculture Approval Process in South Australia, Mark Parnell

Regulatory Flexibility, James Johnson

Aboriginal Ownership of National Parks in NSW, Tim Moore

Access to Justice – Are you Getting Enough?, James Johnson

Plus case updates

IMPACT! Issue 51

1998 - Download Issue

Bill Fails Environment Test: The Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Bill 1998, Katherine Wells

Leaving it in the Ground is Hard Yakka: Update on Jabiluka Uranium Mine Protests: Robin Dyall

New Visions for NSW National Parks: James Tedder

Go West! Review of the NSW Western Lands Act, Jamie Pittock

All Washed Up – Integrated Protection and Management of Australia’s Oceans for the 21st Century, Andrew Sorensen

Public Access to Government Documents, James Johnson

Book review: Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism, Katherine Wells

Plus case updates

IMPACT! Issue 50

1998 - Download Issue

Environmental Laws for the 21st Century: What Role for the Commonwealth, Donald K Anton

How Will the New Native Vegetation Laws Work? Critique from Environmental Lobby, Jamie Pittock

International Investment and the Environment: A Look at the Draft Multilateral Agreement on Investment, Donald K Anton

Public Participation Under the ACT’s New Environment Protection Law, Rosemary Budavari

Local Government Amendment Bill 1998: Pecuniary Interest Refined, Andrew Burke

IMPACT! Issue 49

1998 - Download Issue

No, You May Not Approach the Bench: Clamping Down on Public Interest Environmental Law, Donald K Anton

More than an Empty Principle?  The Precautionary Principle and the New Queensland Integrated Planning Act, Jo-Anne Bragg

What’s Sauce for the Goose is Sauce for the Gander: Regulating the Commonwealth Through NEPMs, Donald K Anton

Agricultural Land Use: Sustainable Agriculture in Tasmania, Susan Gunter

Environmental Action in the NSW Parliament, Katherine Wells

Heritage Legislation in NSW – Past, Present & Future, Stephen Gow

Book Review: Environmental Incentives. Australian Experience with Economic Instruments for Environmental Management, Environmental Economics Research Paper No 5, Andrew Sorensen

IMPACT! Issue 48

1997 - Download Issue

Approve First – Assess Later: Is Commonwealth Environmental Impact Assessment an Empty Ritual?, Andrew Sorensen

The Need for Reform: Biodiversity Conservation and the Commonwealth Endangered Species Protection Act 1992, Andrew Sorensen

Development Approvals, Cassowaries and the Nature Conservation Act, Rowan Silva

Native Vegetation Conservation Bill, NSW, David Galpin

Book Review: Applying the Precautionary Principle, Lisa Ogle

IMPACT! Issue 47

1997 - Download Issue

Environmental Protection in Australia: The Need to Realize Commonwealth Potential, Donald K Anton

Making Objections Under the Mining Act (Northern Territory), Robin Dyall

Business Attacks Public Interest Litigation, James Johnson

Plus case updates

IMPACT! Issue 46

1997 - Download Issue

Paying the Environmental Public Interest Litigation Bill: A Look at Australian Law Reform Commission Report No 75, Donald K Anton

Major Changes Proposed to NSW Planning Laws: The NSW EDO’s Submission on the Draft Integrated Development Assessment Bill, Katherine Wells

Pollution Laws: For Better or Worse?, James Johnson

The NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act: Key Issues for the Review of the Act, Katherine Wells

Plus case updates

IMPACT! Issue 45

1997 - Download Issue

Dugongs and Developers: Why People Get Confused by the Law, James Johnson

Protection of the Environment Operations Bill 1996: Keeping the Public in the Dark, Lisa Ogle

Commonwealth/State Roles Responsibilities for the Environment, James Johnson

Native Vegetation Protection on Hold, Jamie Pittock

A Trickle Through the Floodgates: Applications for Leave Under S.25 Environmental Offences & Penalties Act 1989, Andrew Sorensen

The Justification for Environmental Defender’s Offices, David Mossop

IMPACT! Issue 44

1996 - Download Issue

Streamlining Approvals: The NSW Government Green Paper, James Johnson

Time Limitations on Land and Environment Court Actions, David Galpin

They're Changing the Defamation Laws Again. Is this Good for the Environment?, Bruce Donald

Book Review: Environmental Politics and Institutional Change, Nicola Franklin

Plus case and policy updates

IMPACT! Issue 43

1996 - Download Issue

Managing Contaminated Land in New South Wales: Proposals for a New Legislative and Administrative Framework, James Johnson

The Significance of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Susan Stanton

Environmental Planning and Assessment Act - a Critique, Andrew Sorensen

Case Notes on Recent Interlocutory Injunctions in the Land and Environment Court

Book Review: Environmental Impact Assessment in Australia: Theory and Practice, Ian Thomas

Plus case updates

IMPACT! Issue 42

1996 - Download Issue

Who Can Sue? A Review of the Law of Standing: Standing in Environmental Matters, Maria Comino

Update on Standing, James Johnson

Waste Reform Process Gathers Momentum, Paddy Manning

The Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 – What Does it Mean in Practice?, James Johnson

Plus case updates

IMPACT! Issue 41

1996 - Download Issue

Prevention is Better than Cure: Toxic Chemical Pollution, Community Right-to-Know and Toxics Use Reduction, Ian Clyde

Energy Revolution, Jeff Angel

Timber Plantations (Harvest Guarantee) Act 1995 – A Threat to Native Forests, James Johnson

Civil Remedies Under the Environmental Offences and Penalties Act (EOPA) 1989, Warren Kalinko

Plus case updates