Recent Cases

High Court of Australia

  • Catchwords: Immigration – Representative proceedings – Where plaintiff brought representative proceeding in High Court for damages for false imprisonment – Where claimed that Group Members purportedly detained under ss 189 and 196 of Migration Act 1958 (Cth) – Where claimed that detention for purpose of receiving, investigating or determining application for visa, or determining whether to permit valid application for visa to be made, or of removing relevant Group Member from Australia to regional processing country – Where claimed that detention lawful only for period during which purposes pursued and carried into effect as soon as reasonably practicable and capable of fulfilment – Where claimed that detention unlawful because purposes not carried into effect as soon as reasonably practicable or because detention continued at times during which purposes not capable of fulfilment – Where plaintiff applied for order remitting proceeding to Federal Court of Australia pursuant to s 44(2A) of Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth) – Where s 476B(1) of Migration Act provided that High Court must not remit matter “that relates to a migration decision” to court other than Federal Circuit Court – Where s 468B(1) and (2) provided that representative proceeding not permitted where proceeding would “raise an issue in connection with visas … or removal of unlawful non-citizens” – Whether proceeding related to migration decision – Whether proceeding raised issue in connection with visas or removal of unlawful non-citizens. Words and phrases – “class actions”, “in relation to”, “migration decision”, “raises an issue in connection with”, “relates to”, “representative proceeding”.

  • Catchwords: Practice and procedure – Representative action – Orders – Where s 33ZF of Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) and s 183 of Civil Procedure Act 2005 (NSW) provide that in representative proceeding court may make any order court thinks appropriate or necessary to ensure justice is done in proceeding – Where representative proceedings commenced in Federal Court of Australia and Supreme Court of New South Wales – Where proceedings funded by litigation funders – Where litigation funders entered into litigation funding agreements with small number of group members – Where representative parties in each proceeding applied for common fund order – Whether s 33ZF of Federal Court of Australia Act and s 183 of Civil Procedure Act empower Federal Court of Australia and Supreme Court of New South Wales to make common fund order. Words and phrases – “access to justice”, “appropriate or necessary to ensure that justice is done in the proceeding”, “award of damages”, “book building”, “common fund”, “common fund order”, “distribution of moneys recovered”, “equitable sharing of costs”, “fair and reasonable to all group members”, “free riding”, “funding commission”, “funding equalisation order”, “interests of justice”, “litigation funding”, “representative proceeding”, “risk”, “unfunded group members”.

  • Catchwords: Police – Arrest without warrant – Where s 99(1) of Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 (NSW) provides that police officer may, without warrant, arrest person if police officer suspects on reasonable grounds that person is committing or has committed offence and police officer is satisfied that arrest is reasonably necessary for one or more specified reasons – Where s 99(3) provides that police officer who arrests person under s 99 must, as soon as is reasonably practicable, take person before authorised officer to be dealt with according to law – Where police officer had not formed intention to charge arrested person with offence at time of arrest – Where police officer had not formed intention to bring arrested person before authorised officer to be dealt with according to law at time of arrest – Where arrested person brought claim for damages for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment – Whether arrest unlawful. Words and phrases – “answer a charge for an offence”, “arrest”, “arrest without a warrant”, “as soon as is reasonably practicable”, “authorised officer”, “dealt with according to law”, “false imprisonment”, “improper purpose”, “intention to charge”, “investigation period”, “police officer”, “power to arrest”, “purpose of arrest”, “suspects on reasonable grounds”.

  • Catchwords: Income tax (Cth) – Appeal against objection decision – Where Commissioner of Taxation (“Commissioner”) issued amended assessments of taxable income following commencement of audit – Where taxpayer objected to amended assessments – Where objection decision made in respect of taxpayer’s objection (“Objection Decision”) – Where further amended assessments made consequent upon Objection Decision – Where taxpayer appealed against Objection Decision under Pt IVC of Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) (“Act”) but not against further amended assessments – Where Commissioner conceded certain amounts incorrectly assessed as income (“Conceded Amounts”) – Whether appeal under Pt IVC of Act was against Objection Decision or against further amendment assessments – Whether Commissioner’s assessment excessive to extent of Conceded Amounts. Administrative law – Judicial review – Jurisdictional error – Where primary judge determined appeal against Objection Decision under Pt IVC of Act – Where Full Court of Federal Court of Australia determined appeal against decision of primary judge – Where taxpayer sought writs of certiorari in respect of decisions of primary judge and Full Court – Whether primary judge and Full Court each misconstrued jurisdiction – Whether primary judge and Full Court committed jurisdictional error – Whether taxpayer’s application for judicial review, after expiration of time in which to seek special leave to appeal, sufficient basis to dismiss application. Words and phrases – “amended assessment”, “disallowance of objection”, “excessive assessment”, “falsa demonstratio non nocet”, “grounds of objection”, “jurisdictional error”, “misconceive jurisdiction”, “non-jurisdictional error”, “objection decision”, “objection to assessment”, “refusal of relief”,

  • Catchwords: Criminal practice – Appeal – Crown appeal against sentence – Procedural fairness – Where appellant provided assistance to law enforcement authorities – Where court required by statute to take assistance into account in sentencing – Where evidence of assistance kept confidential from appellant and appellant’s legal representatives in sentencing proceedings – Where evidence contained highly sensitive criminal intelligence – Where appellant sought access to confidential evidence on appeal – Where Court of Criminal Appeal denied appellant access to confidential evidence on basis of public interest immunity – Where Court of Criminal Appeal exercised discretion under s 5D(1) of Criminal Appeal Act 1912 (NSW) to re-sentence – Whether appellant denied procedural fairness – Whether Court of Criminal Appeal had power to deny appellant access to the confidential evidence – Whether Court of Criminal Appeal should have declined to exercise discretion to re‑sentence. Words and phrases – “access to evidence”, “assistance to law enforcement authorities”, “confidential information”, “Crown appeal against sentence”, “discount in sentence”, “evidence of assistance”, “mitigating factor”, “non‑disclosure”, “open justice”, “procedural fairness”, “public interest immunity”, “residual discretion”, “tailored order”.

Full Federal Court

  • Catchwords: MIGRATION – Partner (Temporary) (Class UK) and a Partner (Residence) (Class BA) visa – s 501 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) – character test – whether Tribunal gave sufficient weight to relevant factors PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – application for adjournment

  • Catchwords: MIGRATION – application for extension of time to appeal from a decision of the Federal Circuit Court – proposed ground of appeal not raised below – proposed ground of appeal would not succeed – delay excessive – explanation unsatisfactory – application refused

  • Catchwords: DAMAGES – damages for wrongful repudiation of agreement – expectation damages – whether claim for expectation damages expressly abandoned in previous hearing – party is bound by forensic election – likelihood of attainment of a profit – whether evidence of projections of future earnings sufficient to prove a likelihood of attainment – where projections undermined by actual performance – projections rejected as reliable indicator of actual performance – whether losses arising naturally from the breach of the contract – claim for expectation damages rejected DAMAGES – reliance damages – whether reliance damages only available as an alternative to expectation damages – not bound to elect between types of damages – recoupment of reliance losses – whether trial judge included future operating expenses in calculation – onus fell on appellant to prove that the net value of the performed contract would not have covered the expenditure incurred prior to rescission – onus not met – where trial judge relied on a general percentage figure to calculate lost opportunity to recoup reliance losses – no error in approach – 30% of expenditure award maintained DAMAGES – additional mitigation damages awarded – whether sufficient basis to allow damages – whether mitigation losses can predate repudiation of the contract – losses do not logically relate to mitigation – award reduced TRADE MARKS – account of profits – where registered trade mark infringed by respondent by offering to supply and supplying applications for use on electronic devices – where trade mark used in relation to sales made both in Australia and other countries – whether profits recoverable by registered owner in respect of sales made in other countries – whether appellant clearly argued or sufficiently developed submissions with regard to applicability of s 228 of the Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth) – matter not sufficiently raised – whether sales made in other countries shown to be based on offers to sell in

  • Catchwords: INDUSTRIAL LAW — appeal from orders made by a judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia — where an employee of the first appellant engaged in protected industrial action — where the primary judge found that the first appellant took adverse action in contravention of s 340(1)(a) of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and that the second and third appellants were involved in those contraventions — where primary judge made orders with respect to compensation and pecuniary penalties INDUSTRIAL LAW — where primary judge found that each appellant had knowledge that the employee had engaged in protected industrial action — whether knowledge is a pre-condition to the engagement of the presumption in s 361 of the Act — consideration of the elements to be established in order to engage s 361 of the Act — whether the primary judge considered all of the evidence relevant to knowledge — whether this Court can assess and weigh the relevant evidence — whether it is appropriate in the circumstances to order a retrial

  • Catchwords: MIGRATION – protection visa – appeal from a decision of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia – application for judicial review of a decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) – decision of the first respondent refusing an application for a protection visa – whether the Tribunal committed jurisdictional error – whether the Tribunal failed to consider risks of harm cumulatively – whether the Tribunal misunderstood the definition of “degrading treatment or punishment” – appeal dismissed PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – whether leave ought to be granted to permit reliance upon additional ground not argued before the primary judge – whether additional ground has merit – leave refused

NSW Court of appeal