Kiefel CJ, Bell, Gageler, Keane, Nettle, Gordon, Edelman JJ
Date: 29 Mar 2017 Case Number: S170/2016
Legal practitioners – Negligence – Advocates' immunity from suit – Where settlement offer made and rejected on first day of trial – Where rejection of settlement offer followed by judicial decision – Where damages awarded lower than settlement offer – Where solicitor and barrister alleged to have given negligent advice in relation to settlement offer – Whether advice affected conduct of case in court by bearing upon court's determination of case – Whether advocate immune from suit.
High Court – Stare decisis – Whether Attwells v Jackson Lalic Lawyers Pty Ltd (2016) 90 ALJR 572; 331 ALR 1;  HCA 16 should be reopened.
Words and phrases – "advocates' immunity", "affecting the conduct of the case", "finality", "functional connection", "intimately connected", "judicial determination", "possibility of challenge to findings".
200 CLR 286; 74 ALJR 1298; 174 ALR 626
Gleeson CJ, Gaudron, McHugh, Gummow, Kirby, Hayne, Callinan JJ
Date: 31 Aug 2000 Case Number: C16/1999
Workers' compensation (ACT) – Injury - Personal injury arising in the course of employment - Employee had diseased heart valve and suffered a lesion caused by a blood clot which resulted in a stroke - Whether mutually exclusive statutory regimes for "injury" and "disease".
Words and phrases – "injury" - "disease" - "lesion".
Workers' Compensation Act 1951 (ACT) – ss 6(1), 7(1), 9, 9A, 9B.
Workers Compensation Act 1987 (NSW) – s 4.
238 CLR 366; 83 ALJR 145; 251 ALR 257
French CJ, Gummow, Hayne, Heydon, Kiefel JJ
Date: 3 Dec 2008 Case Number: M25/2008 M26/2008
Family law – Courts having jurisdiction in matrimonial causes - Powers - Jurisdiction under s 79(1) of Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) to make orders - "Proceedings with respect to the property of the parties to the marriage or either of them" - Definition of "property" of parties to marriage - Whether right of wife with respect to due administration of trust and discretionary power of husband to appoint whole of trust assets to wife constituted part of the property of the parties to the marriage.
Family law – Courts having jurisdiction in matrimonial causes - Powers - s 85A of Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) - Court's power to make orders respecting property the subject of "ante-nuptial or post-nuptial settlements made in relation to the marriage" - Whether contributions by parties to existing trust are post- nuptial settlements - Whether just and equitable - Interests of third parties.
Family law – Courts having jurisdiction in matrimonial causes - Powers - s 79(1) of Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) - Whether "parties to the marriage or either of them" includes reference to persons who were parties to marriage since dissolved before court makes an order - Power of court to proceed in property settlement "as if" changes to property rights otherwise brought about by anterior divorce had not yet occurred.
Family law – Divorce and other matrimonial causes - Division of assets - Trusts and trustees - Wife one of the class of objects of discretionary trust - Right in equity to due administration of trust - Whether existence of such a right depends on entitlement to any fixed and transmissible beneficial interest in trust fund.
Statutory construction – Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) - Policy regarding contributions to property - Relevance to provisions relating to orders with respect to settlement of property.
Statutory construction – Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) - s 85A - Purposes with respect to settlement - Degree of association ("made in relation to") between settlement of property and marriage.
Words and phrases – "ante-nuptial or post-nuptial settlements" "made in relation to" "parties to the marriage or either of them" "property" "with respect to the property of the parties to the marriage".
Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) – Pt VIII, ss 4, 79, 80, 85A, 106B.
88 ALJR 947; 313 ALR 451
French CJ, Hayne, Bell, Gageler, Keane JJ
Date: 9 Oct 2014 Case Number: S113/2014
Criminal law – Appeal – Application to extend time within which to apply for leave to appeal against sentence – Principles to be applied in determining whether extension of time should be granted – Whether applicant required to demonstrate that refusal of application would occasion substantial injustice – Relevance of principle of finality – Relevance of prospect of success should extension be granted – Whether extension of time should be granted.
Criminal law – Appeal – Appeal against sentence – Appellate court's power to re-exercise sentencing discretion – Where error of the kind identified in House v The King (1936) 55 CLR 499 established – Whether appellate court must form positive opinion that some other sentence is warranted in law before intervening.
Words and phrases – "Abdul test", "principle of finality", "substantial injustice", "warranted in law".
Criminal Appeal Act 1912 (NSW) – ss 6(3), 10(1)(b).
Criminal Appeal Rules (NSW) – rr 3A, 3B.
237 CLR 268; 83 ALJR 680; 254 ALR 637
French CJ, Gummow, Hayne, Heydon, Crennan, Kiefel, Bell JJ
Date: 29 Apr 2009 Case Number: S311/2008
Practice and procedure – Appeals - Availability of appeal where trial in District Court of New South Wales conducted with jury - Where trial judge entered "verdict" for defendant following jury's answers to questions - Whether appellant a party "dissatisfied with a Judge's - judgment or order in an action" within meaning of District Court Act 1973 (NSW), s 127(1) - Relevance of absence in Supreme Court Act 1970 (NSW) of express provision conferring power on Court of Appeal in relation to appeals from District Court trial with jury.
Practice and procedure – Appeals - Where right of appeal exists in respect of "a Judge's - judgment or order in an action" - Relevance of cases dealing with phrase "all judgments, decrees, orders, and sentences" in Constitution, s 73.
Words and phrases – "all judgments, decrees, orders, and sentences", "Judge's - judgment or order in an action".
Defamation Act 1974 (NSW) – s 7A.
District Court Act 1973 (NSW) – ss 126, 127(1).
Supreme Court Act 1970 (NSW) – ss 22, 75A.
78 ALJR 1022; 207 ALR 1
McHugh, Gummow, Hayne, Callinan, Heydon JJ
Date: 23 Jun 2004 Case Number: B52/2003 B53/2003
Planning law – Compensation for alleged diminution in value of land – Appellant owned land in Noosa – Town planning scheme amended by a Development Control Plan ("DCP") – DCP constrained development potential of appellant's land thereby diminishing its market value – Appellant sought compensation from respondent pursuant to Local Government (Planning and Environment) Act 1990 (Q) ("the Act"), s 3.
5(1) – Compensation not payable where land affected by a planning scheme which had the effect of prohibiting or restricting "use of land or erection or use of building or other structure thereon for a particular purpose" – Whether the Act precluded appellant's claim for compensation.
Courts – Jurisdiction – Trial of one of several separate issues – Issue reserved for later determination – Appeal to Court of Appeal with respect to issue decided – Whether Court of Appeal erred in determining issue reserved for later determination.
Local Government (Planning and Environment) Act 1990 (Q) – ss 3.
207 CLR 1; 75 ALJR 518; 177 ALR 460
Gleeson CJ, McHugh, Gummow, Hayne, Callinan JJ
Date: 15 Feb 2001 Case Number: S75/2000
Patents – Validity – Revocation – Whether invention sufficiently described – Whether complete specification includes claims – Whether sufficiency determined by reference to skilled addressee.
Words and phrases – "invention" – "complete specification" – "skilled addressee".
Patents Act 1952 (Cth).
Patents Act 1990 (Cth) – ss 40(2), 40(3), 138.
French CJ, Kiefel, Gageler, Keane, Nettle JJ
Date: 10 Jun 2015 Case Number: A26/2014
Negligence – Duty of care – Mental harm – Motor accident – Civil Liability Act 1936 (SA) – Appellant negligently drove motor vehicle resulting in death of passenger – Respondent witnessed aftermath – Respondent later realised brother died in accident – Whether appellant as driver owed duty of care to passenger's brother not to cause mental harm – Whether mental harm to brother of person killed foreseeable under s 33 of Civil Liability Act – Whether sibling relationship relevant to foreseeability.
Negligence – Damages for mental harm – Civil Liability Act 1936 (SA) – Whether respondent present at scene of accident when accident occurred – Whether accident includes aftermath.
Words and phrases – "accident", "duty of care", "incident", "present at the scene of the accident when the accident occurred", "proximity", "reasonably foreseeable".
Civil Liability Act 1936 (SA) – ss 33, 53(1)(a).
215 CLR 150; 77 ALJR 1477; 199 ALR 568
Gleeson CJ, Gummow, Kirby, Callinan, Heydon JJ
Date: 6 Aug 2003 Case Number: P28/2001
Criminal law – Burglary - Offence of committing an offence in the place of another person when in that place without that other person's consent - Criminal Code (WA), s 401(2) - Onus of proof - Onus on prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt absence of consent under s 401(2) - Where offence alleged to be committed was breach of restraining order - Where restraining order prohibited entry onto premises - Statutory provision for defence to offence of breach of restraining order if defendant proves on balance of probabilities existence of consent to be on premises - Whether provision relevant - Whether Court of Appeal erred in dismissing appeal from trial judge's jury direction that onus was on prosecution throughout to negative consent.
Criminal Code (WA) – s 401(2).
Restraining Orders Act 1997 (WA) – ss 61, 62.
245 CLR 588; 86 ALJR 833; 288 ALR 565
French CJ, Heydon, Crennan, Kiefel, Bell JJ
Date: 20 Jun 2012 Case Number: M129/2011
Criminal law – Appeal against conviction - Jury misdirection - Appellant convicted of two counts of "culpable driving causing death" contrary to s 318(1) of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) ("the Act") - Jury had power under the Act to return an alternative verdict of "dangerous driving causing death" contrary to s 319(1) if satisfied that accused not guilty of offence charged under s 318 - Trial judge directed jury that dangerous driving established by proof accused drove in way that "significantly increased the risk of harming others" and that Crown did not have to show driving was "deserving of criminal punishment" - Whether trial judge misdirected jury - Whether R v De Montero (2009) 25 VR 694 should be followed - Whether departure from trial according to law or miscarriage of justice.
Words and phrases – "culpable driving causing death", "deserving of criminal punishment", "dangerous driving causing death".
Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) – ss 318, 319, 422A(1).
239 CLR 531; 84 ALJR 154; 262 ALR 569
French CJ, Gummow, Hayne, Heydon, Crennan, Kiefel, Bell JJ
Date: 3 Feb 2010 Case Number: S106/2009 S347/2008 S348/2008
Occupational health and safety – Statutory duty - Occupational Health and Safety Act 1983 (NSW), ss 15 and 16 provided duties of employer to "ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all the employer's employees" and that "persons not in the employer's employment are not exposed to risks to their health or safety arising from the conduct of the employer's undertaking" - Section 53(a) provided a defence where it was "not reasonably practicable .
to comply with the provision of this Act" - Breach of duty criminal offence - Statement of offences as particularised did not identify what measures defendant could have taken but did not take to fulfil duty - Whether statement of offence must identify act or omission said to constitute contravention of s 15 or s 16 - Whether failure to charge act or omission an error of law - Whether error on the face of the record - Whether jurisdictional error.
Evidence – Competence and compellability of accused persons - Joint trial - Industrial Relations Act 1996 (NSW), s 163(2) required hearing to be conducted in accordance with the rules of evidence - Evidence Act 1995 (NSW), s 17(2) provided that a defendant is not competent to give evidence as witness for prosecution - No power of Industrial Court of New South Wales to dispense with s 17(2) - Defendant called as witness for prosecution - Whether jurisdictional error - Whether error on the face of the record.
Administrative law – Jurisdictional error - Error of law on the face of the record - Whether orders in nature of certiorari available.
Statutes – Privative clause - Industrial Court of New South Wales - Construction of privative clause - Whether privative provision effective to prevent review for jurisdictional error - Whether effective to prevent review for error of law on the face of the record - Relevance of exclusion of right to appeal to Supreme Court of New South Wales and to High Court of Australia.
Constitutional law (Cth) – Chapter III - State Supreme Courts - Power of State Parliament to alter defining characteristic of Supreme Court of a State - Supervisory jurisdiction - Whether a defining characteristic is power to confine inferior courts and tribunals within limit of their authority to decide.
Procedure – Costs - Appellate court exercising supervisory not appellate jurisdiction - Appellate court makes orders in nature of certiorari - Whether appellate court has power to make orders in place of orders quashed.
Words and phrases – "act or omission", "certiorari", "description of offence", "error of law on the face of the record", "jurisdictional error", "privative provisions", "reasonably practicable", "superior court of record", "Supreme Court of a State", "the record".
Constitution – Ch III, ss 71, 73, 75(v).
Criminal Procedure Act 1986 (NSW) – s 11.
Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) – ss 17(2), 190.
Industrial Relations Act 1996 (NSW) – ss 179, 163(2).
Occupational Health and Safety Act 1983 (NSW) – ss 15, 16, 53.
Supreme Court Act 1970 (NSW) – s 69.
Supreme Court (Summary Jurisdiction) Act 1967 (NSW) – ss 4, 6.
81 ALJR 582; 232 ALR 306
Gleeson CJ, Gummow, Kirby, Hayne, Heydon JJ
Date: 1 Feb 2007 Case Number: P31/2006
Statutes – Interpretation – Meaning and effect of s 175 of Workers' Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 (WA) – Application to public authority – Section 175(1) deemed a principal who contracts with a contractor to be the employer of a worker employed by the contractor, and made principal jointly and severally liable to pay compensation for which contractor was liable to the worker – Section 175(3) provided that a principal was not liable unless work on which worker was employed at the time of disability was "directly a part or process in the trade or business of the principal" – Pt IV Div 2 contained provisions constraining awards of common law damages in actions for damages against a worker's employer brought independently of the Act – Minister contracted with company to provide security at schools – Appellant was employed as security guard by company – Appellant was injured while pursuing intruder at school – Appellant sued Minister as occupier of premises at which appellant injured – Whether s 175(1) deemed the Minister to be the appellant's employer – Whether work on which appellant was employed at time of injury was "directly a part or process in the trade or business" of Minister – Whether effect of deeming provision was to apply constraints on damages in Pt IV Div 2 to appellant's claim.
Practice and procedure – Grant of special leave to appeal – Whether matters of statutory interpretation arose without reconsideration of the law as stated in Hewitt v Benale Pty Ltd (2002) 27 WAR 91 – Whether special leave should be revoked – Relevance of common ground between the parties – Relevance of refusal by High Court to permit enlargement of grounds of appeal – Relevance of supervening amendment of the legislation – Relevance of duty to quell the controversy brought to the Court by the parties.
Words and phrases – "deemed employer", "directly", "directly a part or process in the trade or business of", "employee", "principal".
Workers' Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 (WA) – Pt IV Div 2, ss 6, 175(1), 175(3), 175(7).
Interpretation Act 1984 (WA) – s 8.
Occupiers' Liability Act 1985 (WA) – s 5.
Workers Compensation for Accidents Act 1900 (NZ) – s 15.
249 CLR 645; 88 ALJR 161; 304 ALR 116
French CJ, Crennan, Kiefel, Bell, Gageler JJ
Date: 6 Dec 2013 Case Number: B47/2013
Administrative law − Freedom of information − Request for access to documents − Section 6A(1) of Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) provided that documents held by Official Secretary to the Governor –General were excluded from disclosure unless they related to "matters of an administrative nature" − Whether documents relating to nomination of person to Order of Australia were excluded from disclosure by operation of s 6A(1).
Words and phrases − "matters of an administrative nature".
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) – ss 5, 6, 6A.
Kiefel CJ, Bell, Gageler, Keane, Nettle, Gordon, Edelman JJ
Date: 17 Aug 2017 Case Number: M251/2015
Constitutional law (Cth) – Constitution – Ch III – State Supreme Courts – Principle in Kable v Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW) (1996) 189 CLR 51;  HCA 24 – Where s 74AA of Corrections Act 1986 (Vic) prevents parole order in respect of plaintiff unless Adult Parole Board satisfied plaintiff in imminent danger of dying or seriously incapacitated and does not have physical ability to harm any person – Where s 74AA identifies plaintiff by name and only applies to plaintiff – Whether s 74AA interferes with sentences imposed by Supreme Court in manner which substantially impairs institutional integrity of Supreme Court – Whether Crump v New South Wales (2012) 247 CLR 1;  HCA 20 distinguishable – Whether necessary or appropriate to decide if function conferred by s 74AA could validly be exercised by division of Adult Parole Board which includes current judicial officer.
Words and phrases – "enlistment of judicial officers", "institutional integrity", "minimum term", "non-parole period", "parole", "party-specific legislation", "sentencing".
Constitution – Ch III.
Corrections Act 1986 (Vic) – ss 61, 61A, 64, 74, 74AA, 74AAB.
Corrections Amendment (Parole) Act 2014 (Vic) – ss 1, 3.
Interpretation of Legislation Act 1984 (Vic) – ss 4, 6.
Penalties and Sentences Act 1985 (Vic) – s 17.
Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic) – Sched 1, cl 2.
Kiefel CJ, Bell, Gageler, Nettle, Gordon JJ
Date: 18 Oct 2017 Case Number: B20/2017
Criminal law – Murder and manslaughter – Act causing death – Where appellant convicted of murder – Where death occasioned by discharge of shotgun held by appellant – Where alternative prosecution case for murder put to jury on basis that shotgun may have discharged as result of unwilled act – Whether unwilled, criminally negligent act or omission can result in conviction for murder where jury satisfied accused possessed intention to kill or inflict grievous bodily harm – Whether breach of duty to use reasonable care and to take reasonable precautions in use and management of dangerous thing can found conviction of murder.
Words and phrases – "act causing death", "breach of duty", "criminally negligent", "intention", "intentional offence", "manslaughter", "murder", "omission", "reasonable care", "unwilled act".
Criminal Code (Q) – ss 289, 302(1)(a).
222 CLR 44; 79 ALJR 845; 214 ALR 355
McHugh, Gummow, Hayne, Callinan, Heydon JJ
Date: 6 Apr 2005 Case Number: P61/2004
Negligence – Duty of care - Psychiatric injury - Content of an employer's duty to an employee to take reasonable care to avoid psychiatric injury - Whether employer breached its duty to provide employee with a safe system of work by failing to take the steps identified by employee - Whether reasonable person in position of employer would have foreseen the risk of psychiatric injury to the employee - Relevance of employee's agreement to perform the work which brought about her injuries - Whether the law of negligence should be developed in such a way as to inhibit the making of agreements involving more work than an industry standard.
Contract – Contract of employment - Freedom of parties to stipulate that an employee will do more work than an industry standard - Whether the law of negligence should be developed in such a way as to inhibit the making of agreements involving more work than an industry standard.
233 CLR 115; 82 ALJR 345; 241 ALR 88
Gleeson CJ, Gummow, Kirby, Heydon, Crennan JJ
Date: 13 Dec 2007 Case Number: S221/2007
Contract – Repudiation - First respondent was held by the trial judge to have grossly departed from the terms of a contract with the first appellant - First appellant purported to accept a repudiation of that contract - Difference between renunciation of a contract, where a party evinces an inability or unwillingness to render substantial performance of a contract, and repudiation, in the form of a breach justifying termination - Classification of contractual terms for the purpose of determining the consequences of a breach - Whether case was one of breach of a condition or sufficiently serious breach of an intermediate term - Whether breach went to root of contract - Relevance of adequacy of damages as a remedy - Relevance of failure to complain of breaches.
Contract – Termination for breach - Governing principles - Whether class of intermediate or innominate terms should be recognised.
Words and phrases – "repudiation", "renunciation", "condition", "intermediate term".
French CJ, Hayne, Kiefel, Gageler, Keane JJ
Date: 4 Mar 2015 Case Number: M82/2014
Trusts – Express trust – Two companies, "the Forest Company" and "the Milling Company", operated timber plantation investment scheme – Forest Company sought investment in scheme – Forest Company entered into Trust Deed with Trustee Company as trustee for holders of interests Forest Company issued – Whether proceeds of the sale of standing timber and scheme land payable to Forest Company and Milling Company subject to express trust in favour of scheme investors.
Words and phrases – "express trust".
Companies Act 1962 (SA) – s 80.
Companies (South Australia) Code – s 168.
227 CLR 31; 80 ALJR 1146; 227 ALR 406
Gleeson CJ, Gummow, Kirby, Hayne, Callinan, Heydon, Crennan JJ
Date: 14 Jun 2006 Case Number: S225/2005
Constitutional Law – Naturalization and aliens - Meaning of "aliens" - Children born in Australia to parents who were neither Australian citizens nor permanent residents - Children entitled to acquire foreign citizenship by registration - Whether children are "aliens" within the meaning of s 51(xix) of the Constitution - Whether children are nationals of Australia for constitutional purposes.
Constitutional Law – Construction and interpretation - Meaning of "aliens" - Relevance of possible statelessness to status of child - Whether Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness and other provisions of international law relevant.
Citizenship – immigration and emigration - Detention and removal of unlawful non- citizens from Australia - Meaning of "aliens" - Children born in Australia to parents who were neither Australian citizens nor permanent residents - Children entitled to acquire foreign citizenship by registration - Provisions of Australian Citizenship Act 1948 (Cth) relating to stateless persons not alleged to be engaged - Status of children.
Words and phrases – "aliens".
Constitution – s 51(xix).
Australian Citizenship Act 1948 (Cth) – ss 10(2), 23D.
Migration Act 1958 (Cth) – ss 189, 198.
241 CLR 390; 84 ALJR 663; 270 ALR 228
French CJ, Hayne, Heydon, Crennan, Kiefel JJ
Date: 29 Sep 2010 Case Number: S84/2010
Courts – Appeals - Jurisdiction and powers - Section 67(1) of Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal Act 2001 (NSW) provided for appeal from Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal to Supreme Court "[i]f, in respect of any proceedings, the Tribunal decides a question with respect to a matter of law" - Appellants purported to terminate building contract because of builder's failure to meet obligations - Validity of termination turned on disputed claims for extension of time - Tribunal decided that material properly before it supported conclusion that disputed claims for extension had been served - Whether that question could be raised on appeal to Supreme Court - Whether "no evidence ground" raises question of law.
Words and phrases – "question with respect to a matter of law", "no evidence ground".
Consumer – Trader and Tenancy Tribunal Act 2001 (NSW), ss 66(2), 67.
Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) – ss 48A(1), 48K(1).
Supreme Court Act 1970 (NSW) – s 75A.
206 CLR 221; 75 ALJR 550; 178 ALR 385
McHugh, Gummow, Kirby, Hayne, Callinan JJ
Date: 8 Mar 2001 Case Number: M11/2000
Criminal law – Practice and procedure - Sexual offences - Multiple counts - One count of maintaining relationship with child under 16 pursuant to s 47A Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) - Whether propensity warning required when presentment involves multiple counts of sexual offences and relationship count pursuant to s 47A - Whether propensity warning required in respect of individual acts that form basis of a charge under s 47A - Use of "separate consideration" warning - Operation of proviso.
Criminal law – Sexual offences - s 47A Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) - Whether legislature can modify the need for particulars of criminal charges - Whether evidence of uncharged sexual acts admissible to prove the nature of the relationship between the accused and the complainant.
Evidence – Propensity evidence - "No rational view" test - Application to relationship evidence.
Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) – s 47A.