High Court of Australia

Zhu v The Treasurer of the State of New South Wales [2004] HCA 56

218 CLR 530; 79 ALJR 217; 211 ALR 159

17 Nov 2004

Case Number: S616/2003

Before

Gleeson CJ, Gummow, Kirby, Callinan, Heydon JJ

Catchwords

Tort – Interference with contractual relations - Contract between the plaintiff and TOC Management Services Pty Ltd ("TOC") authorised and obliged the plaintiff to sell memberships in an "Olympic Club" to residents of China - Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games ("SOCOG") interfered with the plaintiff's contract - Whether SOCOG had obligations to protect intellectual property under the Olympic Charter and the contract by which Sydney hosted the 2000 Olympic Games - Whether the plaintiff contravened the Sydney 2000 Games (Indicia and Images) Protection Act 1996 (Cth), s 12 - Whether SOCOG's interference with the plaintiff's contract was justified.

Tort – Interference with contractual relations - Defence of justification - TOC owed contractual obligations to SOCOG not to engage in certain conduct - Contract between TOC and the plaintiff obliged the plaintiff to engage in conduct contrary to the contract between TOC and SOCOG - Whether SOCOG held "proprietary" or "quasi-proprietary" rights - Whether SOCOG held an "actually existing superior legal right" - Whether SOCOG's conduct was "reasonably necessary" - Whether SOCOG was justified in interfering with the contract between TOC and the plaintiff.

Contract – Deed Poll - Plaintiff executed Deed Poll in favour of SOCOG - Plaintiff was required to execute Deed Poll pursuant to contract between the plaintiff and TOC - Plaintiff did not know there was a separate contract between SOCOG and TOC - Whether Deed Poll and contracts inconsistent - Construction of Deed Poll and contracts - Whether the plaintiff's activities required SOCOG's prior written consent - Whether the plaintiff breached the Deed Poll or his contract.

Words and phrases – "interference with contractual relations", "justification", "proprietary right", "quasi-proprietary right", "superior legal right", "reasonably necessary".

Sydney 2000 Games (Indicia and Images) Protection Act 1996 (Cth) – s 12.

Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Act 1993 (NSW).
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