The High Court held that a statutory authority with separate legal personality was a trading corporation within the meaning of s 51(xx) of the Constitution, even though the Act that established the authority expressly provided that the authority “is not a body corporate”.
Category: Public Law
Case Note by Simona Gory. Civil forfeiture of asset proceedings may need to be stayed pending finalisation of the relevant criminal proceedings, at least in circumstances where the offences and circumstances relied on in the forfeiture proceeding are substantively identical to the criminal proceedings and there is no prejudice to the Commissioner arising from a delay to the forfeiture proceedings.
A plaintiff suffers hurt, embarrassment and reputational damage as a result of the defendant’s publications. Parts of those publications are clearly defamatory; other parts, although hurtful and damaging, are not. How are damages to be assessed?
On 17 April 2015, the New South Wales Court of Appeal handed down judgment in the 15 year legal battle of NSW v Shaw  NSWCA 97 (NSW v Shaw), finding that there was no implied term of mutual trust and confidence in probationary employment contracts.
In Argos Pty Ltd v Corbell  HCA 50, the High Court held that an applicant whose profitability would be affected by a decision had standing under the AD(JR) Act.
In a unanimous judgment, the High Court has held that the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995(NSW) (the Act) empowers the Registrars to register a person’s sex as “non-specific”.
In Australian Electoral Commission v Johnston  HCA 5, the High Court, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, answered questions of law in a way which led to the election of WA Senators to the Commonwealth Parliament being declared void.
The High Court, by majority, upheld the validity of a statutory scheme for the forfeiture of property. The scheme provided that, on application by the DPP, the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory could declare a person who had been convicted of three or more drug related offences within a ten year period to be a “drug trafficker”, and consequent upon the declaration, all property owned, effectively controlled or given away by that person was forfeited to the Northern Territory.
High Court strikes down laws prohibiting donations to political parties and spending on election campaigns
The High Court held invalid recent changes to the NSW political donations and campaign expenditure laws. The laws would have prohibited donations to political parties by any person not on the electoral roll, and where an overall cap on campaign spending by political parties otherwise applied, would have deemed expenditure on a campaign by ‘affiliated organisations’ of a political party (eg, unions) as being expenditure by that political party.
High Court Holds ACT Same Sex Marriage Law Is Inconsistent with Federal Marriage Law and of No Effect
Eugenia Levine – The Commonwealth of Australia v The Australian Capital Territory
The High Court explained the standard of reasons required where a Medical Panel gives its opinion on a medical question referred to it.
A majority of the High Court held that the provisions creating a mandatory minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment for those convicted of an aggravated form of “people smuggling” were valid.