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Mediation in Sports Disputes

Mediation in sports disputes is growing in popularity. This article reviews the benefits offered by mediation and considers how sports disputes are different from ordinary commercial disputes. The author also offers some practical suggestions for mediators in sports disputes.

Contractual time bars and claims for damages for misleading or deceptive conduct under s 236 of the ACL

A contractual provision which had the effect of excluding liability for damages for misleading or deceptive conduct under s 236 of the Australian Consumer Law if the complainant failed to give a notice of the proposed claim within a prescribed time limit was found to be unenforceable. Such a provision was also found to be ineffective in a “no transaction” case.

Revised payment claims under the Security of Payment Act may be invalid

A “revised” payment claim, for a different sum, served one day after another payment claim had been served was invalid because it was held to be a second payment claim and therefore in contravention of s 14(8) of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) which prohibits more than one payment claim being served in respect of the same reference date.

Review of ‘competence’ decisions under s 16(9) of the CAA by Courts – hearing de novo

Arbitral tribunals have the ‘competence’ to make rulings on their own jurisdiction under s 16 of the CAA (and Model Law).  However, within 30 days after the ruling, a party can seek a review of that decision by asking the Court to decide the matter (s 16(9)).  The Supreme Court of Victoria has held, by reference to international authorities, that such a review is by way of hearing de novo. 

Insolvent corporate trustees: some questions finally answered

The Victorian Court of Appeal and a Full Court of the Federal Court have each recently held that the statutory priority regime applies to the winding up of companies that act as trustees of trading trusts, confirming that employee claims and a liquidator’s remuneration and costs are priority debts. Special leave to appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision has been sought.

The limits of secrecy

The High Court has read down a statutory secrecy provision that purported to shield information from production to a court on judicial review. In doing so, it has confirmed that s 75(v) of the Constitution protects more than simply the right to commence proceedings for judicial review.

A Cartel Case Gets Washed Away

Just before Christmas last year Wigney J dismissed a cartel case in which the ACCC alleged that Cussons (and the other major laundry detergent manufacturers) had colluded when they simultaneously transitioned all their detergent products from a standard formula to an ‘ultra-concentrated’ formula (with concomitant repackaging and re-pricing). The case is on appeal.

Drugs in thoroughbred racing still in the limelight

The Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Racing Victoria Limited v Kavanagh addresses the state of knowledge required of a trainer to establish an administration offence under the Rules of Racing. The decision will be of interest to those following one of the biggest horse doping scandals in Australian history involving trainers with links to the Aquanita Racing stables.