The High Court recently split on the test for statutory unconscionability, as well as deeper questions about whether vulnerable consumers can (or should be allowed to) consent to exploitative arrangements and how mainstream Australian culture interacts with indigenous cultures and norms.
Informality and emails – the limits of generality in payment schedules under the Security of Payment legislation
The NSW Court of Appeal has clarified the limits of informality in payment schedules and emphasised the importance of identiying the reasons for the dispute with sufficient particularity to set the boundaries for any adjudication.
Dr Kylie Weston-Scheuber and Matthew Harvey examine a recent Court of Appeal decision concerning the requirements for an easement by presumption of lost modern grant. The Court made some interesting observations about the interaction between the doctrine and the Transfer of Land Act, which may be of relevance to future matters where easements are claimed.
A recent failure by respondents in a defamation action to plead imputations of reasonable grounds for suspicion as permissible variants of the applicant’s imputations of guilt has clarified the correct approach to gradations of meaning in Australia.
In this case, the question for the High Court was whether Code of Conduct legislation, that applied to Australian Public Service employees, imposed an unjustified burden on the constitutionally implied freedom of political communication. The High Court’s answer was ― “No”.
The decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court, and the separate decision of Lee J, in the Ethicon Sàrl class action, provide a useful diptych of modern-day class action jurisprudence relating to amendments to group definitions.
Patents –invalidity – discovery of naturally occurring phenomenon – claims for methods of applying that discovery – whether method of manufacture – whether inventive step
Trade marks – infringement – defences – use of a mark for which the alleged infringer would have obtained registration – date at which assessment of registrability is to be made
A recent Queensland review of a Ministerial determination on LNG royalty calculations provides a rare instance of a successful judicial review of an economic regulatory decision.
An electrical safety regulation with significant cost implications for solar farm developers comes unstuck.
Negligent misstatements and statutory authorities – duty of care, statutory power and profit driven behaviour
The Supreme Court of NSW has found that a statutory authority owed a tortious duty of care in providing information and advice to a developer and considered the evidence required to demonstrate that, but for the misstatement, the developer would have undertaken a more profitable development.
In Rinehart v Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd, the High Court considered the ability of a non-party to an arbitration agreement to stay court proceedings by claiming ‘through or under’ a party to the arbitration agreement. The plurality gave the phrase a broad interpretation which, it is submitted, creates uncertainty.
The UK Supreme Court recently handed down a decision about privative clauses, R v Investigatory Powers Tribunal  UKSC 22. The decision is relevant to Australia because it prompts consideration of the scope and basis of Kirk v Industrial Court of New South Wales.
Patents – appeal from decision of the delegate – lengthy trial and voluminous evidence – alternative dispute resolution mechanisms