JADE Australasian cases of Interest for Legal Professionals
Welcome to our first instalment of Australasian cases of interest for legal professionals. These eclectic decisions have been selected by our editorial team because we think that they contain interesting or important applications of principle. They are available on JADE.
The summaries have been written by the most recent member of our JADE Editorial Team, Ms Katya Pesce BA LLB (Hons). We’d love to have your feedback about this selection. If you think that we should include a particular decision, please let us know. Simply send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +61 2 8815 9081.
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Administrative functions – obligation to act in good faith
Supreme Court of New South Wales. Court of Appeal. Basten, Leeming and White JJA. 20 November 2018. 56 paragraphs.
Content of decision-makers’ obligation to act in good faith. Failure to form a view on all matters does not automatically establish lack of good faith. Bad faith not comprehensively defined, but here required ‘wilful blindness’ or ‘conscious maladministration’.
Minister for Immigration and Citizenship v SZJSS HCA 48; 243 CLR 164 at ; Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs v SBAN FCAFC 431 at , applied.
Constitutional law – inconsistency of Commonwealth and state laws – validity of state law
Supreme Court of New South Wales. Court of Appeal. Bathurst CJ, Beazley P, Basten JA. 22 November 2018. 47 paragraphs.
Circumstances in which inconsistency between state and Commonwealth laws is established, resulting in invalidity of state legislation. For the purposes of s 109 of the Constitution, inconsistency arises where state legislation qualifies, alters or impairs the operation of Commonwealth immunity from a class of state laws.
Ansett Transport Industries (Operations) Pty Ltd v Wardley HCA 8; 142 CLR 237 at 259-260; Bell Group NV (In liq) v State of Western Australia HCA 21; 260 CLR 500 at -, applied.
Contractual principles – interpretation of contracts – contractual obligations
Supreme Court of Queensland. Court of Appeal. Sofronoff P, Philippides JA and Davis J. 13 November 2018. 27 paragraphs.
Construction of contracts and deeds, and the obligation to act in good faith. The usual content of such an obligation entails a degree of co-operation, but does not require individual interests to be subordinated to those of the other. The duty solely concerns the parties’ contractual objectives.
Macquarie International Health Clinic Pty Ltd v Sydney South West Area Health Service NSWCA 268; 5 BPR 28,563 at -, applied.
Criminal practice – abuse of process – illegally obtained evidence – compulsory examinations
High Court of Australia. Kiefel CJ, Bell, Nettle, Gageler, Keane, Gordon and Edelman JJ. 8 November 2018. 297 paragraphs.
Whether compulsory examinations amounted to a violation of common law right to silence, constituting an abuse of process. Where examinations are conducted for some extraneous purpose, they may be characterised as unlawful. As such, they alter the ‘accusatorial judicial process’.
X7 (No I) HCA 29; 248 CLR 92 at 136-137 -, 142-143 ; Lee v The Queen HCA 20; 253 CLR 455 at 466-467 -, applied.
Criminal trial – open justice – prejudicial publicity – suppression orders
Supreme Court of Victoria. Court of Appeal. Maxwell P, Beach and Hargrave JJA. 14 November 2018. 51 paragraphs.
Whether suppression of jury verdict necessary to prevent prejudice to future trial. Progress of proceedings widely reported in the media. Guiding principle that the administration of justice must take place in an open court. Suppression orders should be avoided where other measures will sufficiently ameliorate risk of prejudice.
Dupas v The Queen HCA 20; 241 CLR 237 at 251 , applied.
Statutory construction – context and purpose
High Court of Australia. Kiefel CJ, Bell, Gageler, Nettle and Gordon JJ. 14 November 2018. 46 paragraphs.
High Court reiterated that the correct approach to statutory construction remains consideration of a text’s context and purpose. Where terms do not have fixed legal meaning, their application in a given context may be one of degree.
Federal Commissioner of Taxation v Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd  HCA 67; 143 CLR 499 at 519-520,cited.
Queensland v Congoo HCA 17; 256 CLR 239 at 255 , 301-302 , applied.
on behalf of the JADE Editorial Team
23 November 2018.