NSW Court of Appeal again grants a stay of historic child abuse civil litigation

The Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Diocese of Lismore v GLJ [2022] NSWCA 78 The NSW Court of Appeal has overturned a first instance decision and stayed historic child abuse proceedings in circumstances where the alleged perpetrator had died before the allegations were put to him. The case was stayed despite evidence […]

No novel duty owed: Full Federal Court upholds Minister’s appeal in Sharma

The Full Federal Court has unanimously overturned the landmark Sharma decision, which found the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment owed a duty of care to Australian children to avoid risk of personal injury when considering whether to approve a coalmine expansion. While this appeal concerned one Minister’s specific exercise of power under Commonwealth legislation – […]

Flooding definition decision keeps insurer’s position afloat

The Landel decision is the third Queensland instalment in ‘flood definition’ cases, which arise from the unfortunate events of the 2011 Brisbane floods and the more recent 2019 Townsville floods. In this matter, the insured lodged two claims for damage caused by monsoonal rain events and consequent flooding in and around Townsville. One was accepted […]

High Court confirms Facebook page operators are liable for defamatory third-party comments

Fairfax Media Publications, Nationwide News and the Australian News Channel are currently being sued for defamation in separate proceedings by Dylan Voller, a former detainee in a juvenile justice detention centre, over third-party comments made about him on their Facebook pages. Before determining whether the Facebook comments were defamatory, the NSW Supreme Court ordered that […]

OPC gets tough on mandatory privacy breach notification in New Zealand

Just over six months after requirements for mandatory notification of serious privacy breaches were introduced with the Privacy Act 2020, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) has released further guidance in a blog post. The update makes it clear the OPC has ended the grace period for agencies to adapt to the new rules. […]

Coverage for historic sexual abuse in school case raises problems for insurers

In BB v Helena College [2021] WADC 42, the Western Australia District Court found that three different policies of insurance, held by an insured school, responded to historic acts of intentional sexual abuse by a school teacher. In this article, W+K’s Sean O’Connor and Patrick Thompson provide an in-depth analysis of the coverage issues addressed […]

Climate change is heating up boardroom risks

Regulators in Australia and around the world are treating climate change as a major systemic financial risk. Given the high levels of regulator scrutiny, investor activity and public interest, it is only a matter of time before significant claims (potentially including securities class actions) are brought against directors and officers who fail to properly consider […]

NSW Child Abuse Bill opens door to revisit settled claims

Yesterday, the Civil Liability Amendment (Child Abuse) Bill 2021 was introduced in NSW. The Bill has two objectives: to enable courts to set aside certain agreements that settled claims for child abuse where it is just and reasonable to do so, and to ensure that Part 2A of the Act does not restrict awards of […]

Focus on privacy – keeping personal information up-to-date

A recent case note from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner highlights how failures to keep personal information up-to-date, and to act on requests to update information, can lead to privacy exposures. In this short article, W+K’s Mark Anderson, Joseph Fitzgerald and Johnson Zhuang look at the issues raised and ways to manage similar risks. […]

Landmark decision clarifies who influences and controls workplaces

We’re excited to share an article about this important case that’s been written by our new partner Sian Gilbert, an Accredited Specialist in Employment and Industrial Relations. With the Assign Blue case, the concept of the capacity to “influence and control” a workplace has been explored for the first time under the work, health and […]