Consent and confidential communications – an agreement that DOES go hand in hand

By: Richard Leder, Samantha Saad and Michelle Rich HM (a pseudonym) v Sister Mary Monaghan [2024] VSC 257 At a glance In the first judgment of its kind regarding the construction of s32C(1) of the Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1958 (the EMPA), the Victorian Supreme Court ruled that in circumstances where a protected person consents […]

Carrier found not liable for invasive examinations of passengers at Doha Airport

By: Aisha Lala, James Cooper and Merinda Stewart At a glance Last month, the Federal Court of Australia (FCA) handed down a judgment1 examining the liability of Qatar Airways, among others, for the invasive examinations of several Australian passengers at Doha Airport in October 2020, following the discovery of a newborn baby abandoned in the […]

Slipped or tripped? Plaintiffs must prove what actually happened

By: Jonathan Maher and Arriane Garcia Alan Bernard McKenzie v Charles Stewart & Company Proprietary Limited (trading as Colac Rental Management) [2024] VCC 429 At a glance In the decision of Alan Bernard McKenzie v Charles Stewart & Company Proprietary Limited (trading as Colac Rental Management) [2024] VCC 429, the County Court of Victoria has […]

A PI case study in design flaws, prior circumstances and non-disclosure

By: Andrew Moore and Marcus Saw Absolute Tiling Solutions Pty Ltd v Certain Underwriters at Lloyds At a glance The decision of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in Absolute Tiling Solutions Pty Ltd v Certain Underwriters at Lloyds [2024] NSWSC 364 is a useful example of how a court grapples with the design […]

Federal Court hands down the first unfair contracts term decision for insurance contracts

By: Cain Jackson, Edward O’Brien and Samantha Younane Introduction Almost 3 years after the unfair contract terms (UCT) regime1 was expanded to “consumer”2 and “small business”3 insurance contracts, the decision of Australian Securities and Investments Commission v Auto & General Insurance Company Limited4 provides some guidance and clarity as to how the UCT provisions operate in an insurance context. […]

High Court considers complex questions likely to impact future institutional abuse decisions

By: Richard Leder OAM, Chris Lawrance and Lauren Davis  Bird v DP (A Pseudonym) At a glance In 2020, DP commenced proceedings claiming damages arising from sexual assaults committed by a Catholic Priest, Father Bryan Coffey, at the home of DP’s parents in Port Fairy in 1971. At first instance, Justice Jack Forest held that […]

High Court confirms material IBAC must provide to safeguard the fairness of adverse findings

By: Richard Leder OAM, Blake Pappas and Deniz Coskundag AB (A Pseudonym) & Anor v Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission [2024] HCA 10 At a glance On 13 March 2024, the High Court of Australia delivered a judgment involving IBAC’s obligations under s 162(3) of the IBAC Act 2011 (Cth) regarding the disclosure of “adverse material”. […]

IAG New Zealand Ltd v Degen – A big win for insurers as the High Court overturns the Tribunal

By: Matt Booth, Peter Leman and Isaac Black At a glance Lady Hale of the United Kingdom Supreme Court once warned that while the common law is a “dynamic instrument” able to develop and adapt, this too invites a “danger of unbridled and unprincipled growth to match what the court perceives to be the merits […]

Litigation against climate change contributors to continue in New Zealand

By: Antony Holden, Michael Cavanaugh and Phoebe Nikolaou At a glance On 7 February 2024, the Supreme Court of New Zealand released its highly anticipated judgment in Smith v Fonterra. It addressed whether a private civil claim against companies seeking to address climate change could continue. This is an important decision for companies and their […]

The underbelly of s 40 of the Inquiries Act exposed in Re Mokbel (No 2) [2024] VSC 39

By: Georgie Austin, Jacquie Goodwin, Blake Pappas, and Rhyse Collins At a glance In one of three recent judgments from the Victorian Supreme Court concerning ‘preliminary evidential issues’ surrounding Tony Mokbel’s appeal against conviction, Her Honour Fullerton J held that the ‘use immunity’ contained within s 40(1) of the Inquiries Act 2014 (Vic) applies so […]