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 […]

New guidance around accessorial liability for directors and officers

By: Raisa Conchin At a glance In April 2019, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) commenced proceedings against Balaska Pty Ltd (Balaska), a solar energy business, and its director, James McLennan, in the Federal Court of Australia. ACMA alleged that Balaska had contravened the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 (Cth) and that the […]

First company and director convicted under Victoria’s workplace manslaughter laws

By: Chris Spain and Petra Kolovos At a glance Victoria’s workplace manslaughter laws came into effect in 2020. The laws carry a maximum penalty of 25 years’ jail for individuals and fines in excess of $19 million for companies. On 19 February 2024, the Victorian Supreme Court delivered the first sentences under the workplace manslaughter […]

New duty of care: is Pafburn a knockout blow for proportionate liability defences?

By: Charu Stevenson and Hamshini Sathiyamoorthy The Owners – Strata Plan No 84674 v Pafburn Pty Ltd [2023] NSWCA 301 At a glance From June 2020, section 37 of the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (NSW) (DBP Act) introduced a new duty of care on those who carried out “construction work”. This article considers […]

Class Actions: Ones to Watch – The next step for settlement CFOs – the Full Court is set to consider solicitor CFOs next year

By: Amanda Beattie and Dylan O’Keefe R&B Investments Pty Ltd (Trustee) v Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited (Administrators Appointed) (in liq) (Reserved Question) [2023] FCA 1499 The Federal Court has this week reserved a question to be determined by the Full Court as to whether the Court has the power to grant a CFO in […]

Lehrmann vs. Queensland Police – guidance from the Supreme Court of Queensland on non-publication orders and judicial review

By: Georgie Austin, Zoë Burchill Lehrmann v Queensland Police Service & Ors [2023] QSC 238   At a glance In late October 2023, former liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann failed in his bid to obtain a non-publication order over his identity as a defendant in criminal proceedings for charges of rape. This article examines the decision […]

High Court rules on the entitlement of residential tenants to damages arising from mental distress or disappointment

Young v Chief Executive Officer (Housing) [2023] HCA 31 At a glance On 1 November 2023, The High Court of Australia held that the Civil and Administrative Tribunal of the Northern Territory (Tribunal) is empowered by s 122(1) of the Residential Tenancies Act 1999 (NT) (the Act) to compensate tenants for distress or disappointment suffered […]

High Court appeal provides guidance on the application of law in historic child abuse cases

GLJ v The Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Diocese of Lismore [2023] HCA 32 At a glance The High Court of Australia has today delivered judgment in GLJ v The Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Diocese of Lismore [2023] HCA 32 and, by majority, has allowed an appeal from […]

ABC’s Consent Costs Them: Unpacking the Judgment on Costs in the Russell Case

Russell v Australian Broadcasting Corporation (No 3) [2023] FCA 1223 At a glance On Tuesday 24 October 2023, the Federal Court handed down a costs judgment granting Heston Russell costs on an indemnity basis following the ex-commando’s victory against the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in a protracted defamation lawsuit. This article continues on from our earlier […]