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 – and the FFC took an orthodox approach to reject a novel duty – we expect many more claims seeking to recognise novel duties.

In this article, Wotton + Kearney’s James Clohesy, Charu Stevenson, Jesse Pereira and Nadica Mirceska explain the implications of this significant decision for government decision-makers and agencies, company directors and their insurers.

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