D’Orta-Ekenaike v Victoria Legal Aid [2005] HCA 12

ON 10 MARCH 2005, the High Court of Australia delivered D’Orta-Ekenaike v Victoria Legal Aid [2005] HCA 12; (2005) 223 CLR 1; (2005) 214 ALR 92; (2005) 79 ALJR 755 (10 March 2005).

The High Court declined to overturn its earlier decision of Giannarelli v Wraith [1988] HCA 52; (1988) 165 CLR 543 (13 October 1988).

The High Court upheld the principle that an advocate is immune from being sued in relation to acts or omissions in the conduct of a case and to work “intimately connected” with work in court. Immunity therefore can extend to advice out of court by an advocate or their instructing solicitor which leads to a decision which affects the conduct of a case in court.

The court held that controversies should be finalised between the parties and not re-opened except in a small number of exceptional circumstances.

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