Category Archives: Contribution and indemnity

Plaintiff S297-2013 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2015] HCA 3

ON 11 FEBRUARY 2015, the High Court of Australia delivered Plaintiff S297-2013 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2015] HCA 3 (11 February 2015).

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/2015/3.html

On 22 June 2014, the High Court of Australia delivered Plaintiff S297-2013 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2014] HCA 24 (20 June 2014), ordering that the Minister determine the plaintiff’s application for a permanent protection visa according to law.

In July 2014, the Minister refused to grant the plaintiff a permanent protection visa on that grounds that he was not satisfied that the grant of such a visa was “in the national interest” because the plaintiff was an unauthorised maritime arrival.

On 11 February 2015, in the most recent case, the High Court held that the Minister’s decision in July 2014 to not grant the visa was not according to law because under the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) the Minister could not refuse such an application just because the plaintiff was an unauthorised maritime arrival.

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Lavin v Toppi [2015] HCA 4

ON 11 FEBRUARY 2015, the High Court of Australia delivered Lavin v Toppi [2015] HCA 4 (11 February 2015).

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/2015/4.html

The appellants and respondents were sureties who had guaranteed a consolidated loan with the National Australia Bank.

In 2010, NAB demanded repayment of the balance of the loan debts and brought proceedings against all of the guarantors. In settlement of proceedings against the appellants, NAB covenanted not to sue them for the guaranteed debt in return for the payment of a minor portion of the debt. The respondents then paid the disproportionately high balance of the debt and then brought proceedings against the appellants seeking the recovery of the amount they paid to NAB in excess of their proportionate share.

The appellants resisted the appellants claim, arguing that the appellants and respondents no longer had “coordinate liabilities” by reason of the debt only being enforceable against the respondents due to NAB’s covenant not to sue the appellants.

The NSW Supreme Court found in favour of the respondents and the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal, holding that the respondents could still recover from the appellants because the covenant not to sue did not alter the liabilities between the appellants and respondents under the guarantee and therefore they still had “coordinate liabilities”.

The High Court dismissed an appeal by the appellants, holding the Court of Appeal to be correct in holding (1) that the covenant not to sue did not extinguish the appellants’ liability under the guarantee and (2) that the respondents had an equitable entitlement to contribution which could not be defeated by the covenant not to sue.

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Unsworth v Commissioner for Railways [1958] HCA 41 | 28 August 1958

ON 28 AUGUST 1958, the High Court of Australia delivered Unsworth v Commissioner for Railways [1958] HCA 41; (1958) 101 CLR 73 (28 August 1958).

An action for contribution is not in itself an action for damages but a statutory right of action assuming the existence of a liability in the party  against whom the contribution is sought.

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Friend v Brooker [2009] HCA 21

Friend v Brooker [2009] HCA 21 (28 May 2009)

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Unsworth v Commissioner for Railways [1958] HCA 41

ON 28 AUGUST 1958, the High Court of Australia delivered Unsworth v Commissioner for Railways [1958] HCA 41; (1958) 101 CLR 73 (28 August 1958).

An action for contribution is not in itself an action for damages but a statutory right of action assuming the existence of a liability in the party  against whom the contribution is sought.

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