Category Archives: Ethics

ICAC v Cornwall (1993) 38 NSWLR 207 | 8 September 1993

ON 8 SEPTEMBER 1993, the Supreme Court of NSW delivered Independent Commission Against Corruption v Cornwall (1993) 38 NSWLR 207.

Journalist Deborah Cornwall was found guilty of contempt for not disclosing the names of unnamed police officers who told her that underworld figure Arthur “Neddy” Smith had been a police informer.

Ms Cornwall received a two month suspended sentence and 90 hours of community service.

Lawyers

Sydney, Australia

1300 00 2088

NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal

The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT)http://www.ncat.nsw.gov.au/ncat/index.html commenced on 1 January 2014 pursuant to the NSW Civil and Administrative Act 2013 and Civil and Administrative Regulation 2013.

The NCAT takes over the functions of 22 former state tribunals, including:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Tribunal
  • Aboriginal Land Councils Pecuniary Interest and Disciplinary Tribunal
  • Administrative Decisions Tribunal
  • Charity Referees
  • Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal
  • Dental Tribunal
  • Guardianship Tribunal
  • Chinese Medicine Tribunal
  • Chiropractic Tribunal
  • Medical Radiation Practice Tribunal
  • Medical Tribunal
  • Nursing and Midwifery Tribunal
  • Occupational Therapy Tribunal
  • Optometry Tribunal
  • Osteopathy Tribunal
  • Pharmacy Tribunal
  • Physiotherapy Tribunal
  • Podiatry Tribunal
  • Psychology Tribunal
  • Local Government Pecuniary Interest and Disciplinary Tribunal
  • Local Land Boards
  • Victims Compensation Tribunal (transferred into the ADT in June 2013)
  • Vocational Training Appeals Panel.

The NCAT is constituted by a President (a Supreme Court judge), Deputy Presidents of each of the four divisions, a Principal Registrars and Members including Principal Member, Senior Members and General Members.

The NCAT has four divisions:

  • Administrative and Equal Opportunity, which deals with review of administrative decisions of government agencies and resolution of discrimination matters.
  • Consumer and Commercial, which deals with a broad number of disputes about the supply of goods and services, including agent commissions and fees; agricultural tenancies; boarding houses; consumer claims; conveyancing costs; dividing fences; holiday parks (long-term occupancy); home building; motor vehicles; pawnbrokers and second-hand dealers; residential parks; retail leases; retirement villages; social housing; strata and community schemes; tenancy; travel compensation fund appeals.
  • Guardianship, which has jurisdiction over people who live in NSW or hold property or financial assets in NSW: to make guardianship orders for the appointment of a private or public guardian; make financial orders for a private or public financial manager; provide consent for medical or dental treatment; review enduring powers of attorney; review an enduring guardianship appointment; approve a clinical trial involving people with decision-making disabilities.
  • Occupational, including: administrative review of licensing decisions with respect to transport drivers/operators, security guards, builders, real estate agents, motor dealers and repairers, pawnbrokers and second hand dealers, stock and station agents, business agents, travel agents, valuers and licenced conveyancers; professional discipline of occupations governed by a statutory council, board, panel or authority.

The current President is Justice Robertson Wright SC and the Deputy-Presidents are Magistrate Nancy Hennessy, Mr M D Schyvens, Mr Stuart Westgarth, The Hon. Wayne Haylen QC and Judge Kevin O’Connor AM.

The principal registry is located at Level 9, John Maddison Tower, 86-90 Goulburn Street, Sydney NSW 2000, tel 1300 006 228.

The divisional registries are:

  • Administrative and Equal Opportunity: Level 10, John Maddison Tower, 86-90 Goulburn Street, Sydney NSW 2000.
  • Consumer and Commercial: Level 12, 175 Castlereagh Street, Sydney NSW 2000 (also at Liverpool, Hurstville, Newcastle, Penrith, Tamworth and Wollongong).
  • Guardianship: Level 3, 2a Rowntree Street Balmain NSW 2041.
  • Occupational: Level 10, John Maddison Tower, 86-90 Goulburn Street, Sydney NSW 2000.

Lawyers 1300 00 2088

White Industries (Qld) Pty Ltd v Flower & Hart (a firm) [1998] FCA 806 | 14 July 1998

ON 14 JULY 1998, the Federal Court of Australia delivered White Industries (Qld) Pty Ltd v Flower & Hart (a firm) [1998] FCA 806 (14 July 1998).

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FCA/1998/806.html

Flower & Hart (a firm of lawyers) was ordered to pay the legal costs of White Industries (Qld) Pty Ltd who had been sued by Flower & Hart’s client, Caboolture Park Shopping Centre Pty Ltd (in liquidation).

Proceedings alleging misleading and deceptive conduct, fraud and negligence had been brought by Caboolture Park for the ulterior purpose of delaying payment of monies due under a building contract. The solicitor for Caboolture Park, Michael Meadows, held the view that the proceedings did not have any prospects or any substantial prospects of success but nevertheless advised his client to proceed in order to secure a bargaining position against White Industries.

Goldberg held that:

  • the proceedings were not brought for a legitimate purpose of vindicating a right but rather, they had no prospects of success and were brought to postpone or delay the ultimate determination of the legitimate claim of White Industries.
  • it was unreasonable to make the allegations in circumstances where there was no factual basis and no consideration was given as to whether or not there was a factual basis.
  • it was unreasonable for the solicitors to initiate and continue the proceedings as they amounted to an abuse of process and oppressive conduct.
  • it was unreasonable for the solicitor to shelter behind the advice of counsel, Ian Callinan QC.

As the impetus came from the solicitor, his Honour ordered that they pay the legal costs of White Industries, on an indemnity basis.

Lawyers

Sydney, Australia

1300 00 2088

Commonwealth Bank and ASIC | Senate report

ON 26 JUNE 2014, the Senate Economics References Committee released it’s final report entitled Performance of Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Economics/ASIC/Final_Report/index

Of note, the committee found that there had been misconduct on the part of the advisors and planners within the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s financial planning business and recommended that an enquiry, in the form of a judicial enquiry or Royal Commission, be established to investigate those matters as well as allegations of cover up.

It was recommended that the proposed inquiry identify the conduct amounting to breaches of law or professional standards and review all files to assess the appropriateness of the compensation process and the amounts of compensation offered by the bank.

The Bank’s CEO, Ian Narev, has apologised to the customers who received “poor advice” but and prefers to have an internal “independent” inquiry, called the Open Advice Review Program, rather than a Royal Commission.

Lawyers 1300 00 2088

Carson v Legal Services Commissioner [2000] NSWCA 308

ON 3 NOVEMBER 2000, the NSW Court of Appeal delivered Carson v Legal Services Commissioner & Anor [2000] NSWCA 308 (3 November 2000).

http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/nsw/NSWCA/2000/308.html

Lawyers

Sydney, Australia

1300 00 2088

White Industries (Qld) Pty Ltd v Flower & Hart (a firm) [1998] FCA 806

ON 14 JULY 1998, the Federal Court of Australia delivered White Industries (Qld) Pty Ltd v Flower & Hart (a firm) [1998] FCA 806 (14 July 1998).

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FCA/1998/806.html

Flower & Hart (a firm of lawyers) was ordered to pay the legal costs of White Industries (Qld) Pty Ltd who had been sued by Flower & Hart’s client, Caboolture Park Shopping Centre Pty Ltd (in liquidation).

Proceedings alleging misleading and deceptive conduct, fraud and negligence had been brought by Caboolture Park for the ulterior purpose of delaying payment of monies due under a building contract. The solicitor for Caboolture Park, Michael Meadows, held the view that the proceedings did not have any prospects or any substantial prospects of success but nevertheless advised his client to proceed in order to secure a bargaining position against White Industries.

Goldberg held that:

ICAC v Cornwall (1993) 38 NSWLR 207

ON 8 SEPTEMBER 1993, the Supreme Court of NSW delivered Independent Commission Against Corruption v Cornwall (1993) 38 NSWLR 207.

Journalist Deborah Cornwall was found guilty of contempt for not disclosing the names of unnamed police officers who told her that underworld figure Arthur “Neddy” Smith had been a police informer.

Ms Cornwall received a two month suspended sentence and 90 hours of community service.

Lawyers 1300 00 2088