Category Archives: Injunctions

Contract – Implied terms – Frustration – Injunction – Extrinsic evidence of intention

Codelfa Construction Pty Ltd v State Rail Authority of NSW [1982] HCA 24; (1982) 149 CLR 337 (11 May 1982).

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/1982/24.html

“Contract – Construction – Implied terms – Frustration – Contract to carry out excavations for rail authority – Completion required by certain date – Contractor working three shifts seven days per week – Injunction granted to third party restraining contractor from working at certain times – Whether implied term of contract that authority would grant reasonable extension of time and indemnify contractor against additional costs occasioned by grant of injunction – Whether injunction frustrated contract – Extrinsic evidence of intention.
Arbitration – Jurisdiction to entertain claim that contract frustrated – Power to award interest on award – Compound interest – Supreme Court Act 1970 (N.S.W.), s. 94(1).”

Codelfa contracted with the State Rail Authority’s predecessor, the NSW Commissioner for Railways, to perform the excavations on Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs railway. It was agreed that Codelfa would perform three shifts per day over a fixed period, but they were unable to meet this requirement because of injunctions brought by local residents.

Codelfa sought damages from the SRA on two grounds: (1) that there was an implied term that if they were restrained by injunctions the SRA would extend time for completion or would indemnify Codelfa for any losses caused by the injunctions; in the alternative, (2) that the contract was frustrated by the injunctions.

Mason J at 352 observed that the “true rule” regarding the admission of evidence of the surrounding circumstances is that such evidence is admissible if the language of the contract is ambiguous or capable of more than one meaning but is not admissible to contradict the language which has a plain meaning.

The court held that there was no implied term. Even if a term needed to be implied to give efficacy to the contract, the was not a term “so obvious it goes without saying”. The court referred with approval to its earlier decision in Secured Income Real Estate (Australia) Ltd v St Martins Investments Pty Ltd [1979] HCA 51; (1979) 144 CLR 596.

Codelfa was nevertheless successful with the court holding that the contract was frustrated because “the performance of the contract in the events which have occurred is radically different from performance of the contract in the circumstances which it, construed in the light of surrounding circumstances, contemplated”.

Lawyers

Sydney, Australia

1300 00 2088

Codelfa Construction Pty Ltd v State Rail Authority of NSW [1982] HCA 24 | 11 May 1982

ON THIS DAY in 1982, the High Court of Australia delivered Codelfa Construction Pty Ltd v State Rail Authority of NSW [1982] HCA 24; (1982) 149 CLR 337 (11 May 1982).

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/1982/24.html

“Contract – Construction – Implied terms – Frustration – Contract to carry out excavations for rail authority – Completion required by certain date – Contractor working three shifts seven days per week – Injunction granted to third party restraining contractor from working at certain times – Whether implied term of contract that authority would grant reasonable extension of time and indemnify contractor against additional costs occasioned by grant of injunction – Whether injunction frustrated contract – Extrinsic evidence of intention.
Arbitration – Jurisdiction to entertain claim that contract frustrated – Power to award interest on award – Compound interest – Supreme Court Act 1970 (N.S.W.), s. 94(1).”

Codelfa contracted with the State Rail Authority’s predecessor, the NSW Commissioner for Railways, to perform the excavations on Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs railway. It was agreed that Codelfa would perform three shifts per day over a fixed period, but they were unable to meet this requirement because of injunctions brought by local residents.

Codelfa sought damages from the SRA on two grounds: (1) that there was an implied term that if they were restrained by injunctions the SRA would extend time for completion or would indemnify Codelfa for any losses caused by the injunctions; in the alternative, (2) that the contract was frustrated by the injunctions.

Mason J at 352 observed that the “true rule” regarding the admission of evidence of the surrounding circumstances is that such evidence is admissible if the language of the contract is ambiguous or capable of more than one meaning but is not admissible to contradict the language which has a plain meaning.

The court held that there was no implied term. Even if a term needed to be implied to give efficacy to the contract, the was not a term “so obvious it goes without saying”. The court referred with approval to its earlier decision in Secured Income Real Estate (Australia) Ltd v St Martins Investments Pty Ltd [1979] HCA 51; (1979) 144 CLR 596.

Codelfa was nevertheless successful with the court holding that the contract was frustrated because “the performance of the contract in the events which have occurred is radically different from performance of the contract in the circumstances which it, construed in the light of surrounding circumstances, contemplated”.

Lawyers

Sydney, Australia

1300 00 2088

Miller v Jackson [1977] EWCA Civ 6 | 6 April 1977

ON THIS DAY in 1977, the England and Wales Court of Appeal delivered Miller v Jackson [1977] EWCA Civ 6 (06 April 1977).  A cricket club was sued in negligence and nuisance caused by cricket balls landing on a neighbour’s property.  Whilst ordering damages, the court refused to grant an injunction to cease the action or further action as the game of cricket itself was considered to be in the public interest.

Lord Denning began with the following:

“In summertime village cricket is the delight of everyone. Nearly every village has its own cricket field where the young men play and the old men watch. In the village of Lintz in County Durham they have their own ground, where they have played these last seventy years. They tend it well. The wicket area is well rolled and mown. The outfield is kept short. It has a good club-house for the players and seats for the onlookers. The village team play there on Saturdays and Sundays. They belong to a league, competing with the neighbouring villages. On other evenings after work they practice while the light lasts. Yet now after these 70 years a Judge of the High Court has ordered that they must not play there anymore, lie has issued an injunction to stop them. He has done it at the instance of a newcomer who is no lover of cricket. This newcomer has built, or has had built for him, a house on the edge of the cricket ground which four years ago was a field where cattle grazed. The animals did not mind the cricket. But now this adjoining field has been turned into a housing estate. The newcomer bought one of the houses on the edge of the cricket ground. No doubt the open space was a selling point. Now he complains that, when a batsman hits a six, the ball has been known to land in his garden or on or near his house. His wife has got so upset about it that they always go out at weekends. They do not go into the garden when cricket is being played. They say that this is intolerable. So they asked the Judge to stop the cricket being played. And the Judge, I am sorry to say, feels that the cricket must be stopped: with the consequences, I suppose, that the Lintz cricket-club will disappear. The cricket ground will be turned to some other use. I expect for more houses or a factory. The young men will turn to other things instead of cricket. The whole village will be much the poorer. And all this because of a newcomer who has just bought a house there next to the cricket ground.”

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/1977/6.html

Lawyers

1300 00 2088

Anton Piller KG v Manufacturing Processes Ltd [1975] EWCA Civ 12 | 8 December 1975

ON 8 DECEMBER 1975, the England and Wales Court of Appeal delivered Anton Piller KG v Manufacturing Processes Ltd & Ors [1975] EWCA Civ 12 (08 December 1975).

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/1975/12.html

The Court of Appeal held that it had inherent jurisdiction to order defendants in most exceptional circumstances to “permit” the plaintiffs’ lawyers to enter the defendants’ premises to inspect and remove material. Such circumstances are (1) when the plaintiffs have a strong prima facie case of very serious actual or potential damage and (2) clear evidence of the defendants being in the possession of “vital material which they might destroy or dispose of to defeat the ends of justice before an application inter partes may be made”.

The Court of Appeal held that in very exceptional circumstances such an application may be made ex parte (in the absence of the defendants).

Lawyers

Sydney, Australia

1300 00 2088

Commonwealth Bank of Australia v Jackson McDonald [2014] WASC 301

Commonwealth Bank of Australia v Jackson McDonald (a firm) [2014] WASC 301 (25 August 2014).

Lawyers

Sydney, Australia

1300 00 2088

Goater v Commonwealth Bank of Australia [2014] NSWCA 265

Goater v Commonwealth Bank of Australia [2014] NSWCA 265 (15 August 2014).

Lawyers

1300 00 2088

Bell v Commonwealth Bank of Australia [2014] FCA 934

Bell v Commonwealth Bank of Australia [2014] FCA 934 (8 August 2014)

Lawyers 1300 00 2088

JARK (representing a class as defined in Paragraph 1 of “Nature of the Claim” in the Writ of Summons) v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and Anor; SAS v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and Anor [2014] HCATrans 148 (7 July 2014)

ON 7 JULY 2014, Justice Crennan of the High Court of Australia granted an interim injunction restraining the Commonwealth from taking, removing, deporting or surrendering certain asylum seekers into the custody of the government of Sri Lanka.

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/other/HCATrans/2014/148.html

Lawyers

Sydney, Australia

1300 00 2088

Chancery Amendment Act 1858 (UK) 1858 (“Lord Cairns’ Act “) | 28 June 1858

ON 28 JUNE 1858, the UK Parliament enacted the Chancery Amendment Act 1858 (UK), also known as the Lord Cairns’ Act 1858.

The Act allowed the English and Irish equity courts to award damages. Until then, equity courts were limited to granting injunctions and specific performance. The Act also allowed the equity courts to call juries.

Lawyers

Sydney, Australia

1300 00 2088

Mareva Compania Naviera SA v International Bulkcarriers SA (“The Mareva”) [1980] 1 All ER 213 | 23 June 1975

ON 23 JUNE 1975, the English Court of Appeal delivered Mareva Compania Naviera SA v International Bulkcarriers SA
(“The Mareva”)
[1980] 1 All ER 213.

http://www.uniset.ca/other/cs4/19801AER213.html

The court introduced the asset freezing Mareva injunction by ordering that the defendant be restrained from removing its assets from it’s jurisdiction pending trial.

Lawyers

Sydney, Australia

1300 00 2088