Category Archives: Uncategorized

Miller v Miller [2011] HCA 9 | 7 April 2011

ON THIS DAY in 2011, the High Court of Australia delivered Miller v Miller [2011] HCA 9 (7 April 2011).

A joint illegal enterprise (eg joyride) negates a duty of care (driver to passenger) thereby creating a defence of illegality on the part of the driver/insurer: see Gala v Preston [1991] HCA 18. However, in Miller v Miller the High Court held that the plaintiff (injured passenger) was owed a duty of care because she withdrew from the enterprise by asking to be let out of the car and there were no reasonable steps available to her to prevent the continuation of the offence.


Sydney, Australia

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Ames & Ames [2009] FamCA 825 | 4 September 2009

ON 4 SEPTEMBER 2009, the Family Court of Australia delivered Ames & Ames [2009] FamCA 825 (4 September 2009)

A father obtained a paternity test of his son without obtaining the mother’s consent. The father had lied to the son about his reasons for taking the swab.

Justice Dawes found that the specimen had been obtained improperly and used her discretion under s138EA to refuse to admit into evidence the laboratory report because of the threat of the integrity of the process as well as the improper way in which the specimen had been obtained.


Sydney, Australia

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Class Actions in Australia

Representative or group proceedings (class actions) were introduced to Australia through the Federal Court of Australia Amendment Act 1991 (Cth) which amended the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth). They have since been introduced in Victoria under the Supreme Court Act 1986 (Vic) and in NSW under the Civil Procedure Act 2005 (NSW).

Most class actions are brought in the Federal Court of Australia. The court rules require the following thresholds to be met before proceedings can be commenced:

  • There must be seven or more persons bringing a claim against the same defendant(s).
  • The claims must arise out the same, similar or related circumstances.
  • The claims must give rise to at least one substantial common issue of law or fact.

Currently there are a number of class actions either under investigation on foot in Australia. Some of the more notable ones include:

ABC Learning Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Air Cargo Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Alcoa Alumina Refinery Multiple Plaintiff Action (Shine Lawyers)

Allco Shareholder Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

American Mesh Systems (AMS) Class Action (Shine Lawyers)

Arundel Suntown Tip Class Action (Shine Lawyers)

Australian Capital Reserve Class Action (Slater and Gordon)

Bank Fees Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Billabong Shareholder Class Action (Slater and Gordon)

Black Saturday Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Bladder Cancer Group Action assocated with Actos Diabetes Drug (Maurice Blackburn)

Bonsoy Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Brooklyn Park Olives (Slater and Gordon)

Cash Converters Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

CBA’s Open Advice Review Program – Commonwealth Financial Planning and Financial Wisdom Claims (Slater and Gordon)

CFA Fiskville claims (Slater and Gordon)

Class Action on behalf of people detained on Christmas Island (Maurice Blackburn)

Collingwood Park Mine Subsidence Group (Shine Lawyers)

Dan Bowl Tax Minimisation Scheme Group Action (Shine Lawyers)

DePuy ASR Hip Implants (Maurice Blackburn)

DePuy ASR Hip Replacement Class Action (Shine Lawyers)

DePuy / Johnson & Johnson Knee Replacement Class Action (Shine Lawyers)

DePuy (LCS Duofix Femoral Component) Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Elders Limited (Slater and Gordon)

Equine Influenza Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Fairbridge Farm School (Slater and Gordon)

False Imprisonment of Young People Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Financial Wisdom Class Action (Shine Lawyers)

Gladstone Harbour Disaster Representative Class Action (Shine Lawyers)

Grand Western Lodge Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Gunns Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Hastie Group (Slater and Gordon)

Hazelwood Coal Mine Fire Investigation (Maurice Blackburn)

Hepatitis C Class Action (Slater and Gordon)

Immigration Detention Claims (Slater and Gordon)

Johnson & Johnson/ Ethicon Class Action (Shine Lawyers)

Leighton Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

LM Investments Funds (Slater and Gordon)

Macquarie Equities Financial Planning Claims (Slater and Gordon)

NAB Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX:NCM) Class Action (Slater and Gordon)

NSW Bushfires Class Action (Slater and Gordon)

NZ bank fees (Slater and Gordon/Play Fair on Fees)

Pacific First Mortgage Fund Claim against Minter Ellison Gold Coast (Maurice Blackburn)

Pacific First Mortgage Fund Claim against Philip Sullivan, Thomas Swan, Stephen McCormick & Ian Donaldson (Maurice Blackburn)

Perth Hills/Parkerville Bushfire (Slater and Gordon)

Prevelly-Margaret River Bushfires – November 2011 (Slater and Gordon)

Thalidomide Class Action (Slater & Gordon)

QBE Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Queensland Floods Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

River City Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Treasury Wine Estates Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Vodafone and Crazy John’s Class Action (Piper Alderman)

Workers with Intellectual Disabilities Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Zimmer Durom Hip Replacement Class Action (Shine Lawyers)


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New Flight Guidelines for Personal Electronic Devices

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has issued an Airworthiness Bulletin with revised guidelines for the expansion of the use of Personal Electronic Devices during flights.

FROM 26 JUNE 2014, Passengers on Qantas and Virgin will be able use small mobile devices (weighing less than 1kg) such as phones during take off and landing.


Sydney, Australia

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Cheatle v R [1993] HCA 44 | 26 August 1993

ON 26 AUGUST 1993, the High Court of Australia delivered Cheatle v R [1993] HCA 44; (1993) 177 CLR 541 (26 August 1993).

South Australian law allowed for a majority verdict of 10 or 11 jurors. Mr and Mrs Cheatle were convicted by a majority verdict of a South Australian jury for the indictable offence of conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth. The High Court allowed an appeal, holding that s80 of the Constitution required unanimous verdicts for Commonwealth indictable offences. A new trial was ordered.


Sydney, Australia

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Warringah Council Tree Policy as at 25 August 2014

For information about tree care in Warringah, go to Warringah Council Tree Care


Sydney, Australia

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Salvos Legal wins 2014 Law Firm of the Year Award

ON 8 AUGUST 2014, Salvos Legal won the 2014 Law Firm of the Year Award. For more information go to:


Sydney, Australia

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Anglia Television Ltd v Reed [1972] | 29 July 1971

ON 29 JULY 1971, the English Court of appeal delivered Anglia Television Ltd v Reed [1972] 1 Q.B. 60.

The defendant, Robert Reed, was an American actor best known for his role as Mike Brady in the Brady Bunch television series. In 1968 he contracted with the plaintiff, Anglia Television Ltd, to act in a movie to be filmed in Great Britain. Due to a mix-up with his bookings, the defendant repudiated the contract. The plaintiff sought damages for wasted expenditure incurred before and after the formation of the contract. The defendant argued that the plaintiff was only entitled to wasted expenditure after the contract.

The trial judge awarded the defendant damages for the wasted expenditure incurred both before and after the formation of the contract. The Court of Appeal dismissed the defendant’s appeal.

Lord Denning MR held: “If the plaintiff claims the wasted expenditure, he is not limited to the expenditure incurred after the contract was concluded. He can claim also the expenditure incurred before the contract, provided that it was such as would reasonably be in the contemplation of the parties as likely to be wasted if the contract was broken”.


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Daily Court Lists

Daily court lists can be found at the Lawfoundation website:

Lawyers 1300 00 2088

R N v Commonwealth of Australia [2014] VSC 289

ON 23 JUNE 2014, the Supreme Court of Victoria delivered R N v Commonwealth of Australia [2014] VSC 289 (23 June 2014).

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