In a decision with broader public law implications, the High Court held that, absent actual loss or injury, successful plaintiffs can expect no more than an award of nominal damages to vindicate an infringement of their rights, and that ‘vindicatory damages’ have no place in Australian common law.
Category: Public Law
In a joint judgment, a Full Court of five members (Allsop CJ, Kenny, Besanko, Mortimer and Moshinsky JJ) held that the power in s 501 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) to refuse to grant a visa can be used to refuse an application for a protection visa, even if the applicant otherwise satisfies the protection visa criteria.
A unanimous (five Justice) High Court approval of the apprehended bias test in Ebner v Official Trustee in Bankruptcy. Three Justice majority conclusions about the application of the Ebner test, and the requirement of materiality in a jurisdictional error before a decision will be invalidated.
Exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on law and jurisprudence.
A majority of the Full Court of the Federal Court has found that fraud by an agent can stultify the function of a tribunal. The fraudulent conduct need not be of the ‘red blooded’ species proscribed by the common law.
Can a court issue an injunction to restrain a third-party from taking action that would threaten the subject of judicial review proceedings after it has set aside a decision and ordered that it be remade according to law?
In Australia, it is presently unclear whether and to what extent the unreasonableness ground applies to administrative action based on non-statutory executive power. Earlier this year, Robertson J handed down a decision which advances the limited jurisprudence in this area.
The High Court has dismissed yet another challenge to state legislation relying on the Kable principle. The case concerned legislation that gives very broad power to courts. The Court’s split decision exposes a significant division on the Court as to the nature of judicial power.
In this case, the question for the High Court was whether Code of Conduct legislation, that applied to Australian Public Service employees, imposed an unjustified burden on the constitutionally implied freedom of political communication. The High Court’s answer was ― “No”.
The UK Supreme Court recently handed down a decision about privative clauses, R v Investigatory Powers Tribunal  UKSC 22. The decision is relevant to Australia because it prompts consideration of the scope and basis of Kirk v Industrial Court of New South Wales.
A majority of the High Court held that Queensland laws regulating the making of gifts to political parties were valid, and that a Commonwealth law purporting to permit such gifts was invalid.
The High Court unanimously held that a State legislature could not vest jurisdiction in an executive tribunal to hear a dispute between residents of different States, but split 4:3 on why
The High Court has read down a statutory secrecy provision that purported to shield information from production to a court on judicial review. In doing so, it has confirmed that s 75(v) of the Constitution protects more than simply the right to commence proceedings for judicial review.
In Falzon v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the High Court dismissed a challenge to the validity of s 501(3A) of the Migration Act. The Court held that the provision, which provided for the cancellation of a visa in certain circumstances, did not confer judicial power on the executive.