Interest on Judgments Practice Note (GPN-INT)

J L B Allsop, Chief Justice 18 September 2017

General Practice Note

1. Introduction

1.1 This practice note provides guidance in regard to interest on judgments arising under ss 51A and 52 of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) ("Federal Court Act") and r 39.06 of the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) ("Federal Court Rules"). It also provides guidance in regard to interest up to judgment arising under s 547 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) ("Fair Work Act").

1.2 It takes effect from the date it is issued and, to the extent practicable, applies to proceedings whether filed before, or after, the date of issuing.

2. Pre-judgment Interest1

2.1 Section 51A(1)(a) of the Federal Court Act and s 547(2) of the Fair Work Act provide for the making of orders for the inclusion of interest in judgments.

2.2 Parties and their lawyers should expect that when, pursuant to s 51A(1)(a), interest in respect of a pre-judgment period2 is to be included in a judgment, the Court will have regard to the following rates, being rates agreed upon by the Discount and Interest Rate Harmonisation Committee established following a referral by the Council of Chief Justices of Australia and New Zealand:

(a) in respect of the period from 1 January to 30 June in any year – the rate that is 4% above the cash rate last published by the Reserve Bank of Australia before that period commenced; and

(b) in respect of the period from 1 July to 31 December in any year – the rate that is 4% above the cash rate last published by the Reserve Bank of Australia before that period commenced.

2.3 Parties and their lawyers should also expect that when, pursuant to s 547(2) of the Fair Work Act, interest in respect of a pre-judgment period is to be included in an order (other than a pecuniary penalty order) for payment of an amount under the Fair Work Act or a fair work instrument, the Court will have regard to the rates set out in paragraph 2.2 of this practice note3.

3. Post-judgment Interest4

3.1 The debt arising from an order of the Court (judgment debt) carries interest from the date as of which the judgment is entered ("post-judgment period").5

3.2 Subject to paragraph 3.3, pursuant to s 52(2)(a) of the Federal Court Act, interest in respect of the post-judgment period is payable at the prescribed rate fixed by r 39.06 of the Federal Court Rules:

(a) for the period from 1 January to 30 June in any year – the rate that is 6% above the cash rate last published by the Reserve Bank of Australia before the period commenced; and

(b) for the period from 1 July to 31 December in any year – the rate that is 6% above the cash rate last published by the Reserve Bank of Australia before the period commenced.

3.3 If the Court, in any particular case, thinks that justice requires it, a lower interest rate6 (or such other rate as the Court, in its discretion, may determine) is payable at the rate determined by the Court.

4. Further Information

4.1 Authoritative details of the cash rate are published by the Reserve Bank of Australia from time to time on its website. Parties may also refer to the Court's webpage on interest rates. That webpage includes a table of cash rates which, subject to independent verification, may assist in the calculation of pre and post-judgment interest7.

J L B ALLSOP
Chief Justice
18 September 2017

 



1 Part 2 of this practice note and the formula and rate of pre-judgment is in the form harmonised by the Council of Chief Justices' Harmonisation Committee on Discount and Interest Rates.

2 See s 51A(1)(a) of the Federal Court Act referring to "the whole or any part of the period between the date when the cause of action arose and the date as of which judgment is entered".

3 See also the requirements set out in subsections 547(2) and (3) of the Fair Work Act.

4 The formula and rate of post-judgment is harmonised by the Council of Chief Justices' Harmonisation Committee on Discount and Interest Rates.

5 See s 52(1) of the Federal Court Act.

6 See s 52(2)(b) of the Federal Court Act.

7 Before relying on the information in the table on the Court's website for any purpose, including in calculating pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, users should always independently verify its accuracy, currency and completeness.


 

History 

Note: This practice note replaces Interest on Judgments Practice Note (GPN-INT) issued on 18 September 2016.