Latest Judgments

Judgments are generally published within 24 hours of being made available by Judges' staff, often earlier. In cases of high media interest, we endeavour to publish judgments within 1 hour of being delivered by the Court.

If you cannot find a judgment, check Federal Law Search; it will  tell you the status of the matter before the Court, including whether a judgment has been delivered.

Today's published judgments

Social Security ; Practice and Procedure ; High Court and Federal Judiciary
Frugtniet v Secretary, Department of Social Services [2021] FCAFC 127
SOCIAL SECURITY - appeal from the primary judge's order dismissing an appeal from a decision of the Tribunal which affirmed a decision of a delegate of the Secretary to apply an amount of family tax benefit due to the appellant in partial discharge of the appellant's indebtedness to the Commonwealth - where the appellant's entitlement to family tax benefit arose from the Secretary's failure to give the required notice to the appellant prior to the recovery of overpayments of that benefit - where the appellant's indebtedness to the Commonwealth arose from his receipt of parenting payments to which he was not entitled under the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth) - whether s 84A of the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999 (Cth) (Administration Act) authorised the set off of the appellant's entitlement against his debt to the Commonwealth - whether the primary judge erred in failing to find that s 84A did not allow such set off - in the circumstances, s 84A does authorise such set off - no error by the primary judge was demonstrated. SOCIAL SECURITY - whether the Secretary's decision to set off the appellant's entitlement against the debt was made for an improper purpose, namely because it was prevented by s 86 of the Administration Act as previously in force or because the invalid recovery of overpayments giving rise to the entitlement was not recoverable - whether the primary judge erred in failing to find an improper purpose - the decision was not for an improper purpose - no error by the primary judge was demonstrated. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - where the appellant submitted to the court post-hearing submissions and a proposed further amended notice of appeal without leave - whether the court should entertain such submissions and proposed notice of appeal - the submissions and proposed further amended notice of appeal should not be entertained. HIGH COURT AND FEDERAL COURT - application for recusal of a judge on the basis of apprehended bias - where the judge heard two other matters involving the appellant or the appellant's former spouse - in the circumstances, no basis for recusal.

Industrial Law ; Practice and Procedure
NSW Trains v Australian Rail, Tram and Bus Industry Union [2021] FCA 883
INDUSTRIAL LAW - enterprise agreement - continued operation after nominal expiry date - whether clause with operation "during the life of the agreement" refers to the nominal expiry date - or whether that clause continues to operate after nominal expiry INDUSTRIAL LAW - power of employer to give instructions - the making of extra claims PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - attempt to re-litigate dispute resolved by Fair Work Commission - whether abuse of process PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - declaratory relief - resolution of hypothetical questions - declaratory relief hypothetical both by reason of uncertainty as to regulatory framework and factual uncertainty - whether utility - form of declarations sought - relief refused
03 Aug 2021 |  FLICK J

Practice and Procedure ; Defamation
Roberts-Smith v Fairfax Media Publications Pty Limited (No 21) [2021] FCA 893
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE -- defamation proceedings -- adjournment of trial -- where respondents have commenced their case -- where an outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in interstate border closures and major restrictions being imposed in New South Wales -- effects of COVID-19 pandemic on in-person hearings and witnesses' ability to travel -- trial adjourned
02 Aug 2021 |  BESANKO J

Aravanis (Trustee) v Twin Investors Pty Ltd, in the matter of the Bankrupt Estate of Kapp (Admissibility Ruling) [2021] FCA 899
EVIDENCE - where evidence obtained by Official Receiver under Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) s 77C - where Applicants tendered transcript of Official Receiver's examination - whether transcript admissible under Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) s 77C(3) and s 255(2) despite Evidence Act 1995 (Cth)
03 Aug 2021 |  PERRAM J

Corporations Law
Australian Securities and Investments Commission v RI Advice Group Pty Ltd (No 2) [2021] FCA 877
CORPORATIONS LAW - financial services and markets - best interests obligations - responsibilities of holder of Australian financial services licence - obligation of licensee to take reasonable steps to ensure that its representatives comply with the best interests obligations - obligation of licensee to do all things necessary to ensure that the financial services covered by the licence are provided efficiently, honestly and fairly - whether the first defendant, a licensee, contravened these obligations
02 Aug 2021 |  MOSHINSKY J

Hillis v Minister for Home Affairs [2021] FCA 892
MIGRATION - where prerogative relief sought in respect of cancellation of applicant's visa - whether Minister's discretion to cancel visa was a lawful exercise of jurisdiction - whether serious errors made in Minister's reasoning - whether Minister's discretion was unlawful because it was unreasonable - where decision illogical and irrational - where decision based on factual findings not open on the evidence - writs of prohibition and mandamus granted - respondent to pay applicant's costs of the application
03 Aug 2021 |  WIGNEY J

Practice and Procedure ; Intellectual Property
Skelin v Self Care Corporation Pty Ltd [2021] FCA 888
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - applications to stay hearing of Federal Circuit Court proceedings - where applicant seeks leave to appeal from decision of Federal Circuit Court judge granting leave to amend a pleading - where applicant seeks leave to appeal from decision of Federal Circuit Court judge rejecting application to recuse herself on the basis of an apprehension of bias - where Federal Circuit Court proceedings due to commence imminently - principles relevant to grant of a stay - balance of convenience - applications dismissed
29 Jul 2021 |  BURLEY J