Litigation & Disputes

Government surveillance bill passed by Parliament

On 25 August 2021 Federal Parliament passed the Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2021 (Bill).  The Bill modifies various acts, including the Surveillance Devices Act 2004 (Cth) (SDA) and the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) (CA), to enhance the law enforcement powers of the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission in respect of serious online crime.[1]  The Bill introduces three (3) new warrants:

  • data disruption warrants;
  • network activity warrants; and
  • account takeover warrants.

[Read more…]

Can email trackers be submitted as evidence?

Whether email trackers, read receipts and similar indicators that show an email has been received and, ostensibly, read can be submitted as evidence has not been substantially considered in standing jurisprudence.  This article briefly considers whether, in light of existing case law, email trackers can be submitted as evidence. [Read more…]

QBCC Home Warranty Insurance claims – part 4

This article is a continuation from the previous article done by Dundas Lawyers: Review of QBCC decisions – part 4 and the case that was outlined therein.  Part 5 of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (Qld) (Act) establishes a statutory home warranty insurance scheme (QBCC Home Warranty Insurance Scheme), the purpose of which is in certain situations to provide basic assistance to consumers of residential construction work.  But does coverage under the QBCC Home Warranty Insurance Scheme extend to prepayments made for residential construction work yet to be performed? [Read more…]

Costs in unfair dismissal applications – part 4

Previous articles by Dundas Lawyers have looked at the difficulties confronted in obtaining a costs order against an unsuccessful party in an unfair dismissal application (Application).  To recap, section 611(1) of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FWA) holds that a party to an Application, be it the complainant employee or the respondent employer, must bear its own costs in relation to a matter before the Fair Work Commission (FWC).  However, there are circumstances when the other side’s costs can be imposed on a party to an Application.  This article outlines these circumstances. [Read more…]

Preliminary discovery in the Federal Court

Preliminary discovery (Discovery) is available to potential applicants (Applicants) in the Federal Court for the purposes of determining whether there is a good cause of action against a prospective respondent (Respondent).  It is not as a mechanism for full discovery.  Discovery is done before the filing of any claim and occurs at the very start of litigious proceedings. [Read more…]

Tortious interference with contract – what must be proven?

Unlawful interference with contractual relations (Interference) is a tort that allows  damages to be claimed against a Defendant who has induced or procured a third party to breach their contractual obligations to the Plaintiff in the proceedings.  In essence, a Defendant’s intention to induce or procure an entity to act or refrain from acting whilst being aware that such an action would result in said entity breach its contractual obligations to the Plaintiff gives rise to the Interference.[1]  This article outlines the elements needed to be proven in order to establish an Interference. [Read more…]

What is the proposed ‘patent box’ tax incentive?

The Federal Government has announced in its 2021-2022 budget the ‘patent box tax regime’ (Regime).  The Regime is in effect a $206 million boost to Australian biotech and medtech innovators (Research Areas) via the implementation of a concessional corporate tax rate. [Read more…]

Are fiduciary duties owed by former directors?

Company directors owe various duties to their company and its shareholders.  For example, sections 180, 181, 182, 183 and 184 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)(Act) impose statutory duties to exercise care and diligence, maintain good faith and refrain from using their position or information to gain an advantage for themselves.  However, the legislation, barring section 183, does not clearly express the extent to which these duties, as well as similar common law duties, continue to apply after a director has ceased being the director of a company.  Addressing this shortfall, the Court in Advanced Fuels Technology Pty Ltd v Blythe & Ors [2018] VSC 286 (Advanced Fuels) found that whether or not these duties endure after the cessation of a directorship depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. [Read more…]

Palmer breaches copyright – liable for $1.5m AUD in damages

On 30 April 2021 Katzmann J delivered the Federal Court’s judgment in the matter of Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd v Palmer (No 2) [2021] FCA 434 (UMB).  The case of UMB concerns the infringement of musical and literary works (Works) of Daniel “Dee” Snider (Dee) by Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party’s (UAP/Respondent) multi-media advertising campaign.  UMB considered a complex and detailed fact matrix.   Simply put, the Respondent made use of a short jingle with the lyrics ‘Aussies Not Gonna Cop It’ to the tune of Dee’s ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’, alongside other similarly reproduced advertisements (Impugned Works), to promote the Respondent’s political objectives. [Read more…]

Costs in unfair dismissal applications – part 1

Being in business is hard work at the best of times; having to juggle the needs of customers, the demands of financiers and earning a dollar at the end of the day.  One of the most demanding aspects for many business owners is managing the performance of employees.  Given the industrial relations landscape in Australia, employers need to take care if wanting to terminate an employee because of misconduct or ongoing poor performance, lest they risk an unfair dismissal claim. [Read more…]

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