RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS – Application to remove single dwelling covenant under s 84 Property Law Act 1958 (Vic) – whether single dwelling restriction obsolete – whether removal or modification would “substantially injure” those entitled to the benefit of the restriction
23 Further, viewing the neighbourhood by referring to Google maps during the course of the hearing and in the course of preparation of these reasons, confirmed my opinion that development of the neighbourhood, with the exception of usual community facilities such as a school, a childcare centre, and a shopping centre, is characterised by large, detached dwellings on blocks of equivalent or larger size to the land. The further subdivisions referred to above have not substantially altered the character of the neighbourhood such as to render the single dwelling restriction in the covenant obsolete.
[FN]  See T2, 15-16 and T11, 28. Sections 53 and 54 of the Evidence Act 2008 (Vic) allows the Court to draw any reasonable inference from an inspection. There seems to be no good reason why an “inspection” cannot be conducted using an electronic device.
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW – Proposed logging at three coupes near Toolangi – Application for permanent injunction restraining logging – Whether proposed coupes contain Leadbeater’s Possum zone 1A habitat – Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act Action Statement – Central Highlands Forest Management Plan – Construction of relevant management prescription – Hollow-bearing tree means mature or senescing tree containing hollows – No evidence that proposed coupes contain sufficient density of hollow-bearing trees to constitute zone 1A – Obligation to comply with precautionary principle – No threat of serious or irreversible damage – Proposed adaptive management measures not proportionate to threat – Application dismissed – Sections 3, 4, and 22 Forests Act 1958; ss 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, and 31 Conservation Forests and Lands Act 1987; ss 1, 4, 5, 6, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 37, 38, 39, 40, 43, 44, and 45 Sustainable Forests (Timber) 2004; ss 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 11, 17, 19, and 20 Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 – Environment East Gippsland Inc v VicForests  VSC 335 – Telstra Corporation Limited v Hornsby Shire Council  NSWLEC 133; (2006) 67 NSWLR 256.
APPEAL – Court of Appeal has all procedural powers necessary to manage appeals within its jurisdiction – power to order security for costs of an appeal may be exercised by single Judge of the Court of Appeal.
SECURITY FOR COSTS – no requirement to demonstrate special circumstances before security for costs of appeal is ordered – in personal injury cases, the “common situation” of an impecunious plaintiff, a difficult case on the facts and potentially high costs is not of itself a ground for ordering security for costs – lawyers acting for appellant on no-win no-fee basis are not “people standing behind the proceeding” merely because they are acting on that basis – lawyers acting for an impecunious individual are not in the normal course of events a possible source of financial support for their client – that situation contrasted with the position of shareholders or secured creditors of an impecunious corporation – representation of impecunious appellant on no-win no-fee basis is not of itself a ground for ordering security for costs – that situation contrasted with case in which no-win no-fee representation means that only the lawyer will benefit from a successful appeal – application refused.
Evidence Act 1995 (Cth), s 53
EVIDENCE – application for inspection of rural properties at Moree – s 53 Evidence Act 1995 – whether in court’s opinion inspection would assist in resolving issues of fact or understanding the evidence – whether inspection might cause or result in undue waste of time – cost of inspection relevant – application refused
CRIMINAL LAW – Re-trial – Accused charged with three counts of murder – Further submissions on matters dealt with by Court of Appeal – New evidence – Opinion Evidence – Specialised knowledge – Experiments – Degree of similarity with circumstances at the time – Matters of weight – Potential for jury to be misled – Limiting the use of evidence – Evidence Act (2008) ss. 53, 76, 79, 135, 136 & 137.
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW – Brown Mountain East Gippsland – Proposed logging – Standing of conservation group to sue – Code of Practice for Timber Production – Timber allocation order – Timber Release Plan – Forest Management Plan – Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act Action Statements – Management Procedures – Obligation to comply with requirements of Action Statements and standards in Forest Management Plan in event of detection of specific fauna species during operations – Obligation to comply with precautionary principle – Presence of endangered fauna species – Long-footed Potoroo – Orbost Spiny Crayfish – New taxon of crayfish – Giant Burrowing Frog – Large Brown Tree Frog – Powerful Owl – Sooty Owl – Spot-tailed Quoll – Greater Glider – Yellow-bellied Glider – Square-tailed Kite – Hollow bearing trees – Provision of retained habitat for Long-footed Potoroo – Provision of Special Protection Zone for exceptionally high densities of Greater Gliders and Yellow-bellied Gliders – Compliance with precautionary principle by way of further surveys for Giant Burrowing Frog, Large Brown Tree Frog, and Spot-tailed Quoll – Review of Powerful Owl Management Area scheme and Sooty Owl Management Area scheme – Review of reserves for Spot-tailed Quoll – Conditional injunctions granted
 WASCA 29
Criminal law – Appeal against arson and murder convictions – Evidence – Admissibility of experiments and tests – Admissibility of video showing “demonstration burn” – Whether miscarriage of justice occurred – Disputed admissions on video records of interview – Whether trial Judge failed properly to direct the jury or give a “McKinney” direction – Whether trial Judge erred in failing to direct the jury as to the availability of s 24 Criminal Code (WA) defence – New evidence – Whether, having regard to the new evidence, a miscarriage of justice occurred – Where new evidence was inconsistent with the appellant’s case at trial
 ACTSC 5 (5 February 2010)
NEGLIGENCE – personal injury – claim against employer – safety of place and system of work – plaintiff losing footing and falling on metal staircase – whether surface of step slippery – whether maintenance adequate – whether breach of duty of care
DAMAGES – personal injury – fall on metal staircase – injury to back – psychological sequelae – impairment of earning capacity – no issue of principle
PRACTICE and PROCEDURE – application by plaintiff to reopen case and call further evidence after judgment reserved – evidence as to what took place on view attended by judge during course of hearing – such evidence should not be permitted to be called – would not affect outcome in any event – application refused
Evidence Act 1995 ss 53, 54
 ACTSC 1
CRIMINAL LAW – trial by judge alone – evidence – identification evidence – photo-board – matters to be considered taken into account in assessing reliability.
Evidence Act 1995 (Cth), s 53, s 116, s 165
 NSWCA 295
TORTS – negligence – driver of motor vehicle struck pedestrian crossing traffic on Anzac Bridge – whether driver breached duty of care
TORTS – negligence – Roads and Traffic Authority responsible for design and construction of Anzac Bridge – adequacy of signage providing information about presence of pedestrian footpath underneath Bridge – whether duty of care owed to pedestrians – whether RTA breached its duty of care – appellant’s presence on Bridge unexpected – contributory negligence
EVIDENCE – application that court view the accident site – fresh evidence – whether site has materially altered since date of accident – Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) ss. 53(3)(e) and 54
REASONS – adequacy of
BIAS – whether trial judge’s comments gave rise to reasonable apprehension of bias
 NSWCCA 37
Criminal law – sexual offences – identification issues – Evidence Act, s116 – rule 4 – directions as to meaning of “beyond reasonable doubt” – impact of media publicity upon fair trial – directions about suspect’s refusal to answer questions in ERISP – directions about lies – consciousness of guilt directions – complainant’s evidence as to belief of accused’s guilt in matter involving inference – juror misconduct – unauthorised view and experiment – admissibility of evidence of same – appropriate directions to juries prohibiting independent enquiries (D)
Evidence Act, ss53, 76, 78, 89, 95, 97, 101, 116
 NSWCCA 330
CRIMINAL LAW- appeals – appeal against conviction – appeal against sentence – robbery – directions to jury – identification evidence – sufficiency of directions concerning photographic evidence – Jones and Dunkel direction – aggravating circumstances in sentencing.
 HCA 19
Criminal Law – Evidence – Exhibits – Whether jury entitled to experiment with exhibit – Firearm offence – Main issue whether discharge intentional or caused by blow to hand – Expert evidence that firearm would not discharge when holder hit on hand – Jury encouraged by judge to experiment with trigger pressures etc. – Whether misdirection.
 HCA 59
Criminal law – Evidence – Admissibility of in court demonstrations – An armed man wearing overalls, balaclava and sunglasses committed a robbery – During the trial the appellant was required to wear overalls and a balaclava found at his residence and sunglasses not in evidence as well as walk before the jury and say words attributed to the robber (“the in court demonstration”) – Whether the in court demonstration was relevant – Whether the in court demonstration was unfairly prejudicial – Relevance of distinction between demonstrations, experiments, inspections, reconstructions and views – Whether s 53 of the Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) (“the Act”) applied to in court demonstrations – Whether requiring the appellant to perform the in court demonstration was permitted either by s 53 of the Act or at common law.
Criminal law – Evidence – Admissibility – Whether showing witnesses the overalls and balaclava found at the appellant’s residence was relevant – Whether showing witnesses the overalls and balaclava was unfairly prejudicial.
Criminal law – Appeals – Application of the proviso- Whether the trial judge’s error in not admitting alibi evidence which the appellant proposed to call denied the application of the proviso – Whether the failure of the trial judge to give adequate reasons for rulings made during trial was a miscarriage of justice – Whether the judicial warnings to the jury were adequate – Whether the in court demonstration was so prejudicial as to deny the application of the proviso – Whether the trial so departed from the fundamental assumptions underpinning a fair trial that the proviso could not or should not be engaged.
Words and phrases – “demonstration”, “experiment”, “inspection”, “unfairly prejudicial”, “reconstruction”, “relevance”, “view”.
Evidence Act 1995 (NSW), ss 53, 55, 137.