REAL PROPERTY – Torrens title – Caveats Against Dealings – Extension – Orders made for the continuation of caveats on interlocutory basis pending final determination of proceedings
PATENTS – patents for safety IV catheters – infringement – “pith and marrow” principle – whether alleged infringing items disclose all essential features of claims in suit – construction of claims – validity of patents – whether invention novel – priority date of patents – whether claims fairly based on matter disclosed by ancestors – whether real and reasonably clear disclosure of claimed invention in body of specification – whether invention sufficiently described in specification.
Family Law and Child Welfare – Child welfare under State legislation – Children in need of protection – Proceedings relating to care and protection – Other matters – Appeal from order made by consent – Application for appeal to proceed as hearing de novo.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – judicial review – workers compensation – decision of the Medical Appeal Panel – whether infected by jurisdictional error – failure to take into account relevant consideration – whether Medical Appeal Panel failed to take into account a medical report – whether error of law – whether failure to provide adequate reasons
CRIMINAL LAW – CONVICTION APPEAL – attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border control drug – 102 kilograms of pure heroin – whether a miscarriage of justice because of lack of qualifications of expert interpreter called in Crown case – whether verdict of jury unreasonable or could not be supported by the evidence – whether evidence as to flight properly admitted – evidence of Crown expert not misleading – differences in interpretation between Crown and defence experts not of significance in conduct of trial – differences in interpretation adequately explained by differences in audio equipment – strong circumstantial Crown case – on whole of the evidence open to the jury to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt as to guilt – evidence of flight properly admitted – no breach of s137 of the Evidence Act 1995 in admitting evidence of flight – conviction appeal dismissed – APPLICATION FOR LEAVE TO APPEAL AGAINST SENTENCE – whether principle of parity properly taken into account – no significant difference in level of criminality between applicant and co-offender – differences in subjective case of applicant and co-offender – sentence of co-offender manifestly inadequate – parity principle not properly applied – need for applicant to be re-sentenced.
CRIMINAL LAW – Conviction – Evidence – Opinion evidence – Lay opinion – Expert evidence – Ad hoc expert – Specialised knowledge based on training, study or experience – Basis rule – Identification – Identification evidence – Voice identification – Jury directions – Conduct of trial – Application for leave to appeal against conviction refused – Evidence Act 2008 , ss 76, 78 and 79.
CRIMINAL LAW – Sentence – Blackmail – Aggravated burglary – Armed robbery – Recklessly causing injury – Whether sentences manifestly excessive – Totality – Whether orders for cumulation excessive – Application for leave to appeal against sentence refused.
CRIMINAL – appeal – conviction – whether misdirection in presentation of crown case to jury – no misdirection on factual possibility of push followed by a trip – consistent with an intention to kill – direction consented to – no tactical disadvantage – no miscarriage of justice – misdirection on availability of mental element of reckless indifference to human life – not Crown case – whether miscarriage of justice – significance of the appellant’s case that he was not involved in death at all – possibility of jury speculating remote – no objection by counsel
CRIMINAL – appeal – evidence – admission of evidence – expert opinion – whether evidence wholly or substantially based on specialised knowledge – process of reasoning involved matters of common knowledge
CRIMINAL – appeal – evidence – admission of evidence – expert opinion – whether expert had relevant expertise – whether expertise from study and experience – no details of how investigations conducted equipped expert to give evidence in present case – publications not tendered – titles of publications insufficient evidence of expertise from study and experience
APPEAL – criminal – whether notwithstanding appellant’s success appeal should be dismissed – application of proviso – 6(1) Criminal Appeal Act 1912 (NSW) – whether no substantial miscarriage of justice – consideration of importance of expert evidence – Court satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that evidence properly admitted at trial proved the guilt of the appellant
APPEAL – criminal – fresh evidence – whether Court of Criminal Appeal decision concerning expert and book published by expert before trial is fresh evidence – could have been discovered by reasonable due diligence – no miscarriage of justice – previous decision of Court of Criminal Appeal irrelevant to admissibility of expert evidence
CRIMINAL – appeal – conviction – no error in direction on use of evidence as both tendency evidence and for motive – reserve consideration of whether tendency evidence must be proved beyond reasonable doubt reserved
NATIVE TITLE – whether the apical ancestors of the respondent groups were also apical ancestors of the native title claim group – traditional area associated with the apical ancestors of the respondent groups were not part of the geographical area of the claim group – apical ancestors of the respondent groups did not acquire native title rights or interests in the claim area – strong anthropological evidence that the apical ancestors were unlikely to come from the claim area
EVIDENCE – expert report – expertise – Evidence Act 1995 s 79 – whether expert possessed specialised knowledge based on training, study or experience – whether expert report otherwise concerned with matters of relevance to the proceedings
Evidence – Admissibility – Opinion evidence – Section 79(1) of Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) exception for evidence of opinion based wholly or substantially on specialised knowledge based on training, study or experience – Prosecution adduced evidence of anatomist regarding physical characteristics common to persons depicted in images – Whether opinion based wholly or substantially on specialised knowledge.
Words and phrases – “opinion rule”, “specialised knowledge”, “training, study or experience”, “wholly or substantially”.
Evidence Act 1995 (NSW), ss 76, 79.
EVIDENCE – admissibility – opinion evidence – worker exposed to asbestos dust during employment – admissibility of statements of workers alleging exposure to asbestos dust – whether identification of dust as asbestos inadmissible as opinion – whether evidence admissible as perception of a fact – whether evidence admissible as opinion based on specialised knowledge – Evidence Act 1995 (NSW), ss 76(1), 78, 79
TORT – joint tortfeasors – contribution between tortfeasors – worker sued statutory authority in negligence – statutory authority settled without admitting liability – statutory authority sought contribution from worker’s employer – whether statutory authority liable to worker – whether erroneous apportionment of liability – whether failure to consider relative culpability of parties – Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1946 (NSW), s 5(2)
TORT – negligence – duty of care – statutory authority regulating stevedoring industry – worker exposed to asbestos dust when employed by a stevedore – worker not a registered waterside worker – whether statutory authority owed a duty of care to persons other than registered waterside workers – functions and powers of the statutory authority- breach of duty – whether evidence established breach – Stevedoring Industry Act 1956 (Cth), ss 7, 8, 17, 18, 28, 29, 33, 39, 41
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – appeals – application for leave to appeal from an interlocutory judgment – application by non-party – subpoenas to produce documents issued to non-parties – subpoenas sought tax returns and income information for dermatology practices – application to set aside the subpoenas dismissed – whether “apparent relevance” established – whether primary judge’s decision attended by sufficient doubt – whether substantial injustice
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – subpoenas – where information confidential
CRIMINAL LAW – EVIDENCE – admissibility – lay opinion evidence – whether evidence of the opinion is necessary to obtain an adequate account or understanding of the witness’s perception of the matter or event.
CORPORATIONS – claim for breach of duties under financial services legislation as it applied at material times – whether respondents had reasonable basis for financial advice given – whether respondents made representations concerning appropriateness of advice or accuracy of finance applications that were misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive
CONTRACTS – whether respondents breached contractual duty to exercise reasonable care and skill in provision of financial advice – whether respondents owed duty to provide advice “as to the most suitable financial investments”
NEGLIGENCE – whether respondents breached duty to exercise reasonable care and skill in provision of financial advice
EQUITY – whether respondents obtained unauthorised benefit from financial advice relationship – whether respondents breached any contractual, tortious or equitable duty in connection with advice given or involvement in applicant’s purchase of property
EVIDENCE – expert opinion evidence – whether financial planner qualified to give expert evidence concerning duty of care issues and loss – relevance of expert evidence to matters in issue
DAMAGES – whether applicant is entitled to damages – extent to which any claimed loss and damages are attributable to respondents’ conduct – loss of opportunity claim – whether some claimed losses are outside statutory limitation period or otherwise affected by Civil Liability Act 2002 (WA)
CONSUMER LAW – Australian Consumer Law ss 18(1), 29(1)(a), 33 – Misleading or deceptive conduct or conduct likely to mislead or deceive, false or misleading representations, conduct liable to mislead the public – Whether the use of the phrases “baked today, sold today”, “freshly baked”, “baked fresh” and “freshly baked in-store” is misleading where the complete baking process is not undertaken in-store on the day – Whether the relevant context for assessing misleading or deceptive conduct includes a cynical consumer culture
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Admissibility of evidence – relevance – whether evidence of third party conduct is relevant – hearsay – whether statements made by third parties serve a non-hearsay purpose
EVIDENCE – Expert opinion – Evidence of likely reaction of union members
EVIDENCE – whether documents “business records” – emails – whether expert valuations in documents admissible – whether asserted facts – whether documents produced by persons with specialised knowledge – not expert reports
On 5 June 2013 the Court of Criminal Appeal (“CCA”) (Macfarlan JA, Campbell J & Barr AJ) http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/nsw/NSWCCA/2013/135.html unanimously dismissed Mr Honeysett’s appeal. Their Honours held that the evidence of Professor Henneberg was admissible, as it was an opinion based on specialised knowledge in accordance with s 79(1) of the Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) (“the Act”). The CCA found that that evidence identified physical characteristics that Mr Honeysett had in common with the Offender, without stating any conclusions that might be drawn from those characteristics. It was not to the effect that the Offender and Mr Honeysett were similar in appearance. Their Honours also found that Professor Henneberg’s detailed examination of the CCTV footage had rendered him an “ad hoc” expert such that his evidence went beyond obvious matters that the jury would have discerned for itself.
The grounds of appeal include:
The Court of Criminal Appeal erred in the application of s 79 of the Act in holding that the evidence of Professor Hennenberg involved an area of specialised knowledge based on training, study or experience, and that his opinion was wholly or substantially based on that area of specialized knowledge.
The Court of Criminal Appeal erred in holding that the evidence of Professor Hennenberg’s consideration of the CCTV footage rendered him an “ad hoc” expert.
TORTS – negligence – 9 year old child injured when rode bicycle into an unfenced concrete drainage channel – drainage channel and surrounding grassed slope under care and control of appellant – presence of drainage channel not obvious from adjacent cycleway – appellant aware of risk of injury to children from unfenced drainage channel – expert report of engineer admitted without objection – whether trial judge bound to accept expert opinion – extent to which precise sequence of events leading to accident needed to be foreseen – application of sections 5B and 5C of Civil Liability Act 2002 – whether child engaged in a “dangerous recreational activity” at time of injury – s5L Civil Liability Act 2002 – application of s42 Civil Liability Act 2002 – whether resources of appellant sufficient to construct fence – ambiguity of evidence – defence not made out.
TORTS – negligence – occupier’s liability – respondent slipped on appellant’s driveway – whether appellant was negligent in resealing driveway – whether slip was reasonably foreseeable in circumstances where no prior accident – whether accident was caused by a positive act – whether reasonable care extended to erecting a handrail – whether trial judge failed to have regard to authorities – application of s 5B of the Civil Liability Act 2005 (NSW) to positive acts
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Expert evidence – Joint reports of experts – Admissibility of joint reports – Whether reasons are required for agreement between experts – Whether conclave failed to identify the material it relied upon – Whether consideration of extraneous material by the conclave constituted an irrelevant consideration – Whether experts are required to be provided with a joint statement of assumptions – Whether the questions asked of the conclave were drafted in terms that addressed relevant issues and matters appropriate for consideration by experts – Whether the joint reports are inconsistent with the common law “statement of reasoning” rule – Whether the joint reports are inconsistent with the Makita principle – Application of s 79 of the Evidence Act to joint reports of experts – Whether Court should exercise discretion to exclude the joint reports under s 135 of the Evidence Act
EVIDENCE – Expert opinion based on specialised knowledge – Differentiation of primary and secondary facts – Expert as advocate – Admissibility – “Basis rule” – Necessary to distinguish fact and opinion – Evidence Act 2008 (Vic) s 79 – Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic) – Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2005 (Vic).
EVIDENCE – Expert opinion based on specialised knowledge – Opinion on matters outside of original remit – Admissibility – “Basis rule” – Evidence Act 2008 (Vic) ss 55, 79 – Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic) ss 65F, 65H, 65K – Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2005 (Vic) r 44.05.
EVIDENCE – Expert Evidence – criminal trial – conspiracy to murder – specialised knowledge – no evidence opinions based on specialised knowledge
EVIDENCE – Relevance – criminal trial – conspiracy to murder – whether opinion of psychiatrist as to whether accused would have carried out conspiracy relevant – not relevant to express an opinion on question of guilt based on evidence before jury which jury is competent to answer
EVIDENCE – Recall of second defendant’s witness for cross-examination by plaintiff – Expert evidence – Admissibility – Limitations to cross-examination – Restriction on leading questions – Expertise – Evidence Act 2008 (Vic) ss 42, 79 – Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic) s 65H – Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2005 (Vic) O 44.
LAND VALUATION AND COMPENSATION – Compulsory acquisition – Proposal for bypass road – Land used for agricultural purposes – Valuation according to highest and best use of land – Whether market value of land decreased because of bypass proposal – Whether land would otherwise have been used for quarrying and landfill – Planning panel recommended permit restrictions – Whether restrictions arose from bypass proposal – Pointe Gourde principle discussed – Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 (Vic) s 43(1)(a).
APPEAL – Appeal limited to questions of law – Grounds of appeal in substance challenged findings of fact – Whether open to trial judge to make findings in question – Whether judge bound to make different findings – No error of law – Appeal dismissed – Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 (Vic) s 89(2).
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Trial – Final addresses – Directions to parties to file submissions in form of draft judgment – Plaintiff unrepresented – Whether procedurally unfair – No breach of natural justice – Procedure undesirable and not to be followed.
EVIDENCE – Opinion – Planning panel – What recommendations likely to have been made by panel if circumstances different – Proposed evidence from Planning Minister about likely outcome – No specialised knowledge – Opinion evidence inadmissible – Evidence Act 2008 (Vic) ss 76, 79.
REAL PROPERTY – Caveats – Removal – Application – Caveatable interests – Serious question to be tried – Balance of convenience – Transfer of Land Act 1958 (Vic), s 90(3).
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Appeal from decision of Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal – Declaration by Council that the dog of the appellant is a “restricted breed dog” – Declaration upheld by VCAT – Adverse findings made by senior member against expert witness of the appellant – Apprehended bias – No evidence – Inadequate reasons – Admissibility of purported expert evidence at VCAT – Leave to appeal granted – Appeal allowed – Matter remitted for rehearing.
TAXES AND DUTIES – payroll tax – liability to taxation – Payroll Tax Act 2007 – Payroll Tax Act 1971 – contractor provisions – whether contractors engaged under a “relevant contract” – whether appellant was supplied services ancillary to the conveyance of goods by means of a vehicle provided by the person conveying them – whether apportionment provisions of the Payroll Tax Acts should apply
PROCEDURE – subpoenas – application for subpoena to be set aside – where subpoena is for contracts containing commercially sensitive information – where party issuing subpoena a member of the same industry – whether the production of confidential information would assist with the matter in issue – whether a legitimate forensic purpose for the subpoena – whether proposed analysis of subpoena documents falls within the proper scope of the valuation evidence – whether Practice Note SC 11 is applicable.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – application for judicial review of decision of Minister for the Environment to approve a project to construct and operate a new open cut coal mine – whether the Minister took into account an alleged disclosure of sensitive information by the New South Wales Government in making his decision – whether the conditions attached to the approval were sufficiently certain – whether the Minister failed to take into account the impact of the project on the Tylophora linearis plant species – whether s 139(2) of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) is dependent on a jurisdictional fact – if a jurisdictional fact does exist, whether the jurisdictional fact is enlivened – if the jurisdictional fact is enlivened, whether the project is likely to have a significant impact on the Tylophora linearis plant species
EVIDENCE – whether direction under s 136 of the Evidence Act 1995 (Cth) should be made in respect of a submission made on behalf of the applicant to the Minister for the Environment in respect of the project – whether the direction is necessary to restrict inadmissible opinion evidence – whether the direction is necessary to restrict inadmissible hearsay evidence
DEFAMATION- cause of action- corporate plaintiff not established excluded – imputations- whether carried- identity of natural plaintiffs irrelevant to Broadcast- whether defamatory- no injury to plaintiffs’ reputation as distinct from goods- defences- justification- truth- evidence of all contextual imputations to be weighed against imputations not proved true- qualified privilege- when available to mass media- damages- special damages- whether attributable to matter complained of
EVIDENCE- findings as to credit- witness advocate for own cause
TORTS- injurious falsehood- relevant counterfactual to assess damages
WORDS AND PHRASES- meaning of ‘falsely’- synonymous with ‘incorrectly’
EVIDENCE – admissibility – whether evidence admissible under s79 Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) – whether evidence complies with Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW) r 31.23, r31.24, r31.27.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW- apprehension of bias- application for disqualification of trial judge- evidentiary rulings- exchanges between bar and bench
EVIDENCE- admissibility of expert report- whether expert can opine as to safety of product without testing- expert can reason as to qualities based on experience- whether reasons sufficient to support conclusions- whether expert biased- opinion based on experience
DEFAMATION- plaintiff’s entitlement to “nail the lie”- use of evidence depends on admissibility- relevant to damages- giving of evidence itself a remedy
EVIDENCE- construction of s 76, s 78 and s 79 Evidence Act 1995 – whether unqualified plaintiff’s evidence of falsity of matter of expert opinion is admissible to prove its falsity or is limited to the plaintiff’s belief
Evidence – admissibility – whether opinions expressed were admissible – whether discretion to exclude should be exercised.
EVIDENCE – Admissibility – Documents and materials used by expert witnesses in the course of preparing expert opinions – Documents and materials provided to expert witnesses in the course of preparing expert opinions – Court’s discretion to exclude evidence – Evidence Act 2008 (Vic), ss 55, 56, 69, 76, 79, 135(c), 136 – Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic) ss 1, 8, 9, 49(3)(g).
CONTEMPT OF COURT – alleged failure of fourth respondent to comply with order of the Federal Court of Australia – two charges of contempt of Court – consideration of requisite elements and whether proven beyond reasonable doubt – whether alleged contemptor was knowingly concerned in breach of orders
Held: both charges of contempt of Court proved beyond reasonable doubt, notwithstanding that certain particulars of charge 2 not so proved
Evidence – admissibility – whether opinions expressed were admissible – whether discretion to exclude should be exercised.
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – PLEADINGS – application to amend pleadings at trial – relevant principles governing court’s discretion to grant leave to amend – role and function of pleadings – delay in seeking leave to amend – whether 1st defendant taken by surprise – whether 1st defendant likely to suffer irremediable prejudice – leave granted – Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2005, r 36.01(1)(a) – Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic), ss 1(c), 7(1).
TORTS – negligence – occupier’s liability – appellant fell in respondent’s supermarket – where appellant slipped on wet floor left unattended for several minutes while wet floor warning signs were in place – whether respondent breached its duty of care to appellant in circumstances by failing to take reasonable precaution against risk – causation – where primary judge took into account own observations of appellant in witness box – assessment of damages where medical expert witnesses not cross-examined despite conflicting opinions – contributory negligence
TORTS – negligence – whether appeal as of right under s 127 of District Court Act 1973 – where primary judge assessed damages, if respondent were liable, at $1773 – sufficiency of appellant’s affidavit as to whether appeal as of right under UCPR r 51.22(2) – leave granted
ACCIDENT COMPENSATION — Workplace accident — Impairment — Assessment — Medical Panel — American Medical Association Guides — Interpretation — Multilevel fractures of transverse process — Whether constituted ‘multilevel spine segment structural compromise’ — Whether Panel decision vitiated by jurisdictional error — Whether expert evidence admissible on question of construction of Guides — Appeal dismissed — Transport Accident Commission v Serwylo  VSC 421 applied — Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) s 91(1) — American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (4th ed).
EVIDENCE — Expert evidence — Interpretation — Impairment assessment — American Medical Association Guides — Categories of spinal impairment — Whether technical terms — Whether used with specialised meaning — Whether expert medical evidence admissible to assist in construction of terms — Evidence Act 2008 (Vic) ss 55(1), 76(1), 79.
WORDS AND PHRASES — ‘As with fractures’, ‘fractures’.
CRIMINAL LAW – murder – judge alone trial – reasons for verdict
EVIDENCE – admissibility – early determination – expert reports – assumptions given to experts – no factual material to support or validate assumptions – whether expert reports admissible
CRIMINAL LAW – Ruling – Admissibility of a statement of additional evidence from a witness – Evidence vague, not sufficiently relevant and not a professional opinion – Evidence inadmissible – Criminal Procedure Act 2009 (Vic) s 188, Evidence Act 2008 (Vic) ss 55, 59, 76, 77, 79(1).
EVIDENCE – robbery of hotel – opinion evidence – s 79 Evidence Act 1995 – expert evidence of comparisons of CCTV images of offender and images of appellant – common anatomical features identified – evidence not given that there was “a high level of anatomical similarity” between offender and appellant – Morgan v R 215 A Crim R 33 distinguished – whether admissible as expert opinion evidence – whether based on specialised knowledge – whether witness qualified as an ad hoc expert
CRIMINAL LAW – appeal – whether verdict unreasonable or insupportable having regard to evidence – appeal dismissed
EVIDENCE – Expert opinion evidence based on specialised knowledge – Admissibility – Status of the “Basis rule” – Dasreef Pty Ltd v Hawchar – Evidence Act 2008 (Vic), ss 79, 56.
CRIMINAL LAW – environmental offences – s 118A(2) – Expert witness code – admissibility of expert reports – chain of possession – assumptions – construction of Final Determination of Scientific Committee – beyond reasonable doubt – reasonable certainty – s 194(1)(d) – foreseeability of harm