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Federal Court judgments

Every Issue

Cite as: December 2012 86 (12) LIJ, p.56

Administrative law

When tribunal functus officio Migration – when tribunals may receive further documents

In Minister for Immigration and Citizenship v SZQOY [2012] FCAFC 131 (12 September 2012) a Full Court concluded that the RRT was not functus officio until its decision was communicated to the parties. The Full Court concluded the RRT member had erred in not considering further submissions from the review applicant where the member had prepared his decision and sent it to the registry of the RRT before seeing the submissions. Appeal by Minister dismissed.

Competition law

Advertisement masking subscription as a sale

In Global One Mobile Entertainment Pty Ltd v ACCC [2012] FCAFC 134 (14 September 2012) a Full Court reviewed authority as to what is required for an advertisement to contravene ss52, 53(aa) and 53(c) of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) and assessment of penalties.

Constitutional law

Trade and commerce – gambling equipment in Victoria for Northern Territory bookmaker

In Victoria v Sportsbet Ltd [2012] FCAFC 143 (12 October 2012) a Full Court concluded Victorian legislation that regulated the installation of gambling equipment in Victoria was valid, did not offend the prohibition on burdening interstate trade with the Northern Territory (s49 of the Northern Territory (Self-Government) Act 1978 (NT)) and applied to the respondent bookmaker from the Territory.

Electoral Act

Registered officer

In Mulholland v Australian Electoral Commission [2012] FCAFC 136 (19 September 2012) a Full Court dismissed an appeal from a decision of the AAT that found that the appellant had been replaced as the “registered officer” for DLP for the purposes of the Electoral Act 1918 (Cth).


Delay – validity of “representative” charges

In Newman v New Zealand [2012] FCAFC 133 (13 September 2012) a Full Court dismissed a challenge to an order for extradition to New Zealand on the ground that delay in investigating the matters in New Zealand meant the order was unfair. However the Court accepted that because the charges of unlawful sexual relations with a minor were “representative” charges of conduct alleged between two dates (which while lawful in New Zealand was not lawful in Australia) extradition would be “unfair, unjust and oppressive”. Appeal allowed. Order for extradition quashed. In [2012] FCAFC 139 (3 October 2012) the Court ordered New Zealand pay the costs of the appellant in the Queensland courts but not otherwise.

Federal Court practice

Nature of appeal to Full Court

In Nexus Adhesives Pty Ltd v RLA Polymers Pty Ltd [2012] FCAFC 135 (29 September 2012) a Full Court reiterated that notwithstanding that an appeal to the Full Court was an appeal by way of rehearing it was essential to identify an error of law and not merely challenge findings of fact.

Income tax

Notice to bank under s264 of ITAA

In ANZ Banking Group Ltd v Konza [2012] FCAFC 127 (12 September 2012) a Full Court concluded an Australian bank was obliged by a notice under s264 of ITAA to disclose from its world-wide electronic database information about customers in Vanuatu. The Full Court generally concluded the customer had not established that disclosure would cause breach of the bank’s non-statutory obligation of confidentiality to customers nor that the notice was in any way not for a proper purpose. The Court accepted that one notice was too vague. Appeals generally dismissed.

Industrial law

Costs in Full Court

In Australian Industry Group v Fair Work Australia [2012] FCAFC 138 (24 September 2012) a Full Court concluded s570(1) of the Fair Work Act (Cth) operated to exclude the awarding of costs in a proceeding brought in the original jurisdiction of the Federal Court.



In Minister for Immigration and Citizenship v SZQOT [2012] FCAFC 141 (12 October 2012) a Full Court by majority concluded that the Federal Magistrates Court had not erred in finding an independent reviewer had made jurisdictional error by referring to an applicant for refugee status suffering “severe harm” rather than “serious harm” (as enacted in s91R(1) of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth). Appeal by Minister dismissed.

THOMAS HURLEY is a Victorian barrister, ph 9225 7034, email The full version of these judgments can be found at The numbers in square brackets in the text refer to the paragraph numbers in the judgment.


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