Next week the High Court hears argument in three cases.
The first is M47/2012 v Director General of Security. In this case a Sri Lankan asylum seeker who has been recognised as a refugee, was refused a protection visa and remains in immigration detention as a result of an adverse security assessment by ASIO. This case will address the procedural fairness requirements owed by ASIO in making an adverse security assessment, the proper construction of the provisions of the Migration Act giving effect to Australia’s obligations under the Refugee Convention, and the proper construction of the Refugee Convention itself. In addition, and although the Commonwealth submits that the facts of the case do not warrant a reconsideration of the High Court’s earlier 4:3 decision in Al-Kateb v Godwin, it may also address more broadly the constitutional limits on the Commonwealth’s powers of immigration detention.
The second case is International Litigation Partners Pty Ltd v Chameleon Mining NL which raises the question of whether a litigation funding agreement is governed by the provisions of Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act, which regulates the provision of financial services and the offering of financial products. In a nutshell, having taken the benefit of the litigation funding provided by ILP, Chameleon seeks to avoid paying the fee due under that agreement by arguing that it is void for non-compliance with the Corporations Act.
The third case is Beck v Weinstock which raises a short but difficult question of statutory construction, as to whether there can be a “redeemable preference share” if there are no issued shares over which they take preference. The case will make the difference between $8 and several million dollars to an estate administered by the Public Trustee. It also emphasizes the care required when establishing a corporate structure for the purposes of avoiding taxes and duties!