Friday, November 9, 2012

Forthcoming judgments in the High Court of Australia

On Wednesday, 14 November 2012 the High Court of Australia will deliver three judgments.
The first is in the related cases of Mansfield v The Queen and Kizon v The QueenThese appeals address the issue of whether or not, in a prosecution for insider trading, it is necessary for the Crown to establish that the “inside information” possessed by the appellants is “truthful information” or “a factual reality”.
The second is in Cooper v The Queen, a case which considers whether or not the defence counsel’s failure to lead evidence of certain mental health service records which indicated the deceased suffered from a psychosis that could be exacerbated by drugs and alcohol, and the failure to cross-examine the deceased’s grandmother concerning the deceased’s mental health, gave rise to a miscarriage of justice.
The third is in Mills v Commissioner of Taxation, which considers whether the Commissioner was entitled to disallow certain imputation credits where the purpose of a scheme involving the issue of unsecured subordinated notes was to enable subscribers to obtain imputation credits, and the imputation credits were not simply a natural incident of the capital raising being undertaken.
On Thursday, 15 November 2012 the High Court will deliver judgment in Stanford v Stanford.  A somewhat tragic case, in issue is whether (and if so in what circumstances) the Family Court has jurisdiction to make an order for property settlement pursuant to section 79 of the Family Law Act 1975 where a marriage is still intact but where a physical separation has been forced upon the parties by reason of one of the parties’ health.  The proceedings were initiated by the wife’s daughters who asked that the former matrimonial home be sold so that the proceeds of sale could be spent on care for their mother. The appeal to the High Court raises numerous related issues, but central to the case is the constitutional question of the scope of the term “matrimonial cause” in placitum 51(xxii) of the Constitution.

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