On Friday, 15 August 2014 the High Court granted Special Leave to Appeal in four cases.
In Grant Samuel Corporate Finance Pty Ltd v Fletcher the Court granted Special Leave to appeal from a decision of the NSW Court of Appeal ( NSWCA 31) which raises an important issue in relation to the commencement of proceedings by liquidators in relation to voidable transactions. Section 588FF(3)(a) provides that such applications be brought within 3 years of the relevant relation-back date. Section 588FF(3)(b) authorises a Court to extend that period, although an application for extension must be brought within the original 3-year period. In this case an extension application was made ex parte within the 3-year period and granted by Hammerschlag J. A further application was brought outside of the initial 3-year period, but within the original extended period, for a further extension of time within which to commence proceedings. This application was granted by Ward J, relying upon the power under UCPR 36.16 to vary orders made in the absence of a party.
In Australian Communications and Media Authority v Today FM (Sydney) Pty Ltd the Court granted Special Leave to appeal from a decision of the Full Federal Court ( FCAFC 22). The case arises out of the prank phone call made by two morning radio presents who, posing as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, recorded a telephone call with two hospital staff at King Edward VII Hospital in London, where the Duchess of Cambridge was an inpatient, being treated for acute morning sickness. Notoriously, one of the hospital staff involved subsequently committed suicide. ACMA investigated the incident and found that Today FM, in broadcasting the recording of the private conversation (which was made in contravention of section 7(1) of the Surveillance Devices Act 2007 (NSW)), had contravened section11(1) of that Act, and had therefore contravened a condition of its broadcasting licence which provides that “the licensee will not use the broadcasting service or services in the commission of an offence against another Act or a law of a State or Territory”. At issue is whether or not ACMA has the power to investigate and make a determination that a licensee has committed a criminal offence.
In Commissioner of State Revenue v Lend Lease Development Pty Ltd the Court granted Special Leave to appeal from a decision of the Victorian Court of Appeal ( VSCA 207) which raises a question of general importance as to whether or not payments made by a developer to a statutory authority for infrastructure and construction works carried out as part of a large urban renewal project form part of the consideration paid for the sale of parcels of land from the authority to the developer.
In Korda v Australian Executer Trustees (SA) Ltd the Court granted Special Leave to appeal from a decision of the Victorian Court of Appeal ( VSCA 65) which raises a question of general important as to whether the intention necessary to create a trust by investors in an investment scheme is to be determined by reference to the transaction documents executed by them, or more generally by reference to the commercial setting in which the investment was made.