Many readers may be aware of the recent New South Wales Supreme
Court decision of Sturt and Anor v the Right Reverend Dr Brian
Farran, Bishop of Newcastle and Ors (full decision available
which looked at disciplinary action taken against two priests by
the Anglican Bishop of Newcastle acting on advice of the internal
Professional Standards Board.
The case is important as it confirms a number of previously
determined issues relevant to the Church sector, particularly that
religious bodies are considered by Courts to be voluntary
associations and that Priests and other religious can be viewed as
employees at law in certain circumstances. The Court went on to say
that the Defendants had acted appropriately in dismissing the
Priests by relying upon their internal Professional Standards
ASIC v James Hardie Industries Ltd Directors
Recently the High Court determined that seven non-executive
directors of James Hardie Industries Ltd had breached their duties
as a director by approving an ASX press release which they knew, or
should have known was incorrect (full decision available here http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/2012/17.html).
This case builds upon last year's Centro decision which
highlighted the fact that directors must be actively involved in
the affairs of the company and be asking questions if things
don't look right. The Court's stance on this really
highlights that it is important to appoint directors with the
requisite skills and diligence. People considering incorporating a
Not-For-Profit entity should be aware of these requirements before
opting to incorporate under the Corporations Act and
consider what alternatives there are for incorporation.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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On 12th November 2016, new laws will commence to protect small businesses from unfair terms in standard form contracts.
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