The High Court has reserved its decision on whether to strike down legislative amendments which solidify the powers of the NSW corruption watchdog.
On 5 August 2015, proceedings were heard in the High Court brought by Mr Travers Duncan challenging the newly inserted Part 13 in Schedule 4 of the Independent Commission against Corruption Act 1988 (NSW) (the ICAC Act), which purported to validate the ICAC's decisions regarding corrupt conduct.
InCunneen, it was held that the ICAC had been misinterpreting "corrupt conduct" in the ICAC Act to include conduct that adversely affects not only the probity but also the efficacy of the exercise of official functions.
Mr Duncan initiated proceedings on the premise that the Cunneen decision potentially invalidated many of the ICAC's investigations, including one involving Mr Duncan, former Minister Ian Macdonald, Obeid family members and others.
In order to be successful, Mr Duncan will need to overturn a line of cases that recognises the practical utility of remedial legislation.
It was also submitted on Mr Duncan's behalf that the actions of the NSW government in introducing these retrospective laws were unconstitutional as they oust the power of the Supreme Court over the ICAC's actions, which means that the NSW Parliament is effectively directing an independent court: "attributing consequences of valid validity to an invalid act, yet accepting that the act is invalid."
In response the ICAC argued the new law does not direct the courts; it simply changes the law to be applied by the courts.
In considering this argument, both Gageler J and Kiefel J were quick to note that "In its terms it is not directed to the court at all. It is directed to and intends to operate upon the findings."
The Court reserved its decision. Read the transcript here.
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In the media
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High Court hears appeal of miner Travers Duncan over ICAC ruling
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Delivering for victims of crime in NSW
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In practice and courts
ICAC: Prosecution outcomes and briefs with the DPP
Tables listing briefs with the Director of Public Prosecutions, and outcomes of ICAC-related prosecutions. Updated 30 July 2015 More...
ICAC: Public inquiry into corruption allegations involving $1.7 million
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NSW Law Society Submission on Tribunal Independence and
The Law Society of NSW (LSNSW) has made available its submission (22 July 2015) to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in relation to the Council of Australasian Tribunals' (COAT) More... (May 2015).
Appointment of NCAT Principal Registrar – 04 August 2015
IPCNSW CEO Update
IPC CEO Elizabeth Tydd has published CEO Update on operations of the IPC for 2014/15 on the 24 July 2015 More...
Inquiries receiving submissions
Government responses due
Published – articles, papers, reports
NSW Custody Statistics June 2015
Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research statistics released on 29 July 2015
OAICicon — 5 August 2015
OAICnet — 5 August 2015
Admissibility of Evidence and "General Unfairness Discretions" in Police v Dunstall  HCA 26
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Spencer v Commonwealth of Australia  FCA 754
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TORTS – whether any action on the case for legislative and executive conduct alleged intentionally to inflict harm– no correspondence with Northern Territory v Mengel or James v Commonwealth – no cause of action established – no unlawful conduct – no intention to inflict harm – failure to prove any damage caused by impugned conduct More...
Dezfouli v Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network  NSWCATAD 159
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SHCAG Pty Ltd v Hume Coal Pty Ltd  NSWLEC 122
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AG v Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW)  NSWCA 218
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Bills introduced Government
Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Amendment (Firearms Offences) Bill 2015
Bill debated, passed Legislative Assembly 05 August 2015
Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Administrative Arrangements (Administration of Acts—Amendment No 2) Order 2015 (2015-421) — published LW 31 July 2015
Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Further Amendment (Smoke-free Prisons) Regulation 2015 (2015-423) — published LW 31 July 2015
Uniform Civil Procedure Rules (Amendment No 75) 2015 (2015-443) — published LW 31 July 2015
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