The hidden value of providing written submissions to Magistrates
during prosecutions has been highlighted in the recent case of
Wildan Properties Pty Ltd -v- City of Bunbury  WASC
Her Honour Justice Pritchard made the following observations in
" At the sentencing hearing, both counsel for the
City of Bunbury (the City) and counsel for Wildan
made lengthy oral submissions in relation to the facts relevant to
the offences. Counsel for Wildan did not make any formal admission
of the facts referred to by counsel for the City. While he did not
contradict many of the facts, he expressly disputed some of
The learned Magistrate managed to distil the facts
relevant to sentencing from the lengthy submissions of counsel. His
task was, no doubt, made more difficult because the facts were not
reduced to writing, and because of the dispute which had been
identified in relation to some of them. It is appropriate to
observe that in the case of regulatory prosecutions such as this,
the facts relating to the offence, or the legislative regime
pertaining to the offence, can be complex. In that event, the
expeditious and efficient conduct of sentencing proceedings is
likely to be assisted if the facts the prosecution says are
relevant to sentencing are reduced to writing and counsel endeavour
to confer about those facts in advance of the hearing. That course
is especially desirable in relation to prosecutions in the
Magistrates Court, where magistrates are required to deal with a
very large number of diverse matters each day."
So this article is a heartfelt thank you to all the officers of
our local government clients who regularly approve Kott
Gunning's written statements of material facts.
We know that it can take time to check the written submissions
that we are going to provide to the Court on the local
government's behalf. However these comments by Her Hon Justice
Pritchard show exactly why we provide written statement of material
facts – to make the case for the local government very clear
to the Court. Your role in the approval of those submissions is
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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