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Higgins Chambers
Australia is the only Western democracy without some form of a charter of rights at the national level, whether legislated by parliament, or entrenched by constitution. On 18 November 2020, Law Council President Pauline Wright and Stephen Keim SC addressed the National Press Club in Canberra on the topic ‘No time like the present to...
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The enforceability of building covenants is quite cumbersome in Queensland. Generally, they need to be enforced contractually. This can be very time consuming and costly. I was recently involved in a series of cases enforcing building covenants on a housing estate. Given the limited authorities relating to the enforcement of covenants in Queensland, I thought...
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Comparative constitutional law offers many opportunities to learn new insights and opportunities for future reforms, including for Australian lawyers dulled by a constitutional regime largely devoid of identified human rights. In stark contrast to Australia’s anemic constitutional regime, the Papua New Guinea (PNG) National Court of Justice recently identified 19 distinct human rights under the...
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In Berry v CCL Secure Pty Ltd [2020] HCA 27 misleading conduct caused the claimant to sign a contractual termination letter. All members of the court agreed in the result. An issue was the impact of a potential right to terminate the contract lawfully. The court clarified a number of matters relating to practice, and...
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Last week, Bell J dismissed an application for $90,000 security for costs against a small community group in long-running litigation that has now reached the High Court against the expansion of the New Acland Coal Mine on Queensland’s Darling Downs. In a narrow sense, the decision is an unexceptional application of well-established principles for security...
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On 18 August 2020 the Law Council of Australia hosted a brilliant public seminar by Zoom on one of the most important challenges to Australian society of our time: Indigenous Incarceration in the Norther Territory: Progress made since the Royal Commission into the Detention and Protection of Children in the Northern Territory. The seminar was...
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An insightful and topical podcast dropped into podcast feeds in July 2020 with the release of “In my Country”, a podcast dedicated to telling the stories of six Aussies who came to Australia as refugees or asylum seekers. Host, Adam Wood speaks with Faisa, Alyas, Tenzin, Marcela, Liliana and Lago who tell their stories of...
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Waanyi and Kalkadoon Elder and champion for Indigenous rights Sandra Creamer’s admission to the legal profession in Queensland is inspiring. Her son and esteemed barrister, Joshua Creamer, moved her admission to practise — the first time in Queensland an Aboriginal barrister has moved the admission of their mother. Joshua described his mother as a “strong,...
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On 10 July 2020, Member Traves of the Queensland Civil Administrative Tribunal found that the Australian Christian College Moreton Ltd was engaging in both direct and indirect discrimination by proposing to exclude a prep student with long hair from continuing to be enrolled in and attend the school. The decision, Taniela v Australian Christian College...
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In the recent case of Love and Thoms v Commonwealth [2020] HCA 3, in powerful judgments reminiscent of Mabo v Queensland (No 2), four judges of the High Court declared that Indigenous Australians can never be ‘aliens’ for the purposes of s 51(xix) of the Australian Constitution. In strong dissents, three judges refused to introduce a race-based distinction...
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