Current Law Journal Content
Washington & Lee Law School
  Current Law Journal Content
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  Australian Law Journal   (Australia)
  Volume 82, Number 9, September 2008
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  • CURRENT ISSUES — Acting Editor: Hon Paul de Jersey AC, Chief Justice of Queensland
  • Chief Justice of Australia
        p.587                                                                                      +cite    
  • Co-operative federalism
        p.587                                                                                      +cite    
  • A national judicial complaints commission
        p.588                                                                                      +cite    
  • Ensuring a fair trial
        p.588                                                                                      +cite    
  • A commercial hub
        p.589                                                                                      +cite    
  • Technology update
        p.589                                                                                      +cite    
  • An Orwellian twist
        p.590                                                                                      +cite    
  • Decentralisation
        p.590                                                                                      +cite    
  • All eyes on China
        p.591                                                                                      +cite    
  • Advice for unrepresented claimants
        p.591                                                                                      +cite    
  • A pro bono profession
        p.592                                                                                      +cite    
  • And yet
        p.592                                                                                      +cite    

  • Watch what you witness
        p.593                                                                                      +cite    
  • What is a "use" of land?
        p.595                                                                                      +cite    
  • Running of covenants: A drafting reminder
        p.596                                                                                      +cite    
  • Letter to Editor
        p.597                                                                                      +cite    

  • PEOPLE IN THE LAW — Editor: Geoff Lindsay SC
  • Stephen Gageler SC, Solicitor-General (Cth)
        p.598                                                                                      +cite    

  • RECENT CASES — Acting Editor: Hon Paul de Jersey AC, Chief Justice of Queensland
  • Aurukun rape appeals
        p.599                                                                                      +cite    
  • Enforcing the equity of expectation
        p.600                                                                                      +cite    
  • Statutory construction
        p.603                                                                                      +cite    
  • Habeas corpus rights for Guantanamo Bay detainees
        p.604                                                                                      +cite    
  • Legislative intrusion into traditional concepts: "Selling" land and "entering upon" a sale
        p.604                                                                                      +cite    
  • Witness anonymity and the right to a fair trial
        p.605                                                                                      +cite    

        Hon P de Jersey, AC
        p.607                                                                                      +cite        
        Increasingly, legislatures are obliging courts of law to make decisions which do not sit comfortably within the traditional judicial pattern. Not infrequently, the subject matter of those decisions is sensitive and potentially controversial. While it may suit executive governments to invoke the court's reputation for dispassionate determination, they must be careful not to impair public confidence in the discharge of the core judicial function. Courts must themselves be astute to avoid any unnecessary blurring or compromise of that judicial function, although measured assistance to executive government in surveying draft legislation potentially affecting courts should not create undue risk, or breach the supervening separation of powers. The high level of public confidence in the courts, and the expertise and experience which inform their judgments, should warrant circumspection in any transfer of decision-making from courts to tribunals.
        Hon B H McPherson, CBE
        p.614                                                                                      +cite        
        In a society with a cultural heritage that stresses law as the foundation of legitimate government, judges attract formal marks of respect. Consequently, the judicial honorific "your Honour" is used countless times every day in courts all around Australia. But what is the origin of this practice? Why do we, New Zealand and the United States use, "your Honour", while judges in England and elsewhere in the Commonwealth are addressed as "my Lord"? This article marshals the historical material and offers possible explanations for the difference as it now exists.
        P A Keane
        p.623                                                                                      +cite        
        The decisions of the High Court in NEAT Domestic Trading Pty Ltd v AWB Ltd (2003) 216 CLR 277 and Griffith University v Tang (2005) 221 CLR 99 have been criticised by academic lawyers. Some of these criticisms exhibit a failure to appreciate the forensic context in which the decisions came to be made. Other criticisms reflect a failure to accept that the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth), in providing only for judicial review of administrative decisions "made under an enactment", imposed a limitation on the scope of judicial review which was well-settled by decisions of the Federal Court prior to the decisions of the High Court. And some of the academic criticism of the decisions of the High Court reflects a deficient understanding of the legal milieu in which public decision-making occurs and a failure to appreciate that, when governmental agencies exercise rights which they enjoy equally with private entities, the Act is not concerned with the quality of the decision-making which led to the exercise of those rights.
        H G Fryberg
        p.636                                                                                      +cite        
        During the 20th century, increased attention was paid to how justice is administered by military authorities to people under their control who are not subject to military law or to trial by court-martial. This article examines aspects of the most sophisticated system so far developed, the United States military commission. The current United States model embodied in the Military Commissions Act 2006 (US) is discussed and some legal and procedural features are identified and questioned. The article addresses the question in the title in relation to Australia's current and foreseeable defence strategy.
        Ronald Sackville
        p.650                                                                                      +cite        
        Intermediate appellate courts are frequently presented with appeals raising multiple issues of fact and law. These appeals can create a dilemma for the court concerned. Busy courts are reluctant to expend scarce time and resources in addressing issues which are unnecessary to decide. Yet in a series of cases the High Court has indicated that intermediate appellate courts should consider dealing with all grounds of appeal, not just the decisive ones, to accommodate the possibility that the losing party will apply successfully for leave to appeal to the High Court. An examination of the cases shows that the High Court has transformed a specific procedural observation made in the context of a patent case into a general statement of wider significance for intermediate appellate courts. The court has done so without fully considering the resource implications for intermediate appellate courts, particularly having regard to the low numbers of successful civil special leave applications in any given year. This article argues that the High Court should rethink its approach to the multiple issues dilemma in order to avoid imposing undue burdens on intermediate appellate courts. 650

  • State Constitutional Landmarks by George Winterton
        p.658                                                                                      +cite    

  • Hon John Murtagh Macrossan AC
        p.659                                                                                      +cite