Highly decorated former soldier Ben Roberts-Smith VC MG sued on 16 media stories that collectively alleged among other things that he had murdered civilians in Afghanistan and committed an act of domestic violence against a woman in the Federal Court of Australia.
Continue reading “Ben Roberts-Smith appeals defamation defeat”
Appeals in the law are creatures of statute: Attorney-General v Sillem  EngR 352; (1864) 10 HLC 704 at 720-721, Mickelberg v The Queen  HCA 35, Deane J at , R v Ferguson; ex parte A-G (Qld)  QCA 227 at . In other words, they never existed at common law, but were instead created by legislation. Therefore, appeals can only be made and determined in accordance with statutory provisions and Court rules about appeals, and primary regard must be had to them. The “common law” of appeals is the case law of interpretation of such provisions.
The joint judgment of Gleeson CJ, Gummow and Kirby JJ in Fox v Percy (2003) 214 CLR 118 distinguished between four types of appeals:
“ Appeal is not, as such, a common law procedure. It is a creature of statute. In Builders Licensing Board v Sperway Constructions (Syd) Pty Ltd, Mason J distinguished between (i) an appeal stricto sensu, where the issue is whether the judgment below was right on the material before the trial court; (ii) an appeal by rehearing on the evidence before the trial court; (iii) an appeal by way of rehearing on that evidence supplemented by such further evidence as the appellate court admits under a statutory power to do so; and (iv) an appeal by way of a hearing de novo. There are different meanings to be attached to the word “rehearing”. The distinction between an appeal by way of rehearing and a hearing de novo was further considered in Allesch v Maunz. Which of the meanings is that borne by the term “appeal”, or whether there is some other meaning, is, in the absence of an express statement in the particular provision, a matter of statutory construction in each case.”
It is important for practitioners to understand the different types of appeals in order to be able to know the nature of each type, and therefore how they will be considered and determined. Such knowledge is a prerequisite for practitioners to appraise themselves of the prospects of success in such appeals they may act in.
Junior/trainee solicitor Catherine Mia Hill began working with Owen Hughes’ Bangalow based law firm Beesley and Hughes Lawyers in May 2015. The evidence showed that that he thought Hill was attractive, wanted to be in a relationship with her and that he communicated that to her. Hughes offered to represent her in a mediation for her own family law matter, and she agreed. Continue reading “Sexual harassment solicitor ordered to pay indemnity costs”
Former solicitor Owen Hughes, who likened himself to “a sleek kangaroo” and novelist Jane Austen’s noble brooder Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, has lost his appeal against a judgment for sexual harassment he perpetrated against an employee.
This blog had previously reported on the Owen Hughes sexual harassment case brought by a former employee of his law practice.
Junior/trainee solicitor Catherine Mia Hill began working with Owen Hughes’ Bangalow based law firm Beesley and Hughes Lawyers in May 2015. Soon after, Hughes offered to represent her in a mediation for her own family law matter, and she agreed.
A couple of months later, Hughes started his course of sexual harassment by sending Hill emails telling her that he thought she was attractive, and he wanted to be in a relationship with her.