August 8, 2006
Is our High Court Boring?
I have missed the High Court handing down five decisions recently, although when I read the catchwords I am not sure if I have missed very much. When freezing orders to confiscate property can be made, when a limitations period begins to run in the context of post-traumatic stress disorder, apprehended bias of a judge, allowed tax deductions for CityLink, whether an indictment was a nullity because a count was wrongly included and a miscarriage of justice after a badly worded jury direction.
Granted, there was an extradition case which looks quite interesting, but these cases in general just don’t get me excited. They seem to be niche cases, there is very little ground shifting going on. No Mabo or Walton Stores. Now, granted, these cases don’t come around very often, and I’m not reading as many cases as I should, but have any REALLY big cases been decided this year? Or is it just this ho-hum stuff about, well, not much?
I read somewhere a little while ago that Australian authority is being relied on less and less in other common law jurisdictions than it was in the days of, say, the Mason or Barwick courts. Is this because the High Court is deciding less important cases? I am really interested in people’s view of this so please pipe up!