On Friday, the High Court held its last special leave hearings for 2014. The media reports that French CJ has referred a closely watched case, Cunneen v Independent Commission Against Corruption  NSWCA 421, where a majority of the NSW Court of Appeal stopped a corruption inquiry into allegations against a NSW prosecutor, to a full court hearing next year. However, various media reports have highlighted the Court’s refusal to hear appeals in three other high profile matters:
- Christian Youth Camps Limited & Ors v Cobaw Community Health Services Limited & Ors  VSCA 7 is the Victorian Court of Appeal’s majority ruling earlier this year that a Christian youth camp operator breached that state’s Equal Opportunity Act when it refused to accommodate a gay youth support group.
- R v Loveridge  NSWCCA 120 is a sentencing appeal by Kieran Loveridge, who killed Thomas Kelly with a single punch in Sydney’s Kings Cross in 2012 (and whose initial four-year non-parole period for that manslaughter prompted subsequent legislation imposing an eight-year mandatory minimum for assault causing death while intoxicated), against a seven-year non-parole period imposed following a Crown appeal.
- Ngo v R  NSWCCA 142 is sentencing appeal by Phuong Canh Ngo, convicted of the murder of NSW Member of Parliament John Newman two decades ago, against his life sentence, imposed under a NSW sentencing provision enacted in between the murder and Ngo’s sentence.
In Friday’s hearings, the Court granted special leave in just two matters:
- Ramsey Food Processing Pty Ltd v Tomlinson  NSWCA 237 is a ruling that an abattoir worker employed through a labour hire company was an employee of the abattoir and therefore cannot claim common law damages for a work accident. The NSW Court of Appeal held that the worker’s employee status was already determined by the Federal Court when it upheld a claim by the Fair Work Ombudsman that the abattoir had failed to provide employee termination payments to workers employed through the labour hire company.
- SPI PowerNet Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation  FCAFC 36 is a ruling that transmission licence fees imposed as part of the privatisation of Victoria’s electricity industry are not allowable income tax deductions. While the Full Court of the Federal Court considered that the compulsory fees were incurred in carrying on a business to gain or produce income, a majority held that they were not allowable deductions because of their capital nature.