News: Five new appeals to be heard

Last Friday, the Court held special leave hearings in Sydney and (for the first time in four years) Adelaide. There was only one successful application for leave to appeal in Adelaide, but it is an especially interesting criminal law matter, while three of the other four matters granted leave in Sydney concern areas of law currently or recently before the Court:

  • AstraZeneca AB v Apotex Pty Ltd [2014] FCAFC 99 is (like this recent ruling and a pending matter) a medical patent dispute. In this case, a five-judge bench of the Federal Court affirmed a ruling invalidating patents in relation to anti-cholesterol drug┬árosuvastatin (marketed as Crestor), holding that uses of that drug in low dosages, to treat a genetic cholesterol condition and in a formulation comprising an inorganic salt failed various requirements for patents, including the absence of an inventive step.
  • Filippou v R [2013] NSWCCA 92 is (like this matter heard last week in Adelaide) a dispute about the controversial homicide defence of provocation. In this case, a complex and factually disputed series of altercations between neighbours in a Newcastle suburb culminated in the defendant shooting two brothers with a gun that the brothers themselves may have brought to the defendant’s house. The NSW Court of Appeal upheld the ruling of a judge (acting without a jury) rejecting the defendant’s claim of provocation, noting evidence that the defendant was angry with the neighbours both long before and for days after the incident.
  • Police v Dunstall [2014] SASCFC 85 brings the High Court to the hard fought field of drink driving prosecutions. In this case, a doctor procured by the defendant failed to draw enough blood for a blood alcohol test, leaving the defendant barred by statute from disputing a positive result to his random breath test. A majority of the South Australian Supreme Court upheld a magistrate’s ruling that the doctor’s failure meant that the breath test certificate should be excluded in the defendant’s prosecution.
  • Polish Club Limited v Gnych [2014] NSWCA 321 concerns the interaction of tenancy law and liquor licensing law. In this case, the NSW Court of Appeal held that an implied lease of a premises by a liquor licensee was partially invalid, because the lease was never approved by the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority.
  • PT Bayan Resources TBK -v- BCBC Singapore Pte Ltd [2014] WASCA 178, like a pending matter, concerns the enforcement of foreign judgments. In this case, the Western Australian Court of Appeal held that the Supreme Court has jurisdiction to issue a freezing order in anticipation of the enforcement of a pending Singapore judgment in Australia.
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About Jeremy Gans

Jeremy Gans is a Professor in Melbourne Law School, where he researches and teaches across all aspects of the criminal justice system. He holds higher degrees in both law and criminology. In 2007, he was appointed as the Human Rights Adviser to the Victorian Parliament's Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee.

1 thought on “News: Five new appeals to be heard

  1. The transcript in the application for leave to appeal against Filppou v R reveals that special leave has been granted on limited grounds: a ground relating to the Court of Criminal Appeal’s role in reviewing a murder conviction where provocation is in issue; and a ground relating to how the question of who brought the gun to the scene should be considered at sentencing, given that the sentencing judge was not convinced either way on whether the gun was brought to the scene by the defendant or the victims.

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