Stewart v Ackland

An appeal against a decision of the ACT Court of Appeal on dangerous recreational activities in the context of the tort of negligence that was to be heard by the Full Court on 2 December has now been discontinued by consent. The respondent suffered a broken neck and tetraplegia after attempting a backward somersault at the appellant’s amusement park and sought damages for negligence. At trial, the appellants argued that s 5L(1) of the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW), which precludes liability for harm resulting from the materialisation of an obvious risk or dangerous recreational activity engaged by the claimant, applied here. The ACTCA unanimously upheld the trial judge’s decision that the appellants were liable for the injury. A majority of the ACTCA agreed with the trial judge that while the activity had been a ‘dangerous recreational activity’ within the meaning of s 5L(1), the risk that eventuated had not been an ‘obvious risk’ as defined by s 5K. By consent, the appellants agreed to pay the respondent $3.5 million subject to conditions outlined in the order.

Consent Order [2015] HCATrans 322 2 December 2014
Result Discontinued by consent
High Court Documents Stewart v Ackland
Full Court Hearing Vacated
Special Leave Hearing [2015] HCATrans 226 11 September 2015
Appeal from ACTCA [2015] ACTCA 1 12 February 2015
Trial Judgment, ACTSC
[2014] ACTSC 18 21 February 2014
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About Martin Clark

Martin Clark is a PhD Candidate and Judge Dame Rosalyn Higgins Scholar at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Research Fellow at Melbourne Law School. He holds honours degrees in law, history and philosophy from the University of Melbourne, and an MPhil in Law from MLS. While at MLS, he worked as a researcher for several senior faculty members, was a 2012 Editor of the Melbourne Journal of International Law, tutor at MLS and various colleges, a Jessie Legatt Scholar, and attended the Center for Transnational Legal Studies Program.