In That Case
Summary: Lawyers, litigants and courts have shaped Australia through interesting and important public interest litigation. At the same time, the individual players involved have been shaped and impacted by their involvement in these cases. From the saga of the 2007 Haneef case, to Jason Kioa’s reshaping of Australian public law, to the public and personal effects of Mabo, ‘In That Case’ unpacks some of the most fascinating moments in Australian law.
#ITC12: Kimberley Castles and Rachel Ball on Castles v Secretary to the Department of Justice In late 2009, Kimberley Castles was imprisoned. She was undergoing IVF treatment at the time. She fought for her right to continue her fertility treatment while in prison, and in doing so she ran one of the first cases testing the application of Victoria's Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.
#ITC11: Patrick McInerney on the Catch the Fire Ministries Case In 2002, a Christian group called 'Catch the Fire Ministries' conducted a seminar on Islam. Members of the Islamic Council of Victoria attended, and in response to what was presented: Islam equated with violent jihad, brought an action under Victoria's Racial and Religious Tolerance Act. VCAT found in the Islamic Council's favour, but Catch the Fire Ministries appealed, successfully, to the Court of Appeal. Father Patrick McInerney, a Columban priest and an expert on Islam, was a witness for the Islamic Council. He did not know what he would face, in the course of the hearing.
ITC#10: Jim McGinty on McGinty v WA For many years, there was gross disparity in voting power in Western Australia, between electors in huge and sparsely populated regional electorates, and those in metropolitan electorates. It had long been a source of objection. Jim McGinty was a member of the WA parliament when he brought an unsuccessful High Court challenge to the laws which created the gap in voting power, before (as Attorney-General) he finally achieved the long hoped-for legislative reform to achieve greater parity.
ITC#9: Michael Kirby and Mark Aarons on the 1951 referendum An extra episode, supplementing #ITC8: Following the finding of the High Court that the legislation effecting a ban on the Australian Communist Party was invalid, the Menzies government went to the Australian people to seek an amendment to the Constitution. Justice Michael Kirby and Mark Aarons discuss the referendum and its implications. Thanks also to the National Library of Australia, for the use of excerpts from its oral history collection: Laurie Aarons interviewed by Stewart Harris, 1991 Dec.17-1992 Mar. 4, ORAL TRC 2788.
ITC#8: Michael Kirby and Mark Aarons on the Communist Party Case The banning of the Australian Communist Party, and the finding of the High Court that the legislation effecting the banning was invalid, were landmark events in Australia's political and legal history. Justice Michael Kirby and Mark Aarons, discuss the background to the case and its implications. Thanks also to the National Library of Australia, for the use of excerpts from its oral history collection: Laurie Aarons interviewed by Stewart Harris, 1991 Dec.17-1992 Mar. 4, ORAL TRC 2788.
ITC#7: Tim Marsh on DPP v Walters Politicians regularly seek to constrain the discretion of sentencing judges. Victoria's baseline sentencing regime was a strange, unique, and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to do so. Tim Marsh talks about the decisions of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal in DPP v Walters, which grappled with this unusual legislative scheme.
ITC#6: Ella Ingram on Ingram v QBE Ella Ingram was excited about a school trip to New York City, but experienced depression and was unable to go. She made a travel insurance claim, but her insurer refused to pay. To her surprise, she found herself running a case testing whether her insurer had a justification for doing so.
ITC#5: Brian Walters on environmental protest From bushwalking, to establishing Wild magazine, to supporting the Franklin Dam campaign, to decades representing environmental protesters. Brian Walters talks about this history, and about some key cases he's been involved in: representing protesters against a South Australian uranium mine, and Bob Brown when he protested logging the Goolengook.
ITC#4: Tamar Hopkins on Haile-Michael v Konstantinidis When Tamar Hopkins started at the Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre in 2005, she was immediately struck by the persistent complaints, from young people of African ethnicity, about their treatment at the hands of local police. Eventually, those complaints led to a claim of unlawful discrimination, and the creative settlement of the ensuing case continues to have an impact on Victorian policing.
ITC#3: Rodney Croome on Croome v Tasmania In 1993, Nicholas Toonen and Rodney Croome took Australia to the UN Human Rights Committee, on the basis Tasmania's anti-gay laws. After the Committee found Australia in breach of its international human rights obligations, the Commonwealth Parliament legislated to render the Tasmanian laws inoperative. But Tasmania still didn't repeal the laws, so Croome and Toonen went to the High Court...
ITC#2: Jason Kioa and Michael Clothier on Kioa v West Jason Kioa came from Tonga to Australia in 1981, overstayed his entry permit, and ended up reshaping the exercise of Australian government power, when the High Court upheld his challenge to his deportation in 1985. Jason and his lawyer Michael Clothier talk about their experience of making Australian legal history.
ITC#1: Stephen Keim on the Haneef case Stephen Keim discusses with me the twists and turns of the Haneef case, from anti-terrorism laws to visa cancellation, to professional regulation. The case absorbed Australia in the second half of 2007, and it's still as interesting now as it was then.