Recent Cases

Binsaris v Northern Territory [2020] HCA 22 (03 June 2020) (Kiefel CJ, Gageler, Keane, Gordon and Edelman JJ)


Tort – Battery – Statutory authorisation – Where CS gas (form of tear gas) used by prison officer in youth detention centre – Where prison officer called to assist at youth detention centre – Where detainees exposed to CS gas claimed damages for battery – Where device used to deploy CS gas prohibited weapon under Weapons Control Act (NT) – Whether deployment of CS gas by prison officer in youth detention centre lawful – Whether prison officer acting in course of duties as prison officer such that exemption for prescribed persons in s 12(2) of Weapons Control Act applied – Whether authorised by delegation of powers of superintendent of youth detention centre under s 157(2) of Youth Justice Act (NT) – Whether authorised by prison officer having powers of police officer under s 9 of Prisons (Correctional Services) Act (NT).

Words and phrases – “acting in the course of his or her duties”, “battery”, “bodily integrity”, “breach of the peace”, “bystander”, “collateral damage”, “detainees”, “emergency situation”, “ensure the safe custody and protection”, “maintain discipline”, “maintain order”, “necessary or convenient”, “police officer”, “positive authority”, “prescribed person”, “prison officer”, “prisoner”, “prohibited weapon”, “superintendent”, “tortious liability”, “use of force that is reasonably necessary”, “youth detention centre”.