Recent Cases

Citta Hobart Pty Ltd v Cawthorn [2022] HCA 16 (04 May 2022) (Kiefel CJ, Gageler, Keane, Gordon, Edelman, Steward and Gleeson JJ)


Constitutional law (Cth) – Chapter III – Where respondent’s complaint made under Anti‑Discrimination Act 1998 (Tas) (“State Act”) was referred to Anti-Discrimination Tribunal (“Tribunal”) – Where appellants in defence asserted provisions in State Act inconsistent with Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010 (Cth) – Where Tribunal dismissed complaint for want of jurisdiction without addressing merits of defence – Where Full Court of Supreme Court of Tasmania on appeal considered merits of, and rejected, defence – Where Tribunal not “court of a State” within meaning of ss 77(ii) and 77(iii) of Constitution – Where Chapter III implication recognised in Burns v Corbett (2018) 265 CLR 304 prevents State Parliament conferring on State tribunal that is not “court of a State” judicial power with respect to any matter of kind described in ss 75 and 76 of Constitution – Whether Tribunal exercised judicial power when determining complaint under State Act – Whether Tribunal had jurisdiction to hear and determine complaint – Whether defence needed to meet some threshold of arguability to give rise to matter of kind described in ss 76(i) and 76(ii) of Constitution.

Words and phrases – “abuse of process”, “claim or defence that amounts to ‘constitutional nonsense'”, “colourable”, “genuinely in controversy”, “involving no ‘real question'”, “issue capable of judicial determination”, “judicial power”, “justiciable controversy”, “limits of jurisdiction”, “manifestly hopeless”, “matter”, “no reasonable prospects of success”, “not incapable on its face of legal argument”, “single justiciable controversy”, “State jurisdiction”, “State tribunal”, “summarily dismissed”, “threshold of arguability”.