Recent Cases

Redland City Council v Kozik [2024] HCA 7 (13 March 2024) (Gageler CJ; Gordon, Edelman, Steward and Jagot JJ)


Statutes – Construction – Statutory debt – Local government – Special rates and charges – Where appellant empowered by Local Government Act 2009 (Qld) (“Act”) to levy special rates and charges in respect of rateable land – Where appellant purported to levy special charges on respondents’ land – Where special charges levied pursuant to invalid resolutions – Where respondents paid special charges contained in rate notices – Where regulations made pursuant to Act provided for return of special rates or charges levied on land to which special rates or charges did not apply – Whether provision in regulations providing for return of special charges applicable where resolution levying special rates invalid.

Restitution – Unjust enrichment – Defence of good consideration – Where respondents paid special charges to appellant under mistake of law – Where appellant spent funds levied on works conducted on waterways adjacent to respondents’ land – Where appellant statutorily obliged to conduct relevant works – Whether appellant had defence to respondents’ claim for restitution.

Words and phrases – “benefit”, “failure of consideration”, “good consideration”, “local government”, “mistake of law”, “money had and received”, “recipient not unjustly enriched”, “regulations”, “restitution”, “special rates and charges”, “statutory construction”, “statutory debt”, “unjust enrichment”.