Recent Cases

Victoria International Container Terminal Limited v Lunt [2021] HCA 11 (07 April 2021) (Kiefel CJ, Gageler, Keane, Gordon and Edelman JJ)


Courts – Abuse of process – Where Fair Work Commission approved enterprise agreement – Where approval of enterprise agreement supported by union – Where first respondent was longstanding member of union – Where first respondent brought proceedings seeking to quash approval of enterprise agreement – Where appellant sought summary dismissal of proceedings on basis they were abuse of process – Where proceedings funded by union – Where union unwilling to bring proceedings in own name because of risk of discretionary refusal of relief – Whether deployment of first respondent as “front man” for union amounted to abuse of process by bringing administration of justice into disrepute – Whether choice of first respondent as plaintiff prevented scrutiny of union’s acquiescence in approval of enterprise agreement – Whether power to stay or summarily dismiss proceedings informed by considerations of deterrence or punishment.

Words and phrases – “abuse of process”, “administration of justice”, “bring the administration of justice into disrepute”, “deterrence”, “discretionary grounds for the refusal of relief”, “enterprise agreement”, “forensic or juridical advantage”, “front man”, “illegitimate or improper purpose”, “integrity of the court’s own processes”, “lack of candour”, “motive”, “punishment”, “stay of proceedings”, “summary dismissal”, “trade union”, “true moving party”.