Author Archives: Legal Eagle

Student loses case against Geelong Grammar

In May this year, I wrote a post about the case of Rose Ashton-Weir, who, with her mother, Elizabeth Weir, was suing Geelong Grammar because she alleged it did not support her to a sufficient degree to allow her to get into Law at Sydney University. Judgment has been handed down (Weir v Geelong Grammar […]

Scientists found guilty for ‘causing’ earthquake deaths

I was very interested to read that some scientists had been found guilty of manslaughter in relation to advice given about an earthquake: Six Italian scientists and a government official have been found guilty of multiple manslaughter for underestimating the risks of a killer earthquake in L’Aquila in 2009. They were sentenced to six years […]

Exam nightmares

Every now and then, I’m sitting in an examination room at my old English school. There’s been some problem with my A-Level exams, and they’ve asked me to re-sit the History exam some 20 years later to prove it was really me who took the original exam. I am trying my best to write essays […]

Alan Jones, feminism and Australian politics

Radio personality Alan Jones has been in trouble again, this time because he made some insensitive comments about the recent death of the father of Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the Sydney University’s Liberal Club President’s Dinner. Jones suggested Gillard’s father ‘died of shame’ as a result of the lies his daughter had told the […]

Social media and crime

Here in Melbourne we’ve been absolutely devastated by the disappearance of Jill Meagher. Ms Meagher was a 29-year-old Irishwoman who worked at the ABC. Last Friday, she went missing after going to drinks with colleagues in Sydney Road, Brunswick. A colleague offered to walk her home; but she lived only 800m away and declined the […]

Pennies from heaven

Copyright law has really jumped the shark. The Canadian Royal Mint wants to sue a struggling artist for featuring Canadian pennies on the cover of his latest album called No More Pennies (pictured above). (I can’t resist adding – he may be struggling but he’s not penniless, as the album cover shows. Boom tish! Okay, […]

High Court says that bank fees may be penalties

In Andrews v Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd [2012] HCA 30, the Australian High Court decided that bank fees may potentially be penalties, notwithstanding the fact that the trigger for the imposition of most of the fees was not a breach of contract. I’ve already outlined the law against penalties in some detail […]

Speak of the devil: the High Court rules on penalties

Only the other day, Sinclair Davidson and I were debating the nature of bank fees and whether they were penalties. In that post, I noted the case of Andrews v Australian and New Zealand Banking Group [2011] FCA 1376 where customers of the ANZ were suing it in relation to a variety of fees the […]

The past really is a foreign country

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there. (L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between) I was forcibly reminded of the truth of Hartley’s statement while undertaking some legal research today. I have been conducting research into the doctrine of specific performance, which is when a court orders a party to a contract to perform […]