Dr James Stellios

MASSON AND PARSONS & ORS [2019] HCA 21

Constitutional law (Cth) – Courts – Federal courts – Federal jurisdiction – Matter arising under Commonwealth law – Where Commonwealth law provides rules in respect of parentage of children born of artificial conception procedures – Where State law provides irrebuttable presumption that biological father of child conceived by fertilisation procedure is not father in specified circumstances – Whether s 79(1) of Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth) operates to pick up and apply text of State law as Commonwealth law – Whether State law regulates exercise of jurisdiction – Whether Commonwealth law has "otherwise provided" within meaning of s 79(1) of Judiciary Act – Whether tests for contrariety under s 79(1) of Judiciary Act and s 109 of Constitution identical – Whether State law applies of its own force in federal jurisdiction.

Family law – Parenting orders – Meaning of "parent" – Where Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) presumes best interests of child served by shared parental responsibility – Where s 60H of Family Law Act provides rules in respect of parentage of children born of artificial conception procedures – Where appellant provided semen to first respondent to conceive child with belief that he was fathering child – Where appellant had ongoing role in child's financial support, health, education and general welfare and enjoyed extremely close and secure attachment relationship with child – Where first respondent later in de facto relationship with second respondent – Where appellant found to be "parent" within ordinary meaning of word but not under s60H – Whether s60H exhaustive of persons who may qualify as "parent" of child born of artificial conception procedure – Whether "parent" used in Family Law Act according to ordinary meaning except as otherwise provided – Whether appellant is "parent" within ordinary meaning – Whether ordinary meaning of "parent" excludes "sperm donor" – Whether appellant is "sperm donor".

Constitution, s 109.
Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), ss 4, 60B, 60EA, 60G, 60H, 61D, 61DA. Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth), s 79(1).
Status of Children Act 1996 (NSW), Pt 3 Div 1.

Michelle McMahon, Dr James Stellios led by Brett Walker SC represented the first and second respondents.

Reasons for the decisions can be found here.

PHAN V R [2018] NSWCCA 225

CRIME – conviction appeal – attempt to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled substance contrary to ss 11.1 and 307.5 of the Criminal Code (Cth)

CRIME – procedure – four accused – verdicts returned against two accused when jury was constituted by 12 jurors – lengthy jury deliberations – jury notes – Black direction in respect of co-accused – “partial” Black direction in respect of co-accused and appellant – discharge of juror – order that trial continue with 11 jurors – Black direction in respect of co-accused and appellant – discharge of another juror – order that the trial continue with 10 jurors – illness of juror in jury room – jury allowed to separate over Christmas – upon return of jury, third juror discharged – order that trial continue with 9 jurors – note from juror – examination by judge of juror and foreperson – jury discharged in respect of coaccused – jury not discharged in respect of appellant – guilty verdict returned shortly thereafter

CRIME – s 53C Jury Act – discharge of jurors – consideration of risk of substantial miscarriage of justice – secrecy of jury deliberations – maintenance of a fair trial – trial in progress beyond 2 months – order of jury deliberations – whether error in ordering continuation of trial with 9 jurors – anxiety disorder of discharged juror – unprecedented length of jury deliberations – reasonableness and well-being of remaining jurors – whether discharge of three jurors upset the balance of the remaining jurors – whether error in declining to discharge the jury following receipt of juror’s note and examination of juror and foreperson – whether error in continuing trial after discharge of jury in respect of coaccused – whether discharged juror may have been a dissentient juror – benefit of hindsight – whether error in confining consideration of discharge to the likelihood of reaching a unanimous verdict – s 56(3) Jury Act – House v The King error – failure to consider whether the ability of the nine remaining jurors to carry out their function had been compromised – substantial miscarriage of justice – guilty verdict quashed

Dr James Stellios represented the First Intervenor.

Reasons for the decision can be found here.

Rizeq v Western Australia [2017] HCA 23

From the High Court of Australia:

Constitutional law (Cth) – Courts – State courts – Federal jurisdiction – Diversity jurisdiction – Where appellant resident of New South Wales – Where appellant indicted for offence against law of Western Australia – Where matter between State and resident of another State within meaning of s 75(iv) of Constitution – Where District Court of Western Australia exercising federal jurisdiction – Whether provisions of State Act picked up and applied as Commonwealth law – Whether s 79 of Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth) operates in respect of s 6(1)(a) of Misuse of Drugs Act 1981 (WA) – Whether s 79 of Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth) operates in respect of s 114(2) of Criminal Procedure Act 2004 (WA).

Criminal law – Appeal against conviction – Where trial by jury in federal jurisdiction – Where majority verdict of guilty returned – Whether unanimous jury verdict required by s 80 of Constitution – Whether majority jury verdict permitted under s 114(2) of Criminal Procedure Act 2004 (WA).

Words and phrases – "accrued jurisdiction", "diversity jurisdiction", "Federal Judicature", "federal jurisdiction", "jurisdiction", "matter", "picked up and applied", "power", "State jurisdiction", "State legislative capacity", "trial by jury".

Dr James Stellios assisted Matthew Howard SC in representing the appellant.

National Road Transport Association Ltd v Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal [2016] FCAFC 56

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Application for prerogative remedies in respect of orders and decision of statutory tribunal – Interlocutory application for stay of order and decision – Whether prima facie case of invalidity – Whether strong case – Whether exceptional circumstances shown – Interests of parties and wider community – Imminence of final hearing.

Dr Christopher Ward SC and Dr James Stellios appeared for the Commonwealth Minister for Employment, the Hon. Michaelia Cash MP

Australian Industry Group v Road Safety and Remuneration Tribunal [2016] FCA

INJUNCTION - decision of Road Safety and Remuneration Tribunal - introduction of new minimum pay rates for for long-distance drivers and those involved in the distribution of goods destined for sale or hire by supermarket chains

Dr Christopher Ward SC and Dr James Stellios appeared for the Commonwealth Minister for Employment, the Hon. Michaelia Cash MP in these proceedings concerning the decision of the Road Safety and Remuneration Tribunal.

AFR Report

The Australian report

North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency Limited v Northern Territory [2015] HCA 41

STATUTORY INTERPRETATION – Div 4AA of Pt VII of Police Administration Act (NT) provides members of Northern Territory Police Force who arrest person without warrant in relation to infringement notice offence can detain person for up to four hours – Whether detention penal or punitive in character – Relevance of principle of legality – Relevance of principle in Chu Kheng Lim v Minister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs  (1992) 176 CLR 1.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (CTH) – Separation of judicial power – Whether Legislative Assembly of Northern Territory subject to constitutional limitations which limit legislative power of Commonwealth Parliament – Interaction between s 122 and Ch III of Commonwealth Constitution.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (CTH) – Constitution – Ch III – Principle in Kable v Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW)  [1996] HCA 24;  (1996) 189 CLR 51 – Whether Div 4AA of Pt VII of Police Administration Act (NT) conferred powers on Northern Territory executive which impaired, undermined or detracted from institutional integrity of Northern Territory courts. 

WORDS AND PHRASES – "infringement notice offence", "institutional integrity", "Kable principle", "penal or punitive", "separation of judicial power", "supervisory jurisdiction". 

Constitution, Ch III, s 122.
Bail Act (NT), ss 16, 33. 
Fines and Penalties (Recovery) Act (NT), ss 9, 12B, 13, 21, 22. 
Police Administration Act (NT), Pt VII, Div 4AA; ss 123, 137, 138.
Police Administration Regulations (NT), reg 1

Duncan v New South Wales; NuCoal Resources Limited v New South Wales; Cascade Coal Pty Limited v New South Wales [2015] HCA 13

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW – Judicial power – Independent Commission Against Corruption produced reports which recommended passing legislation to cancel three exploration licences granted under Mining Act 1992 (NSW) – Mining Amendment (ICAC Operations Jasper and Acacia) Act 2014 (NSW) ("Amendment Act") inserted Sched 6A into Mining Act 1992 (NSW), cancelling three licences without compensation – Whether Amendment Act involves exercise of judicial power in nature of, or akin to, bill of pains and penalties.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW – Constitution Act 1902 (NSW) – Legislative competence of New South Wales Parliament – Whether Amendment Act is "law" within meaning of s 5 of Constitution Act 1902 (NSW).

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW – Inconsistency between Commonwealth and State laws – Provision of Amendment Act authorised use or disclosure of information contained in works – Whether provision of Amendment Act inconsistent with Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) and invalid to extent of inconsistency.

Duncan v New South Wales; NuCoal Resources Limited v New South Wales; Cascade Coal Pty Limited v New South Wales [2015] HCA 13