Hudson v Australian Broadcasting Corporation [2016] FCCA 917

HUMAN RIGHTS – Disability discrimination – claim for relief under s.46PO of the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth) (AHRC Act) based on an alleged contravention of s.24 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) (DDA) – elements of causes of action for relief under s.46PO of the AHRC Act based on alleged contraventions of s.24 of the DDA – construction of “a person (the discriminator) discriminates against another person (the aggrieved person) on the ground of a disability of the aggrieved person “a person . . . discriminates against another person” as defined in s.5(2) of the DDA – manner in which a supplier may contravene s.24 of the DDA by discriminating against an aggrieved person within the meaning of s.5(2) of the DDA. 

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Claim by visually impaired applicant that respondent discriminated against her contrary to s.24 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) (DDA) because it failed to provide to the applicant an audio description service in connection with the respondent’s broadcasting of television programs – applicant applies for order under r.21.03 of the Federal Circuit Court Rules 2001 (Cth) (FCC Rules) that the Court specify $15,000 as the maximum amount of costs a party may recover against another party on a party and party basis – purposes for which order under r.21.03 of the FCC Rules may be made – factors relevant to determining whether order should be made – whether proceedings likely to give rise to complex issues of fact or law – whether there is a public interest element in the bringing of the proceedings – whether applicant will continue with the proceedings if order not made – order made specifying $40,000 as the maximum amount of costs one party may recover against the other party on a party and party basis.

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Whether power under r.21.03 of the FCC Rules to specify the maximum amount of costs that one party may recover against another party is restricted to specifying costs that are to be assessed on a party and party basis or whether the power extends to specifying the maximum amount of costs that may be recovered if assessed by applying Schedule 1 to the FCC Rules – r.21.03 restricted to specifying the maximum costs that may be recovered on a party and party basis.

Kate Eastman SC appeared for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation