Coming Charter judgments

It’s been a slow news time for a while at Charterblog, but I have hopes that that will soon change. Up to four significant Charter judgments may be here very soon:

  • X v Channel Nine,where Vickery J permitting Channel Nine to show five episodes of Underbelly. The case may (or may not) involve consideration of the Charter. The case came down on Monday, but hasn’t emerged on Austlii yet (though the media seem to have a copy.)
  • MH6 v Mental Health Review Board was listed for judgment at 10AM yesterday in the Supreme Court before Hansen J. This is presumably an appeal from a May VCAT decision, blogged about here, where a man was trying to free himself from involuntary confinement for a brain injury. A Charter argument was raised and rejected, but presumably will be raised again more clearly in the VSC. [EDIT: Or, as it turns out, not. I guess MH6 gave up on the Charter…]
  • Today’s VCAT list included the availability of reasons for judgment for an application by BAE Systems Australia in the anti-discrimination list. I’m guessing that that’s one of the usual applications for exemption from the EOA’s ban on nationality discrimination to meet nasty US defence industry rules. If so, this will be the first case decided since the Charter became operational. See here for my post on a similar case from the ACT. [EDIT: I guessed right, according to The Age.]
  • Sabet v Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria, the long-awaited judgment from Hollingworth J on the compatibility of professional misconduct proceedings with the right of a charged defendant to be presumed innocent, is listed for judgment tomorrow at 10. Here’s my post on a newspaper report of the case, where I made the non-bold prediction that the Charter argument wasn’t a winner.

Alas, I am dependant on Austlii for each of these. Not only has Austlii been running very slow of late, but VCAT decisions, at least, take a while to go up there.

While I love Austlii dearly, I think it’s crazy that Victoria’s courts don’t have their own websites for swift publication of judgments. This is a distinct contrast to EVERY other state or territory in Australia except Tasmania. We have eight times the population of the island state, but somehow none of our courts have the resources or interest to upload their judgments directly to their webpage. Why?

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