Cresswell v Cresswell [2017] VSCA 272 (28 September 2017): specific performance, agreement, contract and equity and procedural fairness

October 19, 2017

The Victorian Court of Appeal in Cresswell v Cresswell [2017] VSCA 272 upheld a decision from the County Court which ultimately revolved around procedural fairness and a fair trial.  It also highlighted the importance of clear pleadings.


The facts revolve around land and unfortunately arrangements between family members that went awry.  Not an unusual situation which often enough gives rise to litigation.

The Applicantsare the parents of the Respondent and his sister, Tamarand [1].

Prior to 30 November 2001, the Applicants and the Respondent and Tamarand agreed, at [2], that: Read the rest of this entry »

Reported instance of revenge porn attracting attention but little in the way of consideration of necessary reform to privacy law

October 11, 2017

The Age’s report Police investigate topless photo of woman wearing Richmond premiership medal seems to be an egregious, but not isolated example of the distribution of sexually explicit images without the depicted person’s consent.  It is commonly described as revenge porn though the report does not make it clear that revenge is the intent with the forwarding of a photograph of a topless female wearing an AFL premiership medal.  The report does Read the rest of this entry »

Release of the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s 2017 Threat Report

October 10, 2017

Today the Hon Dan Tehan launched the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) 2017 Threat Report at the National Press Club. Threat reports are now quite common throughout developed economies by both governments and specialist security companies.  The results are in line with other overseas reports both in terms of increasing attacks, greater sophistication and ransomware becoming a particularly challenging problem.

In his speech Tehan highlighted an example of a contractor in the security industry suffering a data breach in November 2016.  That has resulted in Read the rest of this entry »

Attorney General announces Security of Critical Infrastructure Bill 2017 to deal with cyber security threats

The Attorney General today announced that it will introduce into Parliament a bill to give powers to the Minister to issue directions to mitigate national security risks.  Clearly this relates to the ongoing and increasing threat posed by cyber attacks.  It has released an exposure draft bill for comment until 10 November.

Some notable provisions of the Bill Read the rest of this entry »

Bauer Media to appeal Wilson v Bauer Media Pty Ltd [2017] VSC 521

October 9, 2017

It was always on the cards that Bauer Media would appeal its loss in Wilson v Bauer Media Pty Ltd [2017] VSC 521. And today Bauer Media announced that it was appealing the quantum of the damages.  Just inside Read the rest of this entry »

Johnston v Holland (No 2) [2017] VSC 597 (4 October 2017): Defamation, limitation of action, extension of time, exercise of discretion, pleadings

October 8, 2017

In Johnston v Holland (No 2) [2017] VSC 597 Dixon J heard and upheld an appeal from a decision of Associate Justice Derham in Johnston v Holland [2017] VSC 448.


The plaintiff, Johnson,  appealed the judgment of Associate Justice Derham refusing an application brought under s 23B of the Limitation of Actions Act 1958 (Vic) (‘the Act’):

  1. to extend the limitation period;
  2. to permit him to join Wayne Murray as a second defendant to a proceeding; and
  3. to amend his statement of claim.

Johnson is the principal of The Peninsula School in Mount Eliza, Victoria and the defendant, Holland, is a former director of marketing at the School and a parent of students or former students who attended the school [2].

Johnson is suing for damages for defamation arising from:

  • a series of ‘tweets’ (to approximately 26 followers) and
  • an email (to at least 30 recipients) published on 2 April 2015 to the staff, parents and students of the School.

Johnson proposed to Read the rest of this entry »

Even the Australian sees the need for proper privacy protection in usage of data

October 2, 2017

The Australian newspaper has long had a set against increased privacy protections.  Its reaction, usually through its commentators, to any proposal that the Federal Government legislate a statutory right to privacy borders on paranoia.   To be fair, its opposition has been consistent, longstanding and been open.  See for example my post in 2012 about Ainslee Van Onselen’s criticism of the Rudd Government’s consideration of a statutory right to privacy in 2012.  It was very much a henny penny “sky – is – falling – sort – of -piece” that is a sub specialty of the Australian on its topics of hate.

It is then more than a little surprising that  Peter Van Onselen (definitely relation of Ainslee, as in spouse) writes a shock horror piece in today’s Australian about political parties being able to use our data without any oversight or regulation in We have no say over what political parties can do with information collected about us in today’s Australian.  The exclusion of political parties (and the media) from the Privacy Act 1988 has been there since Read the rest of this entry »

National Institute of Standards and Technology releases Application Container Security Guide

For those interested in practical privacy and compliance with data security standards the various guides published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (the “NIST”) are particularly useful.  The Australian Privacy Principles are written in the general and the Commissioner’s guidelines are quite anodyne.  The NIST guidelines are best practice.

The latest publication by the NIST, Application Container Security Guide, deals with Read the rest of this entry »

US Securities and Exchange Commission suffers data breach through a hack attack

September 22, 2017

It doesn’t get much more embarrassing than this.  The US Securities and Exchange Commission (“the SEC”), that branch of the US Government charged with regulating the financial sector and taking action against those who breach the rules has been hacked.  Not last week, or last month, but last year.  This is the body that puts the cuffs on insiders and puts them through a perp walk to court.  Here the breach likely resulted in “illicit gain through trading.”  Insider trading of a different specie.

The source of the breach was Read the rest of this entry »

Federal Court issues practice notes on interest on judgments

September 20, 2017

Properly determining the interest component in an award is an important calculation.  And one that is done poorly more often than Read the rest of this entry »