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Posts Tagged ‘debt bondage’

su’s comment on tigtog’s Emma Thompson post alerted me to a case that the High Court heard in May:

Transcript Day 1
Transcript Day 2

su’s comment inspired me to go and read the transcripts, which are linked above. Now, a note about High Court transcripts: remember that the parties have to put in written submissions before the case is heard, along with a list of authorities (cases, legislation and so on). They don’t usually go through their whole argument in the hearing itself, generally just the contentious bits.

A note about High Court cases generally: the High Court will usually hear cases on a particular point of law (or maybe two or three of them) – but it’s about the law. It’s not meant to be about the facts of the case. Sometimes, the narrowness of the discussion can make it seem very strange (especially given the written/oral combination) – even if you’re sitting in court, you get a very small piece of the story, and it’s fairly acontextual anyway.

Sometimes, the outcome will seem extremely unfair – perhaps it’s a new piece of legislation that’s being tested, and the High Court’s interpretation is different from the interpretation that’s been being used in the courts below; maybe someone’s just found a new loophole; maybe someone’s brought a case on the basis that the law is unfair and the court disagrees. It’s not necessarily a good thing that cases that come out of the High Court sometimes appear to have unfair results (although on the positive side, it can force a review of the legislation). But it’s a fact that has to be acknowledged.

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