Unfair contract terms declared void…
JJ Richards & Sons Pty Ltd (JJ Richards) is a large waste disposal company. The Federal Court declared, by consent, that eight of the standard contract terms of the company with small businesses were void because they breached the Australian Consumer Law provisions designed to protect small business operators. This was the first case following the introduction of the provisions in 2016.
The contract terms that were declared void allowed JJ Richards to increase its prices, remove any liability from itself, charge for services not rendered and a number of other one sided provisions. Like standard contract terms in small business contracts these were non-negotiable standardized terms .
A term in a standardized form contract will generally be unfair if it is one-sided and excessive and is not reasonably necessary to protect the interests of the company.
It should be noted that contract terms may not be unfair if they are clearly drawn to the other parties attention before entering into the contract.
A challenge to the recent stay at home order and curfew in Victoria failed …
Ms Michelle Loielo sued the officer of the Victorian government who made the emergency orders under the Public Health and Well-being Act 2008 (Vic) that required Victorians to stay at home and obey a curfew in an attempt to curb the spread of the second wave of the COVID19 virus pandemic in that state.
The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) guarantees citizens of the Victorian state certain rights, including freedom of movement within the state.
Ms Loielo claimed that the curfew was “a step too far“. Although the court affirmed the importance of human rights and their protection, it held that the decision to impose the curfew was properly made after considering the rights of the citizens of Victoria and that the orders made were proportionate to the emergency faced by the state at that time.
Ms Loielo also argued that the curfew was unreasonable, illogical and irrational. These grounds failed because the court found that the decision was reasonable and properly made .
Fortunately the curfew has now been lifted and movement is no longer restricted in Victoria.