Other Federal Jurisdiction
About this NPA
The Other Federal Jurisdiction National Practice Area (NPA) encompasses cases that do not readily fit into any of the Court’s eight subject-matter NPAs.
Jurisdiction of the Court
The jurisdiction of the Court is described in the About Us section of the website. See further, the Resources section below.
The relationship between the eight subject-matter NPAs and the Other Federal Jurisdiction NPA
The eight subject-matter NPAs do not exhaust the jurisdiction of the Federal Court of Australia. They are the main bodies of work of the Court. Many other matters may, however, be brought in the Court that do not conveniently fit into these NPAs.
This NPA is designed to encompass cases that do not readily fit into any of the other existing NPAs. For instance, cases may arise under a law of the parliament (s 39B(1A)(c)) of the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth) or otherwise in federal jurisdiction that is conferred on the Court such as cases that are in substance negligence claims for damages (such as under legislation governing civil aviation), or defamation, or referrals from the High Court of Australia, in its capacity as the Court of Disputed Returns, pursuant to s 329 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. This list is not by any means exhaustive. If the Court has jurisdiction but the matter does not fall within one of the eight NPAs, the matter will be managed within this NPA.
Allocation of matters in this NPA
Under this NPA, depending on the specialised nature of the subject matter, an allocation will be made under the existing protocols for allocation.
The Court will ensure that the judge allocated to manage a case falling within this NPA has particular expertise in the underlying areas of law in the subject of the proceeding.
Areas of law within this NPA
- Defamation Sub-area: The Defamation Sub-area is a Sub-area within the Other Federal Jurisdiction NPA and covers all manner of defamation disputes within federal jurisdiction, including defamation cases that may arise under a law of the Parliament (s 39B(1A)(c) of the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth)).
By way of illustration, other types of claims that are likely to fall within this NPA include:
- Negligence: such as a claim based in common law negligence against the operator of an offshore petroleum project, seeking compensation for losses caused by environmental damage.
- Civil Aviation: such as a claim for damages (alleged assault) made against an airline company under Article 21(1) of the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air 1999 and s 9E of the Civil Aviation (Carrier’s Liability) Act 1959 (Cth).
- Election-related disputes: such as a petition referred by the High Court, in its capacity as the Court of Disputed Returns, pursuant to s 329 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, disputing the validity of an election or return.
- 1 Jun 2023:
Roberts-Smith v Fairfax Media Publications Pty Limited (No 41)  FCA 555 (Summary)
Judge: Besanko J
- 26 May 2023:
V'landys v Australian Broadcasting Corporation  FCAFC 80
DEFAMATION - appeal against primary judge's findings that no imputations conveyed in trial by judge alone - whether primary judge erred in making findings of characteristics of ordinary reasonable viewer of matter complained of without evidence - whether primary judge entitled to have regard to own first or final impressions of whether imputations …
Judge: Rares, Katzmann and O'Callaghan JJ
- 9 May 2023:
The Official Trustee in Bankruptcy v Shaw (No 2)  FCA 444
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - oral application for adjournment or stay - relevant principles.
Judge: Collier J
- 9 May 2023:
Selkirk v Hocking  FCA 432
DEFAMATION - application brought by respondents pursuant to s 10A(4) of the Defamation Act 2005 (Vic) for an order that the "serious harm element" of the cause of action for defamation brought against them by the applicant be determined before the trial of the proceeding commences - where unclear whether ss 10A(5) and (6) of the Defamation Act…
Judge: O'Callaghan J
- 28 Apr 2023:
Lehrmann v Network Ten Pty Limited (Limitation Extension)  FCA 385
DEFAMATION - application for extension of limitation period to commence action in defamation - whether not reasonable in circumstances for applicant to have commenced actions in defamation within one year of impugned publications - consideration of relevant principles pursuant to statutory test - where applicant charged with a serious criminal…
Judge: Lee J
Due to the broad nature of this NPA, practice notes within the Other Federal Jurisdiction NPA will be developed as necessary. The Defamation Sub-area has a dedicated practice note:
- Defamation Practice Note (DEF-1)
Parties should also be familiar with the guiding case management principles in the Central Practice Note (CPN-1).
To the extent relevant, parties should also be familiar with the general practice notes of the Court, including:
- Expert Evidence (GPN-EXPT)
- Survey Evidence (GPN-SURV)
- Subpoenas and Notices to Produce (GPN-SUBP)
- Access to Documents and Transcripts (GPN-ACCS)
- Costs (GPN-COSTS)
Forms, Rules & Fees
Due to the potentially broad range of actions relevant to this NPA it is impractical to provide an exhaustive list of forms and rules. However, below are some of the potentially relevant forms and rules for some proceedings commenced in this NPA:
Parties should consider whether it is necessary to file a Genuine Steps Statement (Form 16) in certain proceedings in this NPA – see r 8.02 of the Federal Court Rules and the Civil Dispute Resolution Act 2011 (Cth) (including sections 6, 7 and 16).
Filing fees for commencing a proceeding in this NPA may apply. Information about Court fees, including the fees payable and circumstances where an exemption or deferral can be given is available in Forms, Fees & Costs or from the Registry.
The following resources may be of assistance in the respect of the subject of the jurisdiction of the Federal Court:
- An introduction to the jurisdiction of the Federal Court of Australia by Justice James Allsop
- Lindgren, K.E., Hanks, P. and Branson, C. M., Federal civil litigation precedents (LexisNexis)
- Cowen and Zines’s federal jurisdiction in Australia, Lindell, G. J (The Federation Press)
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