Jun 292012

A NSW Supreme Court judge has replaced the special purpose liquidator of the collapsed telecommunications company One.Tel.

Registered Liquidator, Paul Weston, who has served as special purpose liquidator since December 2003, was removed from his role after judge Patricia Bergin found creditors, led by Optus, had lost confidence in Mr Weston’s capacity “to bring a dispassionate mind to bear in exercising his powers in the liquidation”.  Mr Weston contended that the creditors’ loss of confidence in him was not enough to justify his removal. He contended that there must be some serious misconduct, conflict of interest or lack of independence.

Justice Bergin appointed another registered liquidator, Stephen Parbery, in Mr Weston’s place.

The application for removal of was Mr Weston was brought under section 503 of the Corporations Act 2001: “The Court may, on cause shown, remove a liquidator and appoint another liquidator.”

Issues considered in the case included:

  • The special liquidator’s relationship with the creditors’ Committee of Inspection.
  • The liquidator’s remuneration and expenses.


Extracts from the court judgment, and a link to the full judgement of 19 June 2012, are given below.

“In a court appointed liquidation (or a liquidation by the Court), a liquidator, as an officer of the Court, is a representative of the Court, entrusted with the reputation of the Court. It is expected that the liquidator will discharge the relevant functions and powers with impartiality and proper dispatch: Commissioner for Corporate Affairs v Peter William Harvey [1980] VR 669. Albeit that it may be inappropriate to refer to the defendant as “an officer of the Court” in this particular liquidation, it is expected that he would discharge his relevant functions and powers with impartiality and proper dispatch.”  (para 151)

“It is expected that the defendant will maintain an “even and impartial hand” in his dealings with those interested in the liquidation … It is expected that he will be independent in the sense that he will deal impartially and objectively in the interests of the creditors …”. (para 152)

“In City & Suburban Pty Ltd v Smith, Merkel J observed at 336 (excluding citations): Section 503 of the Law provides that the court may “on cause shown” remove a liquidator and appoint another liquidator. It has long been accepted that the section and its predecessors were not confined to situations where it is established that there is personal unfitness, impropriety or breach of duty on the part of the liquidator. Cause is shown for removal whenever the court is satisfied that it is for the better conduct of the liquidation or, put another way, it is for the general advantage of those interested in the assets of the company that a liquidator be removed.” (para 160)

“In the present case the acrimony which has arisen between the liquidator and the committee of inspection has not come about as a result of any unreasonable conduct on the part of the committee. Rather, it has come about because the liquidator has carried out his tasks in respect of the liquidation with some insensitivity to the angst of the members of the committee of inspection.” (para 162)

“In AMP Music Box Enterprises Ltd v Hoffman [2002] BCC 996, Neuberger J (as his Lordship then was) considered the power under s 180(2) of the Insolvency Act 1986 (UK) to remove a liquidator “on cause shown” and said at 1001-1002:

On the other hand, if a liquidator has been generally effective and honest, the court must think carefully before deciding to remove him and replace him. It should not be seen to be easy to remove a liquidator merely because it can be shown that in one, or possibly more than one, respect his conduct has fallen short of ideal. So to hold would encourage applications under s 108(2) by creditors who have not had their preferred liquidator appointed, or who are for some other reason disgruntled. Once a liquidation has been conducted for a time, no doubt there can almost always be criticism of the conduct, in the sense that one can identify things that could have been done better, or things that could have been done earlier. It is all too easy for an insolvency practitioner, who has not been involved in a particular liquidation, to say, with the benefit of the wisdom of hindsight, how he could have done better. It would plainly be undesirable to encourage an application to remove a liquidator on such grounds. It would mean that any liquidator who was appointed, in circumstances where there was support for another possible liquidator, would spend much of his time looking over his shoulder, and there would be a risk of the court being flooded with applications of this sort. Further, the court has to bear in mind that in almost any case where it orders a liquidator to stand down, and replaces him with another liquidator, there will be undesirable consequences in terms of costs and in terms of delay.” (para 164)


  1. I am satisfied that it is in the best interests of this liquidation for the defendant to be removed as special purpose liquidator and for Mr Parbery to be appointed in his place. The defendant is to meet with Mr Parbery and provide him with any advice, documents or other assistance sought by Mr Parbery so that he may be in a position to pursue the remaining purposes of the special purpose liquidation in the most cost efficient manner.
  2. I am conscious that ASIC’s review of the defendant’s remuneration and fees has effectively been put on hold pending the outcome of these proceedings. I am satisfied that it is appropriate to defer any ruling in relation to conducting an inquiry under s 536 of the Act until ASIC’s review has concluded. It may be that, having regard to the defendant’s removal and/or the outcome of ASIC’s review, the plaintiffs may no longer wish to press for such an inquiry.”


SingTel Optus Pty Limited & Ors v Weston [2012] NSWSC 674 (19 June 2012)

Click here to read and/or copy judgment.



New regime for publication of insolvency notices

 ASIC, Corporate Insolvency, Insolvency Notices, Insolvency practices, Regulation  Comments Off on New regime for publication of insolvency notices
Jun 262012

From 1 July 2012 most insolvency notices issued by Australian registered liquidators will be published on a new website set up by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

This largely replaces the existing age-old system under which notices were published in classified advertisements in newspapers and in the Federal Government’s business gazette.

Just ahead of the start of the new system and the launch of the ASIC’s special website, the ASIC has sent three documents to liquidators explaining the change:

  • “Getting started on ASIC’s new website for insolvency and other matters.” To read and/or copy CLICK HERE.

  • “Updated fact sheet for Registered Liquidators – 26/6/2012: Lodging notices for publication on the ASIC’s website.”  To read and/or copy CLICK HERE.

  • “Fact sheet – Proposed changes to publish notices electronically.”  To read and/or copy CLICK HERE.

The types of notices that must be sent to the new ASIC website are :

1. notices of winding up applications
2. notices relating to appointments
3. notices of meetings of creditors
4. notices of intention to disclaim property
5. notices calling for proofs of debt and intention to declare dividends
6. company deregistration.

Anyone will be able to search the new website free of charge for a particular notice.  The enquiry/search parameters will be:

* company name.
* trading name.
* appointment type (eg court liquidation, voluntary administration etc)
* notice purpose (eg meeting of creditors, appointment, declaration of dividend, disclaimer etc).
* publication date.

The ASIC expects to introduce more advanced search functionality after 1 July 2012.

Jun 212012

On 20 June 2012 the following documents concerning proposed new tax laws on non-compliance with PAYG withholding and superannuation guarantee obligations was posted on the website of the Parliament of Australia:

  • Explanatory Memorandum to law.
  • Tax Laws Amendment (2012 Measures No. 2) Bill 2012  (Third reading).

Both documents can be read and/or downloaded HERE.

On the 21 June the legislation went to the Senate.

____________ end of post _______________________

Jun 122012

Complied by Michael Ennis.  Michael developed an interest in insolvency case law, while a Deputy Registrar in Bankruptcy at the Federal Court of Australia and while undertaking various roles at the  Insolvency Trustee Service Australia (ITSA).  He has maintained this interest since retiring.  If you would like to receive the Insolvency Decisions schedule direct, advise Michael of additional decisions, or share your observations, you may contact  Michael direct on rmci53mje@spin.net.au.


Bankruptcy Act – Prior to Date of Bankruptcy

You will recall the following Decision from the previous email – I now understand that it is related to the earlier  Decision , In the matter of Macryannis [2011] FCA 1272) , which itself had some particularly interesting features , especially in relation to the conduct of the Trustee –  National Australia Bank Limited v Oberg [2012] FMCA 233 (27 March 2012) BANKRUPTCY – Creditor’s petition – whether debtor satisfied court that he is able to pay his debts within s.52(2)(a) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FMCA/2012/233.html


Bankruptcy Act – following Date of Bankruptcy

Worth a solid read-  Rambaldi (The Trustees of the Estate of John Edward Atkinson a Bankrupt) v Woodward [2012] NSWSC 434 (11 May 2012) REAL PROPERTY – co-owners – statutory power of sale – application by bankruptcy trustees of one co-owner – property encumbered – whether trustees entitled to sell if no equity remaining in property – whether sale would be outside provisions of Bankruptcy Act and Regulations – whether discretion in court to refuse order for sale http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/nsw/NSWSC/2012/434.html


Bankruptcy Act – Other Schemes under the Act


Corporations – pre-appointment

In the matter of Samkev Investments Pty Limited [2012] NSWSC 527 (21 May 2012) Statutory Demand set aside http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/nsw/NSWSC/2012/527.html

Elite Catering Equipment Pty Ltd v Serosthan [2012] VSC 194 (11 May 2012) CORPORATIONS – External administration – Application to set aside statutory demand pursuant to Section 459G of the Corporations Act 2001 on basis of alleged genuine dispute – Accounts of plaintiff and other documents support defendant’s contentions as to existence of debt and are not satisfactorily rebutted by the plaintiff – Demand varied to reflect recalculation of interest by reason of reduction in principal component of demand http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VSC/2012/194.html

Golden Era Investments Pty Ltd v Commonwealth Bank of Australia Limited [2012] VSC 178 (4 May 2012) CORPORATIONS – External administration – Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) – Application to set aside statutory demand by reason of existence of genuine dispute – Defendant bank deals with bearer cheques in accordance with mandate without notice of impropriety of bearer who was plaintiff’s accountant – No plausible contention requiring investigation – Application dismissed http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VSC/2012/178.html


Corporations – post appointment

Dolores Correa and The Spanish Club Limited (subject to Deed of Company Arrangement) v Kenneth Michael Whittingham (No 3) [2012] NSWSC 526 (21 May 2012) CORPORATIONS – External administration – Administration under deed of company arrangement – Validity of appointment of administrator – Whether appointment invalid by reason of lack of number of directors as required by articles of association – Whether appointment invalid by reason of lack of quorum for directors meeting – Indoor management rule – Whether appointment valid by reason of statutory assumptions under ss 128-129 of Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) – Whether appointment should be validated under s 447A and s 1322 of Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) – Factors relevant to validation application brought when administration largely complete – Relevance of delay on part of party challenging validity of administrator’s appointment – Whether exposure to statutory regime for assessment of remuneration under s 449E of Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) amounts to substantial injustice http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/nsw/NSWSC/2012/526.html

McCracken v Phoenix Constructions (Qld) Pty Ltd [2012] QCA 129 (18 May 2012) CORPORATIONS – GENERALLY – CORPORATIONS LEGISLATION – where respondent is creditor of corporation of which appellant is director – where trial judge found appellant in contravention of s 182(1) Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and awarded damages to respondent pursuant to s 1324(10) – where appellant argued s 1324(10) does not confer right of damages upon creditor for contravention of s 182 – where appellant argued award of damages under s 1324(10) would amount to preference over other unsecured creditors – where respondent argued damages available under s 1324(10) – where respondent argued jurisdiction for granting injunction sufficient to enliven award of damages under s 1324(10) – whether trial judge erred in awarding damages under s 1324(10) EVIDENCE – ADMISSIBILITY AND RELEVANCY – FACTS SHOWING STATE OF MIND – INTENTION – where the appellant sought to rely on affidavit at trial as evidence of understanding or agreement between appellant and his wife in relation to proper construction of joint venture agreement – where trial judge concluded that the affidavit evidence was not admissible – where appellant argued evidence admissible on different ground that it showed appellant’s purpose of entering into deed of amendment – where respondent argued that affidavit not tendered as evidence of appellant’s purpose, but evidence of conduct – whether the trial judge erred in not admitting the affidavit evidence EVIDENCE – GENERAL – OTHER GENERAL MATTERS – where trial judge awarded damages equal to respondent’s contractual claim against appellant for contravention of s 182(1) Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) – where appellant argued respondent failed to prove alleged loss due to existence of unsecured creditors and no evidence of financial position – where respondent argued contention should not be considered because not pleaded, not subject of any disclosure, not subject of evidence, and because appellant was only person capable of doing so – whether appellant not giving evidence could justify drawing adverse inference – whether respondent failed to prove claimed loss http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/qld/QCA/2012/129.html

Perpetual Nominees Limited v Rytelle Pty Ltd (recs & mgrs apptd) & Ors [2012] VSC 209 (18 May 2012) PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Joinder of party to proceedings – Discretion of court to permit joinder – Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2005 (Vic), rule 9.02. CORPORATIONS LAW – Managed Investment Scheme – Whether former Responsible Entity entitled to indemnity from fund – whether new Responsible Entity liable for obligations and liabilities of former Responsible Entity – Whether new Responsible Entity entitled to indemnity from fund – Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) Pt 5C, ss 601FS, 601FT, 601GA. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VSC/2012/209.html

Sanelli v Acee Victoria Pty Ltd (No 2) [2012] VSC 190 (14 May 2012) COSTS ― Judgment for plaintiff after defendant company withdrew defence ― Costs order in favour of plaintiff ― Insolvent defendant ― Application for company directors to pay plaintiff’s costs ― Principles applicable for costs orders against non parties ― Application refused http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VSC/2012/190.html

Re Environinvest Ltd (No 6) [2012] VSC 173 (14 May 2012) CORPORATIONS – Managed Investment Scheme – Winding up by a person appointed under s 601NF(1) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) – Conflict of duty – Person appointed to wind up the schemes also the liquidator of the Responsible Entity – Directions in winding up under s 601NF(2) of the Corporations Act – Approval of deeds of sale – Approval of mediated agreement as to costs, expenses and remuneration – Scheme liquidator excused from compliance with obligations arising under scheme constitution – Discharge of scheme liquidator on completion of winding up http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VSC/2012/173.html

Sellers & Anor v Flinn & Anor [2012] VSC 132 (13 April 2012) PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Injunctions – Interlocutory injunctions – Application to restrain the defendants from dealing with livestock – Application for declarations as to ownership of livestock pursuant to stock mortgage http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VSC/2012/132.html

KLEENTEX (THAILAND) CO LTD & ORS v CORPORATE IM PTY LTD & ORS [2012] SASC 71 (2 May 2012) The chargee of a fixed and floating charge seeks by way of summary judgment a declaration that its interest in the charged property is superior to that of the defendants and an injunction restraining the defendants from interfering with the exercise by its appointed receiver of his functions. Whether the appointment of the receiver was invalid – whether an event of default had occurred justifying the receiver’s appointment – whether the failure to give notice of a default invalidated the appointment – whether the charge had an ulterior purpose which invalidated the appointment – whether permission should be granted for the defendants to bring proceedings in the name of the second plaintiff. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/sa/SASC/2012/71.html

COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA -v- PANKAJ OSWAL (IN HIS PERSONAL CAPACITY AND AS TRUSTEE OF THE BURRUP TRUST) [2012] WASC 128 (26 April 2012) Application for summary judgment – Extension of time – Issue to be determined – Arguable case – Turns on own facts
Appointment of receiver – Whether beyond power – Improper purpose – Good faith obligation – Sale of assets – Undervalue – Fair market value http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/wa/WASC/2012/128.html

In the matter of Steven Sherman & Peter Walker in their capacities as liquidators of One.Tel Limited [2012] NSWSC 544 (3 May 2012) CORPORATIONS – Payment of Special Purpose Liquidator’s legal costs by General Purpose Liquidator is justified – undertaking to repay legal costs if those costs were not properly incurred http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/nsw/NSWSC/2012/544.html

Another worth a good read =  In the matter of Purcom No 34 Admin Pty Ltd (Receiver and Manager Appointed) [2012] NSWSC 543 (3 May 2012) CORPORATIONS – Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001(Cth) ss 502 and 503 – Where liquidator is to be removed or has resigned his appointment in a number of external administrations after disciplinary proceedings – appointment of new liquidator being a principal of the firm where the first liquidator works – comprehensive undertakings having been given by the first liquidator to ASIC under s 93AA of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001(Cth) – appointments made http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/nsw/NSWSC/2012/543.html

Leslie John Schirato -v- SCW Pty Ltd (In Liquidation) [2012] NSWSC 541 (24 April 2012) CORPORATIONS – Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) s 488(2) – application under s 488(2) for special leave to distribute surplus funds in circumstances where shareholders and contributories consent to distribution and where company has adequate funds to meet any possible further obligations – HELD – surplus funds appropriate to be distributed – operation of orders subject to receipt of notice from Commissioner of Taxation pursuant to s 260-45 of Schedule 1 of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) CORPORATIONS – Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) – application under s 477(2B) for retrospective approval of agreement between liquidator and his solicitors – HELD – agreement approved by the Court http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/nsw/NSWSC/2012/541.html



Whild v GE Mortgage Solutions Ltd [2012] VSC 212 (18 May 2012) MORTGAGES – Mortgagee’s power of sale – Whether mortgagee’s notice to pay in the exercise of the statutory power of sale mistakenly referred to extent of moneys owing or to extent of default – Requirements as to form of statutory notice – Whether financial information provided to mortgagor indicating arrears could amount to statutory or contractual notice – Whether mortgagee of a registered Torrens system mortgage could also have available and exercise contractual power of sale – Websdale v S & JD Investments Pty Ltd (1991) NSWLR 573 (CA); Bunbury Foods v National Bank of Australasia Ltd [1984] HCA 10; (1984) 153 CLR 491; Midland Montagu v Cuthbertson (1989) 19 NSWLR 309 – Transfer of Land Act 1958, ss 76 and 77. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VSC/2012/212.html

Have not seen reference to this Act for a while – the instalment provisions of the Act have interesting implications for Bankruptcy Notices –  Davidson v Greedy & Anor [2012] VSC 202 (15 May 2012) JUDGMENTS ORDERS AND DECLARATIONS ― Judgment debt ― Application for payment of judgment debt by instalments ― Applicable considerations ― Judgment debt includes interest payable on judgment debt ― Application refused ― Judgment Debt Recovery Act (No 10063 of 1984) http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VSC/2012/202.html

Butler & Ors v Vavladelis & Ors [2012] VSC 186 (9 May 2012) PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Application to set aside default judgment – Whether arguable defence based on unconscionable conduct – Asset based lending – Arguable defence established – Judgment set aside on conditions.  EQUITY – Unconscionable conduct – Whether asset based lending unconscionable – Loan by clients of solicitor’s mortgage practice – Arguable defence of unconscionability established – Default judgment set aside on conditions –Elkofairi v Permanent Trustee Co Ltd [2002] NSWCA 413; Kowalczuk v Accom Finance Pty Ltd [2008] NSWCA 343; Perpetual Trustees Australia Limited v Schmidt & Anor [2010] VSC 67; Perpetual Trustee Company Limited v Khoshaba [2006] NSWCA 41 considered. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VSC/2012/186.html

Thiess Pty Ltd & Anor v Arup Pty Ltd & Ors [2012] QSC 131 (17 May 2012) EVIDENCE – ADMISSIBILITY AND RELEVANCY – OPINION EVIDENCE – EXPERT OPINION – Qualifications of witness – Where witness is accountant and auditor – Whether witness possesses expertise in a specialised field of knowledge relevant to the proceedings – Whether report prepared by witness sufficiently discloses the bases or reasoning for opinions http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/qld/QSC/2012/131.html

Retired federal court judge claims white collar criminals are treated differently

 Offences, Taxation Issues, White collar crime  Comments Off on Retired federal court judge claims white collar criminals are treated differently
Jun 052012

Ray Finkelstein, QC, retired federal court judge, writing in the March 2012 edition of the Australian Tax Office publication “Targeting tax crime: A whole-of-government approach”, says:

“There is significant law breaking by persons from the middle classes.  When these people commit crimes they are seen to be, and are, treated differently.  This is especially true in the case of ‘white collar crime’ …. If the distinction between the two kinds of crimes is removed this would reduce the problems resulting from inconsistencies in sentencing”.

Mr Finkelstein’s article, titled “Crime and punishment: White collar crime vs true crime”, is reprinted below.  In the article he takes issue with judges who have a rationale in sentencing white collar criminals that is different from that which they employ in sentencing ‘true’ criminals, and suggests that it may be necessary to relax some features of criminal law for the purposes of combating white collar crime.

The original article is available at http://www.ato.gov.au/content/downloads/snc00313370.pdf

 “Crime and punishment: White collar crime vs true crime”

by The Honourable Ray Finkelstein, QC:

“There is a longstanding myth, slowly being eroded, that criminal behaviour is largely committed by those in a lower socio economic class.

 The studies I have seen that address this define ‘true crimes’ as those that (1) directly harm or violate the rights of others or (2) constitute inherently immoral activity.  When it comes to the punishment of true crimes, a court considers a blend of just desserts, reformation and crime control: rehabilitation, retribution, deterrence, incapacitation (prison) and restitution.

 In the world in which we live it should be evident that it is wrong to assume that criminal behaviour is confined to lower socio economic class.  There is significant law breaking by persons from the middle classes.  When these people commit crimes they are seen to be, and are, treated differently.  This is especially true in the case of ‘white collar crime’.

 Here I refer to crimes committed by people of high social status in the course of their occupation.  One thing that stands out about white collar crime is that it is not due to poverty and the like.  Also the ‘cost’ of white collar crime is probably much higher than true crime. Compare a bank robber who steals $25,000 from a neighbourhood bank with the corporate manager who steals $2 billion from his company. 

 How do judges punish white collar crimes?  As a general rule the judge’s rationale in sentencing is different from sentencing true criminals.  General deterrence – that is deterring others in similar positions from engaging in like behaviour – is usually the sole guiding principle. Retribution seems to have little role to play. Most judges believe that the humiliation, loss of job and loss of status experienced by white collar criminals when they are apprehended, brought to trial and punished, is usually sufficient punishment.

 There are, of course, some white collar crimes where an element of punishment cannot be avoided.  This is usually confined to crimes that involve a breach of public trust, a serious effect on the market, or a very large fraud loss.

 What is interesting is that even though deterrence is the primary goal – imprisonment, when available, is regarded as a last resort.  Probably the reason is a belief that imprisonment has a far greater detrimental effect on a white collar criminal.  In some cases the judge will take into account the accused’s ability to make restitution as a factor that eliminates the need for a prison sentence.  

 This approach to sentencing inevitably leads the public to the conclusion that there is a law for the rich and a law for the poor. The problem that leads to this perception is what I see to be a tension between the aim of general deterrence (which usually requires a harsh penalty – often imprisonment if it is available) and the particular (personal) attributes of white collar criminals.

 When resolving this conflict, judges tend to compromise – they impose weekend sentences, short sentences or suspended sentences.  I do not agree with this approach.  It is, I think, necessary for white collar crimes, especially those that involve violations of trust, market manipulation, share market manipulation, anti-trust violations and the like to be regarded in the same way as other fraudulent conduct such as false pretences, or obtaining money by deception.  They should be regarded in the same way because they are of a similar character.  That is to say, most (I do not say all) white collar crimes are not really different from true crimes.

 If the distinction between the two kinds of crimes is removed this would reduce the problems resulting from inconsistencies in sentencing.

 A more difficult issue is whether it is necessary to relax some features of criminal law for the purposes of combating white collar crime.  The fight against white collar crime is an immense task and regulatory authorities have limited resources.  Establishing a guilty mind at trial is always difficult and sometimes impossible.  The courts’ narrow approach to construction of statutes often defeats parliament’s true intention.  The difficulty of obtaining independent (for example, documentary) evidence is well known.  All this inhibits the proper pursuit of white collar crime.

 The courts do not possess power to overcome all these difficulties.  Parliamentary intervention is necessary in some areas; but courts do have an essential role to play.

 In the first place when acting as a court of construction the court could adopt a pragmatic approach to the definition of crimes.  Second, as a court of construction the court could limit those crimes in which the prosecutor must establish a guilty mind.  Finally, perhaps there may be some crimes where the courts can state that the standard of proof should be lower than ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ and suggest that parliament should bring about the necessary change.  

 The most likely contenders are those statutes which have introduced civil penalties for contraventions that are also criminal.  Parliament has already decided that a lower standard of proof is in order for these offences, provided there is a lower penalty.  In substance, all that is needed is for parliament to legislate for an appropriately higher penalty for those offences.”