Full Court Minute Books

Case D3/2023

Chief Executive Officer, Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority v. Director of National Parks & Anor

Case No.

Case no D3/2023

Case Information

Lower Court Judgment

30/09/2022 Supreme Court of the Northern Territory (Grant CJ, Southwood and Barr JJ)

[2022] NTSCFC 1


Constitutional law – Territories – Territory crown – Crown immunity – Where s 34(1) of Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act 1989 (NT) ("Sacred Sites Act") prescribes offence and penalty for carrying out work on sacred site – Where Director of National Parks arranged for contractor to perform work on walking track at Gunlom Falls, in Kakadu National Park in Northern Territory – Where track works in area amounting to "sacred site" – Where Director is corporation sole with perpetual succession established by s 15 of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975 (Cth) and continued in existence as body corporate by s 514A of Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) – Whether s 34(1) of Sacred Sites Act applies to Director.

Statutory interpretation – Statutory presumption – Presumption against imposition of criminal liability on executive – Where presumption considered in Cain v Doyle (1946) 72 CLR 409 – Proper approach to scope of presumption in Cain v Doyle – Whether presumption in Cain v Doyle applies to statutory corporations – Whether Sacred Sites Act expresses intention to apply to persons or bodies corporate associated with Commonwealth. 


19/05/2023 Hearing (SLA, Canberra by video-connection)

02/06/2023 Notice of appeal

12/07/2023 Written submissions (Appellant)

12/07/2023 Chronology (Appellant)

26/07/2023 Written submissions (Northern Land Council and Others, intervening)

14/08/2023 Written submissions (Second Respondent)

28/08/2023 Reply

12/12/2023 Hearing (Full Court, Canberra) (Audio-visual recording)

12/12/2023 Outline of oral argument (Appellant)

12/12/2023 Outline of oral argument (Second Respondent)

12/12/2023 Outline of oral argument (Northern Land Council and Others, intervening)

13/12/2023 Hearing (Full Court, Canberra) (Audio-visual recording)


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