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4 Instituting proceedings

Test for standing in australia is that the person

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Test for standing in Australia is that the person applying for standing has either: a private right, or a ‘special interest’ in the subject matter of the action. ‘special interest’ does not need to involve a legal or pecuniary right but has to be more than a ‘mere intellectual or emotional concern’ and must be an interest that is different than that of an ordinary member of the public.
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ACF v. Cwlth ACF v. Cwlth High Court held: ACF had no standing to sue! “… an interest, for present purposes, does not mean a mere intellectual or emotional concern . A person is not interested within the meaning of the rule, unless he is likely to gain some advantage, other than the satisfaction of righting a wrong, upholding a principle or winning a contest, if his action succeeds or to suffer some disadvantage, other than a sense of grievance or a debt for costs if his action fails (Mason J [530]) a mere belief or concern, however genuine, does not in itself constitute a sufficient locus standi” (Mason J [548])
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ACF v. Cth ACF v. Cth cont. cont. However, does not have to involve a legal or pecuniary right (Mason J [530]) or that the plaintiff and no-one else possess the particular interest. A special interest exists where the plaintiff can show actual or apprehended injury or damage to his or her proprietary rights, business or economic interests and perhaps social or political interests. (Mason J [530]). A corporation or association does not acquire standing merely because some of its members possess it (Gibbs J [531]).
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Standing: Standing: Onus v. Alcoa of Onus v. Alcoa of Australia Ltd Australia Ltd (1981) 149 CLR 27 (1981) 149 CLR 27 Section 21 of the Archaeological and Aboriginal Relics Preservation Act 1972 (Vic) (AARPA) provided that a person who willfully or negligently defaced or damaged or otherwise interfered with a relic or carried out an act likely to endanger a relic should be guilty of an offence. Held: Descendants and members of the Gournditchjmara Aboriginal people are custodians of the relics of cultural and spiritual importance of those people according to their laws and customs, & so have standing to commence an action to restrain another citizen from contravening section 21 of the AARPA.
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Onus cf ACF Onus cf ACF “[T]he distinction between this case and the ACF Case is not to be found in any ready rule of thumb, capable of mechanical application; the criterion of ‘special interest’ supplies no such rule. As the law now stands it seems rather to involve in each case a curial assessment of the importance of the concern the plaintiff has with particular subject matter and of the closeness of that plaintiff’s relationship to that subject matter .” (Stephen J.)
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Locus Standi of Public Interest Groups Groups No separate standing test for public interest groups.
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