In the decision by the Full Court last Friday, it upheld the appeal by the ACCC, against one aspect of the orders made by Justice Perram in the MSY case. The ACCC had appealed in relation to Justice Perram's decision to not grant the declarations which had been sought by the ACCC with the consent of the respondents.
Justice Perram ruled last year that he considered he was bound by an earlier decision of the Full Federal Court which prevented him from granting declarations in circumstances where respondents to the proceeding consented to the making of those declarations. This triggered the appeal by the ACCC.
The Full Court has now allowed the ACCC's appeal, ruling that the Federal Court of Australia does have the power to make declaratory orders where respondents to a proceeding consent to the making of such declarations. The court also ordered that declarations be made in the terms that had been proposed by the ACCC with the consent of the respondents.
The ACCC Acting Chairman Michael Schaper, said the decision of the Full Court was an 'important clarification of the law in this area, as consent declarations have been made by Federal Court judges in numerous cases over many years.
'The ACCC considers that a declaration by the court that a person has contravened the Act is an important way to inform the public of illegal conduct by traders.'