23 September 2009

High Court permits military compensation appeal to proceed

Today the High Court of Australia in Fellowes v. Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission [2009] HCA 38, set aside a lower court ruling dismissing an enlisted Australian Army man's appeal of a compensation claim under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.

The High Court held that where "an injury to an employee results in a permanent impairment," respondent is liable to pay compensation "in respect of the injury." The amount of the compensation is fixed by the degree of permanent impairment resulting from the injury as assessed under the Guide to the Assessment fo the Degree of Permanent Impairment.

Justice Susan Kiefel dissented with the majority and opined that she would award no amount of compensation and dismiss the appeal.

When I have a chance I'll write more on the decision. (Most likely after the New South Wales Labour Day holiday - week of 5 October.)

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