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Imposing civil penalties - a new approach for parties and the Court

The Full Court of the Federal Court has delivered an important decision on agreed penalties and submissions on penalties in all civil penalty cases. The Court concluded that the effect of the decision of the High Court in Barbaro v R is to prohibit the court from receiving a joint submission with an agreed penalty, or indeed any submission from a regulator which suggests a penalty figure. This overturns the long standing practice of joint submissions with agreed penalties in civil penalty proceedings. The decision also overturns the approach to agreed penalties adopted in previous decisions of the Full Court: NW Frozen Foods and Mobile Oil.

Cameron Moore SC and Danielle Forrester appeared in the role of a contradictor, resisting the Commonwealth's contention that Barbaro had no application. The Solicitor-General, Justin Gleeson SC, appeared for the Commonwealth.

The Court's reasons are available here: