Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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Claims against the Commonwealth Act 1902

Authoritative Version
Act No. 21 of 1902 as made
An Act to make temporary provision for enforcing claims against the Commonwealth.
Date of Assent 10 Oct 1902
Date of repeal 25 Aug 1903
Repealed by Judiciary Act 1903



No. 21 of 1902.

An Act to make temporary provision for enforcing claims against the Commonwealth.

[Assented to 10th October, 1902.]

BE it enacted by the King’s Most Excellent Majesty the Senate and the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Australia as follows:—

Short title.

1.    This Act may be cited as the Claims against the Commonwealth Act 1902.

Appointment of nominal defendant.

See N.S.W. 39 Vict. No. 38 sec. 2.

Vict. No. 1080 sec. 20.

Qu. 29 Vict. No. 23 sec. 2.

S.A. 1853, No. 6 secs.1, 2.

Tas. 55 Vict. No. 24 sec. 4.

2.—(1.)    Any person making any claim in contract or in tort against the Commonwealth may set out the particulars of the claim in a petition to the Governor-General praying him to appoint a nominal defendant on behalf of the Commonwealth in the matter of the claim.

(2.)    The Governor-General may if he thinks fit appoint any person to be a nominal defendant accordingly.

Proceedings against nominal defendant.

See N.S.W. ib. sec. 3.

Qu. ib. sec. 5.

3.—(1.)    The petitioner may in respect of the claim bring against the nominal defendant an action or suit at law or in equity in the Supreme Court of the State in which the claim arose.

(2.)  The rights of parties in the action or suit shall as nearly as possible be the same, and judgment may be given and costs awarded on either side, as in an ordinary case between subject and subject.

Nominal defendant not to be individually liable.

See N.S.W. ib. sec. 4.

Vict. ib. sec. 24.

Qu. ib. sec. 6.

Tas. ib. sec. 10.

4.    The nominal defendant shall not be individually liable in the action or suit in respect of his person or property, and no execution or attachment, or process in the nature thereof, shall issue against him.

Satisfaction of judgment.

See Vict. ib. sec 25.

S.A. ib. sec. 6.

Tas. ib. sec. 11.

5.    The Governor-General may cause to be paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, which is hereby appropriated for the purpose, the amount of any damages and costs awarded to the plaintiff, and may perform any decree or order made by the Court in the action or suit.

Supreme Court invested with federal jurisdiction.

6.    The Supreme Court of each State is hereby invested with federal jurisdiction for the purpose of hearing and determining actions and suits brought under this Act, and shall have that jurisdiction as a Court invested with federal jurisdiction and not otherwise.

Postponement of appeal.

7.    In any action or suit brought under this Act, any appeal, or application for leave to appeal, from a decision of the Supreme Court of a State, which in the opinion of the Attorney-General involves a constitutional question, or a question of importance to the Commonwealth, shall on the application of the Attorney-General be postponed until a time not later than the date of expiration of this Act.

Duration of Act.

8.    This Act shall expire on the thirty-first day of December One thousand nine hundred and three.