Can a Court set aside its own judgement if there was actual fraud? YES!



Clone Pty Ltd v Players Pty Ltd (In Liquidation) (Receivers & Managers Appointed) [2018] HCA High Court of Australia Kiefel CJ; Gageler, Keane, Gordon & Edelman JJ

Remedy in Equity about judgments and orders and whether the proceedings concerned court’s power to set aside its own ‘perfected judgments’, namely its “formal orders … whether in the form of a judgment strictly so-called or a decree, order or sentence”.

The primary judge in the Supreme Court of South Australia set aside a perfected judgment for misconduct that was not fraud, the Full Court dismissed appeal.

The question of whether a court’s power to set aside perfected judgment extended to misconduct by successful party not amounting to fraud and whether court’s power to set aside perfected judgment extended to circumstances of unsuccessful party’s failure to ‘exercise reasonable diligence to discover fraud or misconduct

Held: ‘actual fraud’ required for court’s power to set aside perfected judgment, there were other grounds to set aside perfected judgment, such other grounds not at issue, and exercise of reasonable diligence to attempt discovery of fraud not a precondition to exercise of court’s power.

No fraud alleged or proven against appellant by first to fourth respondents seeking to aside perfected judgment – appeals allowed.



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