High Court visits a parallel universe

03 March 2012 By Lawyers Weekly

A High Court hearing took an interdimensional detour in the recent case of Lane v Morrison & Anor. As reported by GreenGrads and GreenGrads and David Starkoff's blog, this rather unusual argument was originally presented to the High Court in January:

MR STREET: We say in relation to ground 3 that we have put forward that that raises the existence of what I will call the parallel universe. ... We say that Ground 3 challenges the existence of the universe.

FRENCH CJ: Let us not get lost in the metaphor.


At the hearing before the full court on April 22, Justice Gummow couldn't resist dipping back into the exciting prospects of a parallel dimensions.

GUMMOW J: So notions of accumulation are rather confusing really. You are in parallel universes; you are not in cumulative universes, if I can stretch things that way.

MR GAGELER: Your Honour, I got into this debate with Mr Street.

HAYNE J: Professor Hawking is very ill at the moment.

MR GAGELER: Your Honour, metaphors are probably unhelpful.

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Fortunately, avid science fiction fan Chief Justice French (who infamously used clips from Sylvester Stallone Sci Fi classic film Judge Dredd to illustrate one of his 2008 speeches) was able to steer the Court firmly back on course.

FRENCH CJ: Mr Street has been there before and we tried to usher him out of the parallel universes.

High Court visits a parallel universe
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