Moussa v CBA [2011] FCA 67

The Lender obtained monetary judgment and then bankrupted the borrower. The borrower sought review of the sequestration order on the grounds he was denied natural justice because his adjournment application had been denied and so he was unable to obtain legal representation.

The application for review was dismissed and the borrower then appealed. The lender sought an order for security for costs on the appeal. The borrower did not appear on the hearing of the security for costs application. Justice Tracey noted:

It is not a requirement of natural justice that, in civil proceedings or non-curial administrative proceedings, a hearing should not proceed until a party is able to obtain legal representation. Nor is there a requirement that adjournments should routinely be granted to afford a party the opportunity of obtaining legal representation. What is required is that a party be given the opportunity to present his case to the Court.

The Judge concluded that the borrower had been afforded such an opportunity. Therefore the appeal has little prospects of success. Accordingly, the Judge made orders for security for costs and that the appeal be stayed until the security is paid.

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