Crime does stay

The fundamental principle of Australian law that criminal proceedings should be permitted to take their natural course and not be affected by civil litigation was at the heart of a recent decision by the Fair Work Commission to stay an application over a safety issue brought to the Commission by the CFMEU. The Deputy President heard evidence that the potential prosecution of the employer for a breach of the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act (Qld) by the regulator against the company. CFMEU v BHP Coal Pty Ltd (2014) FWC 9205 delivered on 17 December 2014. The well established principle was also the reason why the Supreme Court of Western Australia stayed the defamation case brought by Lloyd Rayney until the completion of the charge against him of murdering his wife, which he was ultimately acquitted of. I understand that the civil case is now proceeding along its pre-trial stage.