Basham v City of Joondalup [2015] WASC 345

The appellant was convicted of a minor parking fine which he contested, and was fined $60 and ordered to pay costs of $1,478.70. The appellant sought leave to appeal from the conviction, and the costs order on the grounds it was manifestly excessive, in Basham v City of Joondalup [2015] WASC 345. The appellant claimed the verdict cannot be supported as a Magistrates Court is not a Chapter III Court, that he had a right, under s 80 of the Constitution, for a trial by jury, that the magistrate failed to take into account the Commonwealth Constitution Section 109 – “When a law of a State is inconsistent with a law of the Commonwealth, the latter shall prevail, and the former shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be invalid.” that the Local Government Act is in conflict with the Imperial Acts Application Act, section 8 Subsection 12 which states “that all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction, are illegal and void”, and that the onus of proof is upon the prosecution to prove they were in fact the person who committed the offence. The court granted leave to appeal for costs order, but found that leave to appeal on each of the remaining proposed grounds of appeal should be refused.

Click to access basham-v-city-of-joondalup-2015-wasc-345.pdf

The appeal against the costs order was heard in Basham v City of Joondalup [No 2] [2016] WASC 120; 258 A Crim R 451. The appellant’s ‘amended submissions’ sought to run again arguments he had made on the leave application challenging the constitutional validity of the Local Law and the powers of the magistrate to fine him and order him to pay costs, but he was not permitted to pursue those arguments at the hearing as they had already been disposed of. The court concluded that the magistrate erred by failing to give adequate reasons for the costs order, but was satisfied that there had not been a substantial miscarriage of justice because the costs were not disproportionate, having regard to the circumstances of this case. Consequently, the appeal was dismissed.

Click to access basham-v-city-of-joondalup-no-2-2016-wasc-120.pdf

The respondent then sought an order for costs against the appellant, in respect of the proceedings in the application for leave as well as the hearing of the appeal, a total sum of $9,233.50, but indicated that they would accept a fixed order for costs. The appellant opposed the respondent’s application for costs. The court concluded that a fixed order for costs in the sum of $3,000 would be fair and reasonable.

Click to access basham-v-city-of-joondalup-no-2-2016-wasc-120-s.pdf