The Federal Court of Australia on Thursday held a case management hearing for a case brought on by Gordon Legal against the Commonwealth of Australia relating to the Centrelink Online Compliance Intervention (OCI) scheme, colloquially known as robo-debt.In November, Gordon Legal launched the robo-debt class action on behalf of five representative applicants and hundreds of thousands of people who are included in the case as group members.The essence of the applicants’ case is that debts raised by robo-debt are unlawful, and all recipients should be compensated by the federal government.Previous discussions before Justice Michael Lee were centred on the applicant’s request to determine if the Commonwealth had knowledge that the OCI scheme, in its many forms, could potentially miscalculate a debt owed.Before Justice Bernard Murphy on Thursday, the Commonwealth, represented by Michael Hodge QC, questioned the semantics within the applicant’s claim. Specifically, Hodge debated the period of time the applicants are basing their claim on. He also claimed there was ambiguity around who exactly is alleged to have known that robo-debt was “unlawful”.”The conventional way to allege knowledge would be to identify the people who it is said knew certain things,” Hodge said. “There’s no attempt to identify who it is that is said… Read full this story
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