Judgment in the matter of John Setka v Noah Carroll & Ors

By a proceeding filed on 3 July 2019, the plaintiff (‘Mr Setka’) applied for an injunction to restrain the defendants (‘the ALP National Executive’) from proceeding with a motion to expel him as a member of the ALP; and declarations accordingly.

Justice Riordan has dismissed the application on the basis that the Court does not have jurisdiction to interfere with internal decisions of voluntary unincorporated associations unless it is protecting or enforcing a contractual or other right recognised in law or equity. Mr Setka has not established any such underlying right. 

Further, it was common ground that the National Executive could exercise the powers of expulsion under the Rules of the Victorian Branch of the ALP. Justice Riordan held that if (contrary to his conclusion) he did in fact have jurisdiction to enforce the ALP’s National Constitution, he would have found that the National Executive would be required to substantially comply with the limitations set out in rule 20 of those Rules.

The Court's full judgment is attached below.

Supreme Court of Victoria
Supreme Court of Victoria
Date of publication