Ep 5 – Civil Justice


Solicitor Peter Gordon reflects on the role of civil law and winning the first of the asbestos dust disease cases in Australia. Fiona Mcleod SC explains the corporate veil.


Lizzie O’Shea talks about Klaus Rabenalt, who worked in an asbestos mine. Years later, after he moved to Melbourne, he was diagnosed with a dust disease.

Solicitor Peter Gordon worked on the asbestos cases involving CSR and James Hardie. He explains how the Klaus Rabenalt trial progressed, and that it was the first time they managed to win an asbestos dust disease case. He explains that civil cases are not just about cash payouts, they are also about justice and changing corporate or workplace practices.

Fiona Mcleod SC explains that the corporate veil protects owners of a company from liability. She discusses how in some cases the law allows us to reach behind the corporate veil and access the owners and their money when the company has acted badly.

Lizzie O’Shea wraps up by revealing her own passion for civil law and how it can be used to make our society a safer place.

Curriculum Areas

Years 9/10 civics and citizenship education curriculum in relation to the theme of Law and Citizens.

Years 11/12 Legal Studies
Unit 1: Guilt and liability, Area of Study 3, Civil liability.

Preliminary course: Part III: Law in practice.
HSC course: Part II of the core: Human rights, 3. Investigate a contemporary issue which illustrates the promotion and/or enforcement of human rights. And Part III: Options, Option 6: Workplace.

Stage 1 – Topic 6: Victims and the Law, Is there ever adequate compensation for victims through a victims of crime levy, criminal injuries compensation, or civil remedies?
Stage 2 – Topic 1: The Australian Legal System, Functions of Law, Civil.

Core area of study: Introduction to civil obligations And Elective area of study: Employment and the law


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