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Old 11th Nov 2011, 00:22
  #46 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Wanna Be Up There...
Age: 48
Posts: 278
There has been a lot of discussion on this thread about why CASA didn't drop its case in the AAT when the DPP decided not to prosecute. The reason is that in a criminal proceeding which is prosecuted by the DPP they must prove their case "beyond reasonable doubt". That is the criminal "standard of proof".

In the AAT however, like Fair Work Australia, the evidentiary burden is only on the "balance of probabilities". This means that all things considered it is more likely that the events alleged occured than they did not occur. The case this was derived from is called Brigginshaw -v- Brigginshaw.

To give you an example from my personal experience, one of my clients terminated the employment of an employee who they believed had stolen money. We called the police who said they they would lay charges but it was highly unlikely to go to court because of a lack of evidence (ultimately this was correct). However we were still able to sack this person and run off an unfair dismissal claim because we didn't have to meet the same burden of proof as the police.

From my reading of the decision it would appear that Mr Quadrio was defeated by the weight of uncontested evidence. If he had managed to present the evidence as demonstrated by Mr Phelan it is highly unlikely that he would have lost his case. At the end of the day they didn't see the birds and they were swamped by the weight of CASA evidence.

I also think there was an element of another kind at play in the Tribunal Members mind. Mr Quadrio was a competent and popular pilot who was supported by his employer. I personally think that the Members thought that by making this decision it wouldn't take much time for Mr Quadrio to make an application to CASA to reinstate his licence and get back in the air. The finding by CASA that Mr Quadrio is not a fit and proper person is able to be overturned at whim (I believe) and I think the AAT were of the view that once a message had been sent, CASA would duly overturn their decision (perhaps after requiring a grovelling apology to justify their actions).

Time will tell if my intuition is correct, perhaps Mr Quadrio is so burnt by the process that he never wants to fly again.

On a related note it's funny how your senses can be fooled in chopper. Last year I took my son on a chopper flight down at the 12 Apostles and I thought the turns felt really steep. They weren't in truth and they were quite slow but not being used to it I thought they were fast and sharp. A quick look at the instruments fixed that up in my mind.

It is indeed a pity for Mr Quadrio that a fool with a phone camera and a big mouth has ruined his life. I hope the bastard reads these forums (probably does as a wannabe) and realises the misery his stupidity has caused.
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