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  3. the foreign compensation east timor act 2004 cth vests certain...

Question: the foreign compensation east timor act 2004 cth vests certain...

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The Foreign Compensation (East Timor) Act 2004 (Cth) vests certain functions in the Foreign Compensation Board. It also provides: Section 1. A company may claim compensation for loss of property situated off the coast of East Timor on 4 June 2004. Section 2. The Foreign Compensation Board may grant a claim provided the company which is claiming compensation is based in Australia. Section 3. The determination by the Board of any application made to it under this Act is final and conclusive and must not be challenged, appealed against, reviewed, quashed or called in question in any legal proceedings whatsoever. Anapurna Corporation Pty Ltd (AC) is a company registered under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) with an office in Darwin. It is part of a multinational group of companies involved in oil exploration. AC was licensed to conduct oil exploration off the East Timor coast. AC had been prospecting for oil in the region since 1996. The AC Board has been donating funds to East Timor for some time, with a view to obtaining permission from the East Timorese Government to prospect in the area should existing licences of foreign companies be cancelled. On 4 June 2004, all existing prospecting leases off the coast of East Timor were cancelled as part of the dispute over the boundaries of East Timor’s territorial waters. AC seeks compensation from the Foreign Compensation Board. The claim is rejected. The Board’s reasons are furnished by letter. In part, the letter says: The Board does not have jurisdiction to consider the application as AC is not based in Australia since information available to it indicates that the company’s headquarters are in New Delhi, India. The Board continued: Even if this is incorrect, the Board would still reject your claim, as it is the policy of the Board only to pay compensation to companies which are making a claim in respect of physical property. You are only claiming for the loss of the licence, not for physical property. Finally, the Board is not willing to uphold a claim from a company which has been donating money to the East Timorese Government since it appears likely that the company will be able to obtain permission from the East Timorese Government to continue prospecting in the area.

 

1) AC seeks your advice about whether it can challenge the decision. Fishwatch, a group trying to increase numbers of pipefish (found near the coast of East Timor), feels that the decision to cancel all existing prospecting leases off the coast of East Timor will hardly impact pipefish numbers and takes the view that it is unnecessary to cancel the leases just because of the dispute over the boundaries of East Timor’s territorial waters.

 

2) Fishwatch seeks your advice about whether it can challenge the decision.

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