The External Review Special Committee established by the City of Knox to consider the fate of the dog Izzy has decided, after a hearing in August of her owner’s applications, to release Izzy to RSPCA SA. Such a course was contended in the alternative by Izzy’s owner at the August hearing, where she was represented by Panel counsel. It is a resounding victory.
The original decision of the City of Knox to kill Izzy by reason of her infliction of a 1.5cm cut was fought by the Panel’s counsel through the Supreme Court of Victoria at first instance unsuccessfully (5 hearing days); then Victoria’s Court of Appeal unsuccessfully; and then to the High Court of Australia successfully. The High Court quashed the City of Knox decision to kill Izzy for reason of breach of procedural fairness: the Council officer who was the moving force behind the prosecution of Izzy’s owner in the Magistrate’s Court had then later sat as a member of the Council Panel which decided Izzy should be killed. See further our post of 10 June when Izzy won the High Court appeal.
The Panel extends its grateful thanks to in particular Richard Kendall QC and Andrew Felkel of Panel counsel who appeared on the High Court appeal and at the later August 2015 hearing before the External Review Special Committee. The Panel commends the bravery of Izzy’s owner who, despite initial adverse costs orders in the Supreme Court, committed to exhaustion of the appeal process. Costs were ultimately ordered against the City of Knox by the High Court. On losing the appeal, the City of Knox estimated its costs at $600K.