I'll be tweeting about the class action approval around 11 (can mute #robodebt hashtag). Ahead of it:
- it's not compensation, it's restitution only - return of money plus interest
- only to those who paid money back - with how much depending on time and amount of money held
The highest interest amounts could go to the earliest victims of then Minister for Social Services Scott Morrison's 2015 policy change - those who received high debts in July 2015, well over a year before the self-service platform went live and media coverage took off
These early 'interim manual' robodebt victims deserve greater recognition, in 2016 the Department made hay labelling them as different in media commentary. The faithful executive minute that went to Minister Morrison in 2015 remains blocked of course righttoknow.org.au/request/copy_o…
Always amusing to hear a judge say "colloquially known as the robodebt system" well done twitter but specifically @manjusrii and @beneltham
Did I just hear S1.76 billion in unlawful debt? will have to check the ruling

Calls the affair a 'massive failure of public administration ' slams senior executives and Ministers' it should have been obvious.
Lists the distress, costs, the whole thing was "huge waste of public money"
Murphy noting that those who handed over payslips in response to 202,000 out 648,000 members. He is going to make some changes - the 680 objectors go free!
The objectors will be told what category they belong to before they decided to opt in or opt out. Many people out there have no idea what category they are but are bound by the settlement - important media communicate effectively #robodebt
Justice Murphy call #robodebt negligence claims a 'distraction', he doubts there is a duty of care (take that one Australian public!), fundamentally, even if a breach were found - unjust enrichment covered the ground. It would have led to no additional damages
Justice Murphy calls the objections 'heart-wrenching'. Notes the references to hardship, suicidal ideation, anguish, upset and anger. #robodebt
Praises Gordon Legal's indemnifying of the applicant's costs. (Though of course Amato made unjust enrichment an absolute slam dunk)
On legal costs, Justice Murphy says we have no idea how many people are going to call Gordon Legal about the settlement. It will have to be assessed on an ongoing basis. Wonder what we will experience today, a wave of people not knowing the categories I suspect #robodebt
Justice Murphy notes that the class action system works.

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More from @DarrenODonovan

9 Jun
Robodebt class action ruling will be tomorrow. We can expect the settlement to be ticked - whether the objectors will be allowed to refuse it will be interesting. For public understanding, hope Murphy J unpacks the big technical hurdles the duty of care argument faced.
He may choose to criticise the actual knowledge pleading: the yawning chasm between evidence senior departmental officers knew of Carney and the AATs and making out an allegation of actual knowledge of unlawfulness as distinct from recklessness. Justice Lee already blasted that
The key issues were: distress damages unavailable, highest form of knowledge being pled, then (closer run) debates about the scope of any duty. we need to bust the misapprehension of the public that social security recipients have rights or entitlements to be treated decently.
Read 5 tweets
9 Jun
Usual NDIA carnage here at the RC, lapsed review, unscheduled review decline, CEO escalate. All while the Act allows them to simply write circumstantial review dates like:
A review will occur if the person leaves their accommodation and seeks support to reside at home
There is nothing unexpected about many circumstances. They are events that can be regulated through plan provisions, and that was how it was always meant to be. Plan expiry and annual plan dates were such a self-own.
While the Agency has abandoned its sliceable data obsession and allowed longer plans, still think PwD should take back their power: if they think a circumstance may eventuate in the lifetime of the plan, demand it triggers the review s33(2)(c). s48 request are wasteful
Read 10 tweets
6 Jun
Wow Services Australia had so little respect for Terry Carney's repeated findings that robodebt was unlawful. They didn't even refer them to DSS to get instructions. Incredible - and someone did read them. At the height of the initial robodebt inquiry
Robodebt wasn't just catastrophically wrong at law, it was also finding that the AAT decisions of Carney, Treble and others somehow did not meet a single SOP criteria below. Sigh, hard to talk robodebt, inquiry winding down with zilch reform being put forward
Submissions are closed but one example of a reform is to create a social security litigation panel of legal aid&community legal centres, give them the right to demand a set number of published Decisions of Significance statements about particular AAT cases each year
Read 5 tweets
6 Jun
Not a great day for the AAT to be frank (I try to advocate for their work). Services Australia has returned a bunch of AAT robodebt affirms to the senate inquiry. Some of it is pretty painful reading, very generic recourse to statutory provisions. aph.gov.au/DocumentStore.…
Wincing.
Averaging "entirely defensible"
Read 5 tweets
7 May
Interesting history of the robodebt class action, Hodge noting that initially only those who received an averaged debt were covered, but the applicant's youtube video gave the first indication they were going to expand to cover those who will get nothing in the settlement
I remember this period so well, and the confusion it caused. In public commentary being super careful to focus on averaged debts and control expectations of others. Interesting considering how it all played out.
Challenge this time around is going to be the people who are category three eligible: had an averaged debt raised, made a payment, had the debt recalculated, and the resulting debt was less than what they had repaid. Resulting in a small amount of interest due.
Catch that?
Read 5 tweets
6 Apr
Ombudsman’s robodebt report is here - narrow terms of reference but disrupts the “took action quickly” narrative ombudsman.gov.au/__data/assets/…
Confirms then Minister Morrison’s responsibility for introducing the programme in 2015. For the record
70% of the debts in the programme were waived. Averaging was not “part” of the system, it was the efficiency that permitted scale, the threat that induced desperation
Read 12 tweets

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