Unfortunately, sometimes the common Chinese emphasis of doing business based on trust and reliance doesn’t always translate well in the Australian business environment, especially since the Australian Courts take an evidence-based approach towards determining matters of fraudulent conduct.

A recent case in the District Court of New South Wales illustrates the difficulties in proving claims of fraudulent misrepresentation where there is little documentary evidence. It didn’t help the plaintiff’s case that perhaps due to the passage of time, the Court found that the plaintiff’s oral evidence to be unreliable as to critical events and inconsistent with the available documentary evidence.

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure, and this case only demonstrates the importance of obtaining proper legal advice prior to entering into commercial transactions in Australia.

The full decision can be found here: http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/nsw/NSWDC/2017/11.html It is better to spend a few thousand dollars on legal fees to protect yourself in the beginning, than to spend tens of thousands more in legal fees at a later stage when you end up in court.

很多时候,中国人士依赖信任和关系来做生意的习惯虽然适合中国生意环境,到了澳洲,这种行为反而会伤害他们的利益。 尤其是因为澳洲法院采用循证方法来判定欺诈案子,缺少书面证据,受害者很难在法官面前证明对方犯罪者的诈骗行为。犯罪者也很清楚这一点,会经常确定所有与受害者的沟通只是口头的,而受害者没有什么种书面证据能过后起诉。 最阴险的是犯罪者准备的合同,协议和文件等内容不会和他们口头表示的一样,这样如果案子闹到法院,犯罪者会用这些文件证明他们没有对受害者说过什么种诈骗的话,因此逍遥法外。新南威尔士州地方法院最近在的一个华人原告者与华人被告者案件判定的决定表明,如果没有书面证据,很难证明欺诈性。

同时也许是因为时间的推移,法院认为原告的关键事件的口头证据不可靠,与现有的书面证据不一致。这个案子是Ning Shen v ASF Properties Pty Limited, Quan Fang (aka David Fang), Min Yang and Quan Li Liu, 完整的法庭决定可以在这里找到:http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/nsw/NSWDC/2017/11.html


Ashley Ngion

Senior Associate
Hope Earle
Business + Property Lawyers

Important Disclaimer
This publication is general in nature and is not intended to be, nor should be, considered as legal advice.

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