Court or Tribunal: 
Catchwords: Appeal, Paternity Fraud
Judges:  Crennan JGleeson JGummow CJHayne JHeydon JKirby J

Background: Ms Magill had made false representations in the course of the marriage concerning the paternity of children born during the marriage. DNA testing after the marriage ended revealed two children of the marriage were not the biological children of the Mr Magill.  
  [Legal Issue]At issue in these proceedings was the notion of paternity fraud, and whether the tort of deceit can be applied in a marital context in relation to false representations of paternity. Once finding out that he was not the father of his two youngest children, and his ex-wife aware that he was likely not the father, he sued, launching a case for deceit in the Victorian County Court, claiming damages for personal injury in the form of anxiety and depression resulting from fraudulent misrepresentations. He also claimed financial loss, including loss of earning capacity by reason of his psychiatric problems and expenditure on the children under the mistaken belief he was their father, plus exemplary damages. The County Court awarded him $70,000 from his ex-wife, including $30,000 for gen   [Court Orders]The judges unanimously ruled that the case for paternity fraud brought by Liam Neale Magill failed. Three judges held that no action for deceit could lie in representations about paternity made between spouses. Three other judges held that there could be circumstances in which such an action might succeed but they were exceptional and did not cover Mr Magill's situation. However, the court also rejected an argument put by Mr Magill's former wife Meredith that the Family Law Act ruled ou     

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