auDA launches Trade Practices claim against Domain Names Australia Pty Ltd and its Director, Chesley Rafferty

Posted by Jo Lim on 27 August 2003

Melbourne, 27 August 2003 – On 18 August 2003 auDA issued legal proceedings at the Federal Court of Australia against Domain Names Australia Pty Ltd (DNA) and its sole director, Chesley Paul Rafferty. In those proceedings, auDA alleges that recent mail-outs by DNA were misleading or deceptive, or likely to mislead or deceive, in breach of the Trade Practices Act (TPA).

auDA is bringing the claims against DNA and Mr Rafferty as a representative action (that is, a class action) on behalf of all members of the public who have existing .au ccTLD (eg,, or gTLD (eg .com, .net, .org) domain names and who received notices from DNA and made payments pursuant to those notices.

auDA anticipates that the Court will shortly require it to place advertisement in newspapers giving details of the nature of the class action.

auDA is seeking a declaration of breach of the TPA, refunds and damages, and permanent injunctions restraining DNA and Rafferty from engaging in certain types of misleading or deceptive conduct, or conduct likely to mislead or deceive, in the future.

Interlocutory Injunction

As part of the proceedings auDA also applied for an interlocutory (or temporary) injunction restraining DNA from using the funds they receive as a result of the mail out.

The application was heard on 25 August 2003 before Justice Finkelstein but was unsuccessful as His honour concluded that there was insufficient evidence to show that the proceeds were likely to disappear as auDA fears.

However, in his judgement his honour made a number of observations which auDA considers to be of significance. auDA will make another public statement as soon as the transcript of the judgement is available.


For media contact:

Chris Disspain
CEO - auDA
tel: 03 9349 4711