A Supreme Court justice has quashed the termination of former Warrnambool City Council chief executive officer Peter Schneider.
Justice Michael McDonald announced his decision soon after a hearing started at 9.30am Friday.
He said Mr Schneider was entitled to immediately resume as chief executive officer of the Warrnambool City Council.
The justice found the decision by the WCC to terminate Mr Schneider's employment on July 13 last year - in a hotly contested 4-3 vote - was invalid.
Justice McDonald said the decision to terminate was made in breach of rules of natural justice and he quashed that decision.
A costs hearing is expected to be listed for next Thursday, pending written submissions.
On July 13 last year the council terminated Mr Schneider as chief executive officer under clause 14.1 of his contract which was a right to terminate without a reason, but the council had to pay 12 months' remuneration.
Mr Schneider challenged the validity of the council 4-3 termination vote, contending that he had not been afforded natural justice.
The former CEO claimed he was denied procedural fairness, that the council vote was biased and pre-judged and he sought to quash the termination of his employment.
The council submitted that it had the right to terminate Mr Schneider's contract under the specific clause, there was no requirement in relation to the rules of natural justice and that the Supreme Court did not have jurisdiction to grant relief.
Justice McDonald found that the right to terminate under the contract clause was still subject to natural justice and that termination contract clause was inconsistent with natural justice.
He said the council did not have the right to terminate employment without a reason, that the decision to terminate was invalid, it had no legal effect, Mr Schneider was entitled to natural justice and the justice squashed the sacking.
Justice McDonald said Mr Schneider was entitled to immediately resume as WCC CEO, the decision to terminate was invalid and it was made in breach of breach of rules of natural justice.
A legal costs hearing is scheduled for Thursday next week.
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