A person aggrieved by a decision to which the Judicial Review Act applies can apply to the Supreme Court for a review of the decision. A person is aggrieved if their interests are adversely affected by the decision or in the case of a decision by way of report or recommendation, the person would be adversely affected if a decision were, or were not, made in accordance with the report or recommendation.
The Act applies to decisions of an administrative nature proposed, required or made under an Act and decisions of an officer or employee of a Queensland Government agency or local government authority under a non-statutory scheme or program involving funds that are provided or obtained :-
- Out of funds appropriated by Parliament, or
- From a tax, charge, fee or levy authorized by law.
The Act allows not only a review of the decision but a review in respect of the failure to make a decision and actions and conduct leading up to the making of the decision.
Application can be made on any one or more of the following grounds:-
- A breach of the rules of natural justice has occurred,
- Correct legal procedures were not observed by the decision maker,
- The decision maker did not have jurisdiction or authority to make the decision,
- The decision was not authorized by the law under which it is said to be made,
- The decision was an improper exercise of power,
- The decision involved an error of law,
- The decision was induced or affected by fraud,
- There was no evidence to justify the decision,
- The decision was otherwise unlawful.
The procedure for a Judicial Review is fairly straightforward. Below is a simplified order of events:-
- a) An Application and affidavit supporting the application and any supporting documentation is filed,
- b) The Court allocates a date for a directions hearing which must be at least 2 weeks after the other party is served with a copy of the Application. A series of directions are then made which usually include:
- The other side file and serve any request for further and better particulars,
- You file and serve answers to any request for further and better particulars,
- You file and serve any further affidavit material to be relied on,
- The other side file and serve any further affidavit material to be relied on.
Normally the directions and timeframe are agreed without the need for a formal court appearance.
Upon completion of the above procedural steps the matter will be allocated a Trial Date. The overall procedure can take several months.
Additionally sometimes during the process the matter gets referred back to the other party for re-consideration. If that happens then the process is slowed pending further determination of the decision.
This is a general overview only. For more information contact our office.