Queensland ~ Judicial Review.

Queensland's Judicial Review Act 1991 (the JR Act) gives the public the right to request the reasons for decisions which adversely affect them, or seek a review of a decision in the Supreme Court. In addition to administrative decisions of government departments and local authorities, the JR Act applies to administrative decisions of quasi-government agencies and statutory authorities.

The JR Act applies to the following types of government decisions:

  1. a decision of an administrative character made, proposed to be made, or required to be made, under an enactment (whether or not in the exercise of a discretion); or

  2. a decision of an administrative character made, or proposed to be made, by, or by an officer or employee of, the state or a state authority or local government authority under a non-statutory scheme or program involving funds that are provided or obtained (in whole or part)--

    1. out of amounts appropriated by Parliament; or

    2. from a tax, charge, fee or levy authorised by or under an enactment.

The JR Act also provides judicial review in relation to failure to make a decision and actions and conduct leading up to the making of the decision. A decision can be an order, award or determination, certificate, direction, approval, consent or permission, licence, condition or restriction, declaration, requirement, demand or a refusal to hand over an article.

Some of the grounds for judicial review are that:

  • The decision-maker breached the rules of natural justice.

  • The decision-maker did not observe the correct legal procedures.

  • The decision-maker did not have the authority to make the decision.

  • The decision was not authorised by the legislation it was purported to be made under.

  • The decision involved an improper use of power.

  • The decision involved an error of law.

  • The decision is or may be tainted by fraud.

  • There was no evidence or other material supporting the decision; or

  • The decision was in some other way unlawful.

Certain practices can minimise the likelihood of, or assist in responding to, requests for a Statement of Reasons or an application to the Supreme Court for Judicial Review. Government Board members should ensure that:

  • delegations are kept up to date

  • each step in a decision is carefully documented by each person who contributes