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    7.5 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.1

    The JR Act also provides judicial review in relation to failure to make a decision2 and actions and conduct leading up to the making of the decision.3 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.4

    Some of the grounds for judicial review are that:

    • The decision-maker breached the rules of natural justice5.
    • 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 unlawful6.

    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
    • file notes taken in the decision-making process do not contain irrelevant considerations
    • outgoing correspondence contains the name of the decision-maker
    • correspondence produced after a decision is made do not vary

    1. Section 4 JR Act
    2. Section 21 JR Act
    3. Section 21 JR Act
    4. Section 5 JR Act
    5. The rules of natural justice provide for procedural fairness, the applicant to be given a fair hearing, the right to have the decision made by an unbiased decision maker and to have the decision based on logically probative evidence.
    6. Section 20(2) JR Act

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    Last updated:
    18 May, 2016
    Last reviewed:
    29 July, 2010