• Whitson v State of Queensland (Department of Education) [2023] QIRC 202

    The case concerned an appeal of an internal review decision in circumstances where the appellant was absent from their workplace due to illness and/or injury for five years. In the internal review, the decision-maker addressed the appellant’s human rights and acknowledged that the requirement to keep the contents of a specific letter confidential would limit the right to freedom of expression (section 21) pursuant to the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld), which included the freedom to impart information of all kinds. The decision-maker considered that such a limitation was reasonable and demonstrably justifiable in accordance with the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld). The Tribunal agreed and noted that, to the extent required to conduct his appeal, the applicant had been able to discuss the matters subject of the grievance and the decision: [115].
  • Turay v Workers’ Compensation Regulator (No 2) [2023] ICQ 019

    The case concerned two applications and a second appeal of a decision by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission regarding a claim for worker’s compensation after termination of employment as a registered nurse. The claim had been made some sixteen months late due to the appellant having suffered incapacitating mental health issues. The appellant had submitted that her human rights were being violated by a denial of a right to appeal. The Court considered that international conventions did not form a part of the domestic law of Queensland and that the appellant’s reliance on them was misplaced. Accordingly, the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) did not recognise a human right to an appeal. The appellant had already had her appeal; the right would only be relevant to the interpretation of the Industrial Relations Act 2016 (Qld); the legislation was clear and could not be construed consistently with any right to reopen a concluded appeal. The Court ultimately struck out the appeal.
  • ST v State of Queensland (Department of Education) [2023] QIRC 004

    In deciding an appeal against a decision to transfer a public service officer made pursuant to s194(1)(d) of the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld), the Commissioner addressed a contention that the decision-maker failed to give proper consideration to a number of human rights, as evidenced by a lack of any express reference to human rights in the transfer decision. Citing Hutchison v State of Queensland (Queensland Health) [2021] QIRC 317, the Commissioner expressed a view that it was not always necessary for a decision-maker to write in great detail about the consideration of human rights particularly if the decision-maker has come to the conclusion that human rights are not interfered with: at [65]. The Commissioner rejected the lack of express reference to human rights as grounds rendering a decision unreasonable and, following that line of reasoning, determined there was no utility in returning the transfer decision to the decision-maker to reissue the transfer decision with an expanded explanation regarding the consideration of human rights: at [66]. The Commissioner did find the transfer decision was not reasonably open to the decision-maker, but for other reasons.
  • SS v Office of Fair Trading [2023] QCAT 215

    The Appellant was a Security Officer and Crowd Controller registered under the Security Provider Act 1993 (Qld). His licence was suspended for the duration of criminal proceedings where it was alleged that he had, during the course of performing security patrols, instructed an intoxicated woman to enter his car whereupon he sexually assaulted her. The Appellant filed an application to stay the criminal proceedings against him, including on grounds that the decision maker, in deciding to suspend his licence, failed to consider his human rights. He argued that the suspension itself was a breach of his human rights and the presumption of innocence: at [22]. The Tribunal considered a suspension was a justifiable limitation of an individual’s human rights when balanced against matters of public importance, including the protection of the public and the preservation of faith of the community that persons who hold a Security Officer/Crowd Controller licence are appropriate persons to hold such a licence: at [24] - [25]. The stay application was dismissed.
  • Sher v State of Queensland (Queensland Health) [2023] QIRC 88

    The case concerned an application for review of the decision to decline an exemption for COVID-19 vaccine requirements pursuant to Health Employment Directive No. 12/21. The Appellant submitted, inter alia, that a requirement to provide medical evidence may have unreasonably limited her right to privacy and reputation pursuant to s 25 of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld). The Commission considered the original decision maker discharged their obligations under the HR Act and ultimately found that the decision was fair and reasonable.
  • Schiemann v State of Queensland (Department of Transport and Main Roads) [2023] QIRC 035

    This matter concerned an appeal against the respondent’s decision not to permanently convert the appellant’s employment appointment to a higher classification level. The decision included an extract from a relevant statutory instrument, confirming decision makers’ obligations under section 58 of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld). The Commission identified its role as deciding whether the decision was fair and reasonable, and did not engage in any discussion as to whether the decision maker fulfilled their obligations under the HR Act. There is no indication that human rights grounds were raised by the appellant.
  • Rivers v State of Queensland (Queensland Ambulance Service) [2023] QIRC 124

    The case concerned an appeal of an internal review decision to uphold conditions preventing the appellant from returning to work while holding an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination. The original decision maker acknowledged that the decision may impose a small limit on the right to equality and non-discrimination (section 15), freedom of movement (section 19), and taking part in public life (section 23), but that such limits were justified by the need to ensure the readiness of the health system in responding to COVID-19. The internal review decision-maker outlined that human rights factors were considered in the creation of the policy, and that, while the decision has the potential to limit the appellant’s human rights, those limits on human rights are justified. The Commission did not consider human rights, which it said could be pursued through other avenues, and found that the decision was fair and reasonable.
  • Queensland College of Teachers v Teacher NSP [2023] QCAT 105

    The Applicant sought a continued suspension of the Respondent’s teacher registration on the basis that the Respondent posed an unacceptable risk of harm to children. In ordering that the Respondent’s submissions against the decision be set aside, the Tribunal noted that the protection of children generally took precedence over the interests of the teacher.
  • Navartam v Ferry [2023] QIRC 154

    This matter concerned a successful application made by Mr Anthony Ferry ('the First Respondent') and the State of Queensland, through the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training ('the Second Respondent') for leave to be given to be legally represented before the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.


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