Date: 20 January 2021
Court/Tribunal: Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal 
Judicial Officer/Tribunal Member: Member McDonnell
Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) Sections: s 108
Rights Considered: N/A
Other Legislation: Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (Qld) ss 5, 6, 221, 226, 360, 580, Schedule 7; Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) ss 19, 20, 24, 66
Keywords: Blue Card

This case concerned an application for review of the respondent’s decision to issue a negative blue card notice to the applicant, IAR. As the appeal pre-dated the commencement of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld), the Tribunal held that the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) did not apply. 

The applicant had been issued a negative blue card notice on the basis that the applicant’s circumstances amounted to an ‘exceptional case’ where the issuing of a positive notice would not be in the best interests of children: at [3]-[4]. The applicant had an extensive criminal history and had admitted to using drugs while taking care of children: at [18], [24] and [40]. The Tribunal considered that children had a ‘right to be protected from exposure to drug involvement’, and that the applicant’s history of drug offending detracted from her ability to create a protective environment for the children in her care: at [25]. In 2015 the applicant’s second child had been assessed as suffering significant emotional harm and neglect as a result of parental drug and alcohol abuse, and as a result was removed from her care: at [41]. This child was later returned to the applicant’s care in 2017: at [42].

The Tribunal considered evidence relating to the applicant’s support network and rehabilitation, but did not consider that the applicant had established a reliable and effective support network: at [70]. Consequently, the Tribunal confirmed the respondent’s decision that this was an exceptional case.

The Tribunal held that the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) did not apply to this review as the proceedings commenced prior to the commencement of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld): at [82].

Visit the reported judgement: IAR v Director-General, Department of Justice and Attorney-General [2021] QCAT 14