Date: 8 December 2021
Tribunal: Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal
Tribunal Member: Member Gordon
Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) Sections: s 31
Rights Considered: Right to a fair hearing
Other Legislation: Acts Interpretation Act 1954 (Qld) s 14B, Schedule 1; Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) ss 3(b), 11, 28, 29, 95, Schedule 3; Retail Shop Leases Act 1994 (Qld) ss 66,103
Keywords: Commercial; Tenancy and Social Housing; Public Law Considerations: Fair Trial

This matter concerned a minor civil dispute claim by a commercial lessor against the directors of the lessee company for various costs including rental arrears. The relevant issue on appeal was whether a decision by an adjudicator not to call for submissions regarding the issue of jurisdiction was a breach of natural justice. In a general discussion about the importance of access to courts and tribunals, the Tribunal cited the right to a fair hearing by an independent and impartial court or tribunal provided by section 31 of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld). Ultimately, although leave to appeal was granted, this appeal was dismissed as any submissions would have been futile due to the limits of the court’s jurisdiction. The Tribunal did however hold that in light of the right to a fair hearing and the importance of the question of jurisdiction, care should be taken when dismissing a claim for want of jurisdiction.

Visit the judgment: Tamarin Pty Ltd & Otmoor Pty Ltd as Trustee v Wicks [2021] QCATA 146