Review decisions of Q-Comp - new procedures
26 October 2010
President Hall of the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) has advised the Queensland Law Society of procedures to take effect from 1 November 2010 when the QIRC assumes responsibility for appeals against review decisions of Q-Comp under the Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction Reform and Modernisation Amendment Act 2010.
President Hall has issued the following Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction Reform and Modernisation Amendment Act 2010 (the new Act) information note:
- It is anticipated that the new Act will commence on 1 November 2010. After that date, the Commission will assume responsibility for the bulk of appeals against Review Decisions of Q-COMP.
- An assumption behind this note is that the transitional provisions of the Acts Interpretation Act 1954 will operate to preserve the jurisdiction of the Industrial Magistrates Court where an appeal is filed in that Court, prior to 1 November 2010.
- After 1 November 2010, the President will cease allocating workers' compensation appeals for conference. Once a month, a Presidential Member will mention* all unallocated appeals to determine if a conference is required. If a conference is required, the Presidential member will allocate the matter for conference and make any necessary orders about pre-conference discovery etc. If a conference is not required, the file will be returned to the President for allocation to a Member for hearing. [*Four weeks notice will be given of the first mention date.]
- Where a conference fails, the file will be returned to the President for allocation to a member for hearing.
- The Member hearing the appeal will set dates for hearing and issue any necessary directions. Because of the costs confronted by parties in attending multiple directions hearings, every effort should be made to deal with directions on the papers.
- The system of exchanging affidavits/statements saves the Commission much time. Whether it is a benefit or a burden to the parties, varies from case to case. All parties are encouraged to disclose a preferred position prior to the issue of directions.
- The information sheet provided to self-represented litigants will be amended to warn of a potential exposure to costs. The matter of costs is, of course, for the discretion of the trial Members. However, the appeal to the Commission is the third process involving self-represented litigants. Earlier procedures are costs-free. There is a risk of false assumption.
- This note will be revisited late April 2011 after consultation with the stake holders.