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Ivins v Supreme Court of Brisbane

 

[2002] QSC 74

SUPREME COURT OF QUEENSLAND

CIVIL JURISDICTION

WHITE J

Originating Application No 1381 of 2002

CHRISTINE JOY IVINS

Applicant

and

 

SUPREME COURT OF BRISBANE

Respondent

BRISBANE

DATE 06/03/2002

JUDGMENT

HER HONOUR: Ms Ivins seeks directions for the further consideration of her application to review decisions of the administrative staff of the Court. Crown Law acting on behalf of the respondent, who is named as The Supreme Court of Queensland, has filed an application pursuant to section 48 of the Judicial Review Act 1991 seeking an order that her application be dismissed.

Before dealing with that application, I should just mention some chronology. The applicant - Ms Ivins is how I will describe her - filed two applications in 2000, one against James Cook University at Townsville and the other against Griffith University in Brisbane. The applications for review related to different matters in respect of each application. The one relating to Griffith University related to matters arising out of a written complaint made by the applicant in March 2000 and a decision to fail her in respect of two university subjects. That application was heard by Justice Philippides and she dismissed the application for review on the 29th of March 2001. Ms Ivins filed a notice of appeal against that decision and on the 19th of December 2001 the Court of Appeal dismissed her appeal.

Justice Wilson heard the application in respect of James Cook University. She dismissed the application for review on the 22nd of January 2001 on the basis that the application was made out of time and that no reason had been shown by Ms Ivins as to why time should be extended. Her Honour would appear to have had some difficulty in identifying the decision which was sought to be the subject of the review. Ms Ivins appealed that decision, and on the 24th of October 20001 the Court of Appeal dismissed her appeal.

Ms Ivins has concluded that the appeals ought not to have been entertained. She maintains, as I understand her position, that she should have been permitted to file judicial review applications in respect of the two decisions that were handed down in the trial division. She was not permitted to do this by the Registry staff, and indeed was advised by a letter dated the 6th of February 2001 from the Registrar of the Court that the Judicial Review Act had no application to decisions of this Court and the remedy, as provided for in the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules, was by way of appeal to the Court of Appeal. And again, as I understand her position, it is that refusal which she seeks to have reviewed.

Getting the appeals ready for hearing seems to have been somewhat drawn out, especially the appeal concerning James Cook University. Ms Ivins now argues that the President of the Court of Appeal ought to have dismissed the appeal at an early stage pursuant to Rule 16 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules, at least on the 19th of July when it was before the Court for mention. Ms Ivins has exhibited the order of the Court made on that day to her statutory declaration which she has filed this morning.

The Court made some orders about the preparation of the record book index on that day, and further ordered that Ms Ivins pay the costs of the University associated with that day's hearing which, it would appear, only concerned the preparation of the record book from the order itself. The two appeals were heard in due course, as I have mentioned. It appears that the Court of Appeal dealt briefly with Ms Ivins' complaints about the Registry staff not permitting her to seek review of the two Justices' decisions.

Ms Ivins further contends that there have been breaches of the Criminal Code of Queensland, and in particular section 290 relating to a failure of duty and section 359 relating to threats. She has provided some material which she says demonstrates the distress and anxiety associated with these matters against the Universities have had on her health, and she also makes reference to the economic hardship and suffering that she has sustained by virtue of costs orders which have been made against her and the continuing necessity to pursue the remedies which she seeks in the Courts. There is no basis for the allegations of breaches of the Criminal Code in any of the material before me. In any event, those are not appropriate matters to be dealt with in this way.

Ms Ivins, as I understand it, complains separately about the costs orders which were made against her. They, if not the substantive decisions of the Court of Appeal, might with leave have been the subject of a special leave application to the High Court, as indeed could discontent with the decisions of the Court of Appeal in both of her appeals.

Turning then to her desire to have judicial review of the decisions of Justices Wilson and Philippides, section 13 of the Judicial Review Act provides that where a provision is made by a law other than the Judicial Review Act under which the applicant is entitled to seek a review of the matter by another Court or Tribunal, authority or person, the Court must dismiss the application if it is satisfied, having regard to the interests of justice, that it should do so. The question whether it is appropriate to bring review applications against decisions of judicial officers, be they Magistrates or Judges, has been considered in the cases of Stubberfield against Webster [1996] 2 Queensland Reports 211 and Turner against the Valuers Registration Board (2000) QSC 094.

In short, the Rules of Court and other legislation, if one is referring to the High Court, such as the Judiciary Act provide for a process of review of the decisions which Ms Ivins seeks to impugn yet again. She has availed herself of the Court of Appeal; she could further have availed herself of the procedures for seeking special leave from the High Court in respect of those decisions. To date she has not done so.

APPLICANT: That's not correct, your Honour. I have done so.

HER HONOUR: Thank you. I have been corrected by Ms Ivins who says that she has sought special leave from the High Court, and accordingly I make no further comment because that is the proper avenue for any complaint against the decisions of the Court of Appeal.

It appears that Ms Ivins wishes to ventilate the merits of her complaints against the Universities, that they should have enabled her to complete her degree, but that has already been decided by way of judicial review applications in this Court. It is now a matter for the highest Court if those matters have not yet been dealt with by them, but not for this Court. I might add that the respondent is said to be “Supreme Court of Brisbane”. It is not an entity which can be the respondent to an application of this kind but that is not a material consideration for this application. Accordingly, I dismiss the application for review.

Mr McLeod?

MR McLEOD: Your Honour, I'd be seeking costs.

HER HONOUR: Yes, thank you. Do you have anything to say against a costs order Ms Ivins?

APPLICANT: Just that it will send me - I just am threatened by that. Can you not understand that I cannot afford to pay costs and that it is illegal to cause pain and suffering to me?

HER HONOUR: All right, Ms Ivins. I hear your submission. You were warned by the Crown Law Office and you were given a sensible and clear letter by the Registrar of this Court last year that this was not the appropriate procedure.

APPLICANT: It's all right. Don't - don't - don't pursue any further. I'll just make up the costs by never ever ever having anything to do with any legal matter again. That's all. I'll make up the money elsewhere.

HER HONOUR: Thank you, Ms Ivins.

I further order that the applicant, Christine Joy Ivins, pays the costs associated by this application to the Court and the application pursuant to section 48, to be assessed on the standard basis. Thank you.

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Editorial Notes

  • Published Case Name:

    Christine Joy Ivins v Supreme Court of Brisbane

  • Shortened Case Name:

    Ivins v Supreme Court of Brisbane

  • MNC:

    [2002] QSC 74

  • Court:

    QSC

  • Judge(s):

    White J

  • Date:

    06 Mar 2002

Litigation History

No Litigation History

Appeal Status

No Status