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O'Keefe v Deputy Commissioner Pointing[2016] QCAT 312

O'Keefe v Deputy Commissioner Pointing[2016] QCAT 312


O'Keefe v Deputy Commissioner Pointing [2016] QCAT 312


Christopher O'Keefe





Deputy Commissioner Brett Pointing





Occupational regulation matters


On the papers




Member Howard


1 September 2016




  1. The Crime and Corruption Commission is joined as second respondent in the proceeding;


  1. Unless otherwise ordered, the Crime and Corruption Commission must not actively participate in the proceeding.


JOINDER APPLICATION – Where review of disciplinary decision by police officer – where Crime and Corruption Commission seeks to be joined as a party to reserve its rights of appeal if review is successful – whether joinder order should be made

Crime and Corruption Act 2001 (Qld) ss 33, 34, 47

Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) s 42

Chapman v Wilson and Anor [2011] QCAT 400

Crime and Misconduct Commission v Wilson [2012] QCA 314


This matter was heard and determined on the papers pursuant to s 32 of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) (QCAT Act).


  1. [1]
    Mr Christopher O'Keefe is a police officer. Deputy Commissioner Brett Pointing (the Deputy Commissioner) made a decision that disciplinary charges against Mr O'Keefe are substantiated and imposed a sanction. Mr O'Keefe has applied to the Tribunal for review of the disciplinary decision in respect of some aspects of substantiation and in respect of the sanction imposed.
  2. [2]
    The Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) has applied under the QCAT Act to be joined as a party to the proceeding.[1] The Tribunal has a broad discretion to join a party whose interests may be affected by the decision.[2]
  3. [3]
    The CCC submits that it has a clear interest in the proceeding specific to and derived from its statutory functions under s 33 of the Crime and Corruption Act 2001 (Qld) (CCC Act) ‘to raise standards of integrity and conduct in units of public administration[3] and ‘to ensure a complaint about, or information or matter involving, corruption is dealt with in an appropriate way’ in light of prescribed legislative principles.[4] Further, the CCC Act provides for a monitoring role in respect of the Police Commissioner’s management of police misconduct.[5]
  4. [4]
    Should the Tribunal find in favour of Mr O'Keefe in relation to either substantiation or sanction, the CCC submits that its interest will be affected. Accordingly, it wishes to reserve its rights to appeal the Tribunal decision, should it consider it necessary to do so.
  5. [5]
    The Deputy Commissioner does not oppose the application for joinder, noting that the CCC’s submissions suggest that it does not intend to take an active role in the proceeding.
  6. [6]
    Mr O'Keefe also notes that it appears the CCC does not presently intend to take an active role in the review, and submits that he does not consent to being ‘prosecuted’ by two parties simultaneously. Accordingly, he opposes joinder of the CCC for any purposes inconsistent with Crime and Misconduct Commission v Wilson[6] (Wilson’s case).
  7. [7]
    In Wilson’s case, the Queensland Court of Appeal set aside an Appeal Tribunal decision which had set aside an order of a Tribunal Member which joined the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) as a party. Similar to here, the CMC had indicated its intention to play a passive role in the review.[7]
  8. [8]
    Relevantly, the Court of Appeal in considering the issue of joinder of the CMC, (which the CCC has now replaced and) which was charged with a materially similar legislative function as the CCC identifies in s 33 of the CCC Act, held that the CMC had a clear interest. The Court of Appeal observed that whether the CMC played an active or passive role until its appeal rights were engaged, joinder protected or advanced those interests.[8]  
  9. [9]
    I am satisfied that the CCC has interests which may be affected by the proceeding. I am satisfied that it is appropriate to exercise the discretion to join the CCC as a party. Consistent with its submissions that its seeks joinder to reserve its appeal rights, I direct that unless otherwise ordered, the CCC must not take active steps to participate in the proceeding.
  10. [10]
    If the CCC applies to the Tribunal to take active steps, Mr O'Keefe’s concern about being prosecuted by two parties, can be further considered at that time.


[1] QCAT Act s 42.

[2] QCAT Act s 42(1)(b).

[3] CCC Act s 33(a).

[4] CCC Act s 33(b). The principles are set out in s 34.

[5] CCC Act s 47.

[6] [2012] QCA 314.

[7] Ibid, at [36] and Chapman v Wilson and Anor [2011] QCAT 400, at [13 and 22].

[8] Ibid, at [35-36].


Editorial Notes

  • Published Case Name:

    O'Keefe v Deputy Commissioner Pointing

  • Shortened Case Name:

    O'Keefe v Deputy Commissioner Pointing

  • MNC:

    [2016] QCAT 312

  • Court:


  • Judge(s):

    Member Howard

  • Date:

    01 Sep 2016

Appeal Status

Please note, appeal data is presently unavailable for this judgment. This judgment may have been the subject of an appeal.

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