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Bird v Guardianship and Administration Tribunal[2002] QSC 5

Bird v Guardianship and Administration Tribunal[2002] QSC 5




No 11589 of 2001






First Respondent




Second Respondent


DATE 02/01/2002


HIS HONOUR: Mr Bird brings an application under the Judicial Review Act in which he seeks to have reviewed the decision of the first respondent, Guardianship and Administration Tribunal, appointing the second respondent, Robert Rickleman, the guardian and administrator of his daughter, Elizabeth Jane Rickleman.

The application lists four grounds, one of those is that the Tribunal breached the rules of natural justice because of its composition. One can see from the particulars of that allegation and from an affidavit in support that the thrust of the argument advanced by the applicant is that members of the Tribunal were of the Roman Catholic faith or at least that they had a distinctly Irish look about them.

The applicant objects to Catholics sitting on Tribunals or Courts in which he appears because as he said he does not have much success in appearing before Catholics. He would be happy to abide a determination by persons of some other listed religions, however. That, it would seem, in his mind would improve his prospects of success on any relevant application.

The second ground is that the Tribunal had insufficient evidence on which to act. The third ground is that the Tribunal failed to take into account an allegedly relevant consideration. The fourth ground is that the Tribunal failed to allow the applicant access to some documents under section 108(2) of the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000.

The other application before me seeks orders that the decision of the first respondent that the second respondent be appointed guardian be suspended.

A further order, an order under Rule 230 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules that the applicant have leave to deliver interrogatories and an order pursuant to section 165(1) of the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 that each party pay their own costs of the application.

No party is seeking costs of the application so the order in relation to costs is irrelevant. I dismiss the application filed on 24 December 2001. I can see no faint reason on the material before me why any order should be made interfering with the Tribunal's order or why the applicant should be entitled to mount a fishing expedition by means of interrogatories. It is clear from statements he made in address that that is his intention. Amongst other things he wishes to enquire into the religious beliefs of Tribunal members and, perhaps, as to whether they were educated in Catholic schools.

I now turn to the application for statutory order of review. The Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 provides for an appeal to the Supreme Court from determinations of the Tribunal. In those circumstances section 13 of the Judicial Review Act becomes relevant. It provides relevantly:

“13. Despite section 10, but without limiting section 48, if-

  1. an application under section 20 to 22 or 43 is made to the Court in relation to a reviewable matter; and
  1. provision is made by law, other than this Act, under which the applicant is entitled to seek a review of the matter by another Court or a 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 authorities establish that, as a general rule, judicial reviews should not be seen as a substitute for the appeal processes prescribed by legislation such as that under consideration. See example Stubberfield v. Webster [1996] 2 QdR 211. In any event the terms of section 13 are plain enough.

I could exercise my powers under the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules to require the application to be treated as an appeal and to make appropriate directions. I have a concern though that by so doing I would simply be encouraging the applicant to waste the respondents' time and energies in attempting to refute assertions which in many, perhaps most and perhaps all cases, would be nonsensical or bordering on the nonsensical.

HIS HONOUR: There is nothing in the material before me which would suggest that there is likely to be any substance in the appeal if I exercise such powers and enable the matter to go forward as an appeal. In those circumstances it is appropriate, particularly having regard to section 48(1)(b) and (c), not to mention (d), that the application be dismissed. I also wonder what standing the applicant has to seek judicial review. I suspect none but, as the point was not argued, I do not base my decision on any lack of standing.

I order that the application be dismissed.


Editorial Notes

  • Published Case Name:

    Geoffrey James Bird v Guardianship and Administration Tribunal

  • Shortened Case Name:

    Bird v Guardianship and Administration Tribunal

  • MNC:

    [2002] QSC 5

  • Court:


  • Judge(s):

    Muir J

  • Date:

    02 Jan 2002

Appeal Status

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