Judicial review is not a review of the merits or fairness of a decision, but of the decision’s lawfulness (e.g. whether proper procedure has been followed or the right matters have been taken into account by the decision maker). The Supreme Court hears applications for judicial review. The court cannot make a new decision in the place of the appropriate decision maker if it rules that the original decision was flawed, but it can refer the decision back to the original decision maker to make the decision again, properly and in accordance with law.
A person affected by an administrative decision, which is not excluded by the Corrective Services Act 2006 (Qld) (Corrective Services Act), is entitled to a statement of reasons for that decision under s 32(1) of the Judicial Review Act 1991 (Qld). The decision maker must provide a statement of reasons if the request was made within 28 days of the receipt of written notice of the decision. Obtaining a statement of reasons is a useful way of clarifying the evidence on which the decision was based and ensuring that all relevant considerations have been taken into account before deciding whether to commence proceedings for a judicial review of a decision. If a person believes a decision to be flawed, it is important to seek legal advice, as there is a substantial body of case law on many of the issues that are reviewable under the Corrective Services Act (for further information see chapter on Complaints about Government )