Last updated 20 January 2017
The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) hears and determines proceedings relating to police misconduct or disciplinary breaches arising from corrupt conduct. It also reviews decisions relating to police misconduct made against a police officer or corrupt conduct of a public service officer. Disciplinary breaches against police officers in QCAT may be brought by the Queensland Police Service or the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC).
The jurisdiction of QCAT to hear charges against public servants alleged to have committed a breach is purely disciplinary (i.e. it is concerned with a person’s fitness for employment, or whether their employment should be curtailed or changed in some way). A person can be dealt with by both a criminal court and QCAT, because a criminal court is concerned with a breach of the criminal law, while the tribunal is concerned with the nature or fitness of a person’s employment. Proceedings in both forums therefore do not amount to double jeopardy.
Section 43 of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) (QCAT Act) provides that parties to a proceeding in QCAT are to represent themselves unless the interests of justice require otherwise. A person charged with a disciplinary offence is able to be represented before the tribunal as of right (s 43(2)(b)(ii) QCAT Act). Unless an enabling Act provides to the contrary, a hearing of a proceeding must be held in public (s 90 QCAT Act). The tribunal may direct a hearing to be held in private if necessary in the circumstances.