Last updated 20 May 2022

A person wishing to obtain judicial review of a state government action must bring proceedings in the Supreme Court under the Judicial Review Act 1991 (Qld) (Judicial Review Act).

The Judicial Review Act adopts, with some modification, the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth) (Administrative Decisions Act). It specifically provides that ideas within the Judicial Review Act are to be interpreted in the same way as ideas in the Administrative Decisions Act, even where different words are used (s 16 Judicial Review Act). This means that concepts applied in Commonwealth judicial review cases are readily transferrable to those in Queensland. The Judicial Review Act includes a table of comparative provisions with the Administrative Decisions Act (sch 3).

Both Acts provide a clear procedure to be followed and substitute simpler statutory remedies for the many different and complicated remedies that existed at common law. Even though this has made judicial review simpler than it once was, the system remains complex for anyone attempting to use it without expert legal help.

Under the Judicial Review Act, two avenues exist for judicial review, a statutory order of review (pt 3) and application for review (pt 5). This chapter will focus primarily on the statutory order of review avenue, which largely replicates the judicial review scheme in the Administrative Decisions Act.

Under pt 3 of the Judicial Review Act, a person aggrieved by a government decision can apply to the Supreme Court for a statutory order of review on several grounds as set out in the Judicial Review Act. Certain jurisdictional requirements have to be satisfied by an applicant seeking review under pt 3 for a statutory order of review (see What government actions may be challenged).

When pt 3 does not apply, a person whose interests are adversely affected by a decision may bring an application for review under pt 5 (s 44 Judicial Review Act). This part contains the requirements for making an application for prerogative orders and injunctions, replacing what are essentially the traditional common law and equitable remedies with similar statutory remedies.

Part 4 of the Judicial Review Act sets out the rights of an applicant to obtain reasons (with some exceptions) for any decision that they propose to challenge under pt 3. The right to seek reasons for a decision under pt 4 is independent of any rights to judicial review under pt 3 or pt 5 of the Judicial Review Act.