BU1112 Business Law

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BU1112 Business Law

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BU1112 Business Law

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Course Code: BU1112
University: James Cook University

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Country: Australia


This assessment is designed to:
.Introduce you to court procedures and to allow you to develop a better understanding of how the law is enforced;
.Give you experience in the preparation and writing of a report on court procedure.
At the completion of this assessment you should have a better understanding of the Australian legal system and in particular how the Courts operate within that system.
You need to choose a suitable date to attend the Magistrates Court and the District or Supreme Court.  The District and Supreme Courts are situated at 415 George Street Brisbane.  The Magistrates Court is separate and is located at 363 George Street Brisbane. 
However, the best way of finding out what is on in the courts is via the website www.courts.qld.gov.au by first going to ‘Daily law lists’ and then selecting your chosen court.  The website contains details of what is on in both the Magistrates Court and also the District and Supreme Courts. 


Date of Visit: 26 July 2018
Time: Between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Court Attended: The Supreme Court
Name of Judge: Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren.
On 26 July 2018, I witnessed the case of Broadbent v Medical Board of Australia [2014] QCATA 329 in the Supreme Court. Dr. Michael Russell was appealing the decision of the Medical Board of Australia to deny his application for general registration as a medic under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law. The appeal was in line with the QCAT Rules (form 39) and s 199 of the National Law.
Issues in Question:
A judicial review of the Medical Board’s conduct regarding the appellant’s application.
The jurisdiction of the tribunal on issues of judicial review
Summary of Arguments:
Applicant’s Position
Dr. Russell argued that the grounds of the application were unfair as he had not been accorded legal representation, apprehended him on firm ground unfair tactics, contravened the principle of QCAT and that he was not being given fair hearing prior to striking out his medical application for registration (Broadbent v Medical Board of Australia [2014] QCATA 329).
The Board’s Argument
The Board referred back to how the applicant’s medical negligence on 13 of his former patients had seen him surrender his specialist registration and retire in 2008. It argued that earlier disciplinary proceedings meant Broadbent could not be accorded registration and sought to see the appeal struck out, citing abuse of process.
The Tribunal
The tribunal had dismissed Broadbent’s application citing a lack of jurisdiction and thus not one to be dealt with by the tribunal, but rather the Supreme Court of Queensland. While Broadbent sought to appeal the case in the Supreme Court, the Tribunal had refused Broadbent’s application stating the following reasons:
First, that s 43(1) of the QCAT Act which required people to represent themselves in such disputes had not been adhered to by the appellant as he had sent representatives. Subsection 2 further provides for representation by another only if the tribunal had given leave.
The tribunal also argued that it was not possible to grant Dr. Broadbent’s application because of a lack of jurisdiction. According to the tribunal, he wrote a letter to the tribunal raising issues of representation citing prejudice and disadvantage, while also claiming a barrier forged between him and the board (Administrative Appeals Tribunal, 2015). The tribunal saw it only appropriate that the members be brought forth as witnesses in this proceeding.
Court’s Ruling
The court was of the opinion that the appeal by Mr. Broadbent was only motivated by the need to re-agitate previously litigated matters. It was realized that the appeal was not intended to review the Board’s decision to refuse to grant him registration and thus his actions amounted to an abuse of process. The appeal was deemed vexatious and struck out by the court. Parties were ordered to file submissions on the expenses within 14 days of the publication of judgment.
Personal Observation
The foregoing case was subject to multiple appeals. It was first heard by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). However, the applicant was not convinced by the appellate court’s ruling and contested the ruling. Even prior to reaching the Supreme Court with the matter, Broadbent had appealed the Tribunal’s decision in the court of appeal. He went ahead to seek judicial review of the tribunal’s ruling in the top-most court of the land, the Supreme Court. The case shows the hierarchy of courts in Singapore and also reveals the role of the Supreme Court as the court of last resort. Its decision is final. It also shows the role played by the Supreme Court in judicial review (Ellison. n.d.). It is the court with jurisdiction to settle matters pertaining to administrative injustices which need review.
Similarities and Differences between Supreme Court and Magistrate’s Court
Having already witnessed the occurrences in a magistrate’s court, I noted some differences in both structure and function between the magistrates’ court and the Supreme Court. In terms of function, the magistrate court has jurisdiction to listen to minor cases that accrued minimal years of imprisonment. On the other hand, the Supreme Court had jurisdiction to review administrative issues, like Broadbent’s case and issues that touched on the rights and liberty of an individual (constitutional law issues). It also listens to appeals from the appellate court and capital offences.
Additionally, while the decisions by the magistrate’s court can be appealed in an appellate court, those made by the Supreme Court are binding to both parties. I noticed a difference in the jury bench that was present to hear cases in the Supreme Court but in magistrate courts, the magistrate hears and decides. The similarities between the two is that both have a judge as the final decision maker.
Administrative Appeals Tribunal. (2015). Tribunals in Australia: Their roles and responsibilities. Retrieved from https://www.aat.gov.au/about-the-aat/engagement/speeches-and-papers/the-honourable-justice-garry-downes-am-former-pre/tribunals-in-australia-their-roles-and-responsib
Broadbent v Medical Board of Australia [2014] QCATA 329. Retrieved from https://archive.sclqld.org.au/qjudgment/2014/QCATA14-329.pdf
Broadbent v Medical Board of Australia [2018] QCAT 25 https://archive.sclqld.org.au/qjudgment/2018/QCAT18-025.pdf
Broadbent v Medical Board of Queensland. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.queenslandjudgments.com.au/case/id/71882
Ellison, M. (n.d.). Medical practitioner, abuse of process, disciplinary proceedings, unsatisfactory professional conduct, undertaking, surgeon, specialist registration – Case summary. Retrieved from https://www.minterellison.com/articles/michael-russell-mark-broadbent-v-medical-board-of-australia
Queens Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act

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