High Court of Australia

Public Service Association of South Australia Incorporated v Industrial Relations Commission of South Australia [2012] HCA 25

249 CLR 398; 289 ALR 1

11 Jul 2012

Case Number: A7/2011


French CJ, Gummow, Hayne, Heydon, Crennan, Kiefel, Bell JJ


Administrative law – Judicial review – Excess or want of jurisdiction – Appellant commenced proceedings in Industrial Relations Commission of South Australia ("Commission") – Commission had jurisdiction with respect to "industrial disputes" which meant a dispute about an "industrial matter" as defined by Fair Work Act 1994 (SA) ("Act") – Commission determined that it lacked jurisdiction because there was no industrial dispute – Full Court of Supreme Court of South Australia dismissed summons for judicial review because s 206 of Act excluded review except for "excess or want of jurisdiction", which phrase it interpreted as excluding failure or refusal to exercise jurisdiction – Whether Commission had duty to determine jurisdictional fact of existence of industrial dispute – Whether s 206 of Act precluded mandamus but not prohibition and certiorari – Whether "excess or want of jurisdiction" in s 206 of Act included jurisdictional error or only some species of jurisdictional error.

Constitutional law (Cth) – Judicial power of Commonwealth – Constitution, Ch III – State Supreme Courts – Defining characteristics of State Supreme Courts – Application of Kirk v Industrial Court (NSW) (2010) 239 CLR 531 in determining characteristics of State Supreme Courts identified in Ch III of Constitution – Whether power to issue mandamus to inferior courts and to tribunals a defining feature of State Supreme Courts – Whether s 206 of Act limited State Supreme Court jurisdiction to exercise judicial review for jurisdictional error.

Words and phrases – "excess or want of jurisdiction", "judicial review", "jurisdiction", "jurisdictional error", "jurisdictional fact", "mandamus".

Constitution – Ch III.

Fair Work Act 1994 (SA) – ss 26, 206.

Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1972 (SA) – s 95.

Supreme Court Act 1935 (SA) – s 17(2).

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