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The Industrial Court of Queensland

The Industrial Court of Queensland (Court) is a superior court of record. The Court hears appeals on error of law or lack or excess of jurisdiction against decisions of the Commission, Industrial Registrar or an Industrial Magistrate.

The Court is constituted by the President, Vice President or the Deputy President.  The Members of the Court are as follows:

President The Hon. Justice Peter Davis
Vice President Vice President Daniel L. O'Connor OAM
Deputy President Deputy President John W. Merrell
Deputy President Deputy President Catherine M. Hartigan

The President of the Court is also President of the Commission. The President may preside on a Full Bench of the Commission and, for certain matters, the Full Bench must include the President.

An appeal against a decision of the President may be made to the Court of Appeal. An appeal against a decision of a Full Bench which included the President also lies with the Court of Appeal.

The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission

The Commission is an independent tribunal. It is a court of record whose powers and functions derive from Chapter 11, Part 2 of the Industrial Relations Act 2016.

The Commission plays a major role in contributing to the social and economic well-being of people throughout Queensland through furthering the objects of the legislation, which is principally to provide a framework for industrial relations that is fair and balanced and supports the delivery of high-quality services, economic prosperity and social justice for Queenslanders.

There are currently 13 Members of the Commission. The Commission is headed by the President, who is also the President of the Industrial Court of Queensland. The Commission is additionally comprised of the Vice President, two Deputy Presidents and five Industrial Commissioners. The current Members of the Commissioner are: 

President The Hon. Justice Peter Davis
Vice President Vice President Daniel L. O'Connor OAM
Deputy President Deputy President John W. Merrell
Deputy President Deputy President Catherine M. Hartigan
Commissioners Industrial Commissioner Minna L. Knight
Industrial Commissioner Samantha C. Pidgeon
Industrial Commissioner John C. Dwyer
Industrial Commissioner Jacqueline M. Power
Industrial Commissioner Roslyn D. H. McLennan
Industrial Commissioner Daniel G. Pratt
Industrial Commissioner Terri M. Butler
Industrial Commissioner Sharron M. Caddie
Industrial Commissioner Christopher J. Gazenbeek

The President is responsible for administration of the Commission including allocation of all matters, references to a Full Bench, and general conduct of Commission business.

Functions of the Commission

The Commission has powers and functions under various enactments:

Through this legislation, the Commission's jurisdiction includes:

  • wage recovery;
  • industrial disputes involving state and local government employees;
  • unfair dismissals and reinstatement applications for state and local government employees;
  • awards and agreements;
  • workers' compensation appeals';
  • work-related anti-discrimination referrals and complaints;
  • public sector appeals;
  • trading hours;
  • work, health and safety disputes and reviews;
  • long service leave payment applications; and
  • other matters prescribed under various acts.

The Commission hears matters in locations throughout Queensland.

The Industrial Registry

The Industrial Registry is the Registry for the Court and Commission.  The Industrial Registry is also the Registry for the Industrial Magistrates Court in relation to Fair Work Claims only.

The Industrial Registry provides high level administrative support to the Court, Commission and Industrial Registrar. All applications, appeals, forms, documents and material for Court and Commission matters are filed in the Industrial Registry.

The Industrial Registrar also has important functions and powers with regard to registered industrial organisations in accordance with Chapter 12 of the Industrial Relations Act 2016, which includes governing the affairs of industrial organisations, for example, their financial accountability and annual returns, applications to change their rules or requests for elections.

Until your matter is heard before the Court or Commission, most of your contact will be with staff of the Industrial Registry. Therefore, it is important for you to understand what the Registry Officers can and cannot do to help you prepare your matter.

Most importantly, Registry staff are not permitted to give you legal advice. 

What we can do

  • We can briefly explain and answer questions about how the Court and Commission works, its practices and procedures.
  • We can tell you what form you may need and direct you where to find these on our website.
  • We can check your forms and other Court/Commission filed documents for completeness (for example, we check that all sections are complete, that the document is signed (and witnessed) if required, and that any required attachments are provided).
  • We can provide hearing lists and information on how to get a matter listed.
  • We can give you information about how your matter is managed and the processes involved in each step along the way to a hearing.
  • Much of the information that can be provided by staff is also publicly available on the website and it is recommended that parties consider these for any resources they seek prior to contacting the Industrial Registry (including various guides and frequently asked questions). 
  • The website also contains links to several resources where you can obtain some further advice - Frequently asked questions | Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.
  • For more information, please also refer to the Communication Guideline.

What we can’t do

  • We cannot give you legal advice.
  • We cannot provide you with advice with regards to interpretation of legislation, awards or agreements.
  • We cannot provide advice as to whether a specific claim/application/appeal should be commenced or what specific information to include.  
  • We cannot recommend a certain lawyer or representative to act on your behalf.
  • We cannot tell you whether you have included enough information in your court documents.
  • We cannot tell you what to say in Court/Commission. 
  • We cannot tell you what the decision of the Court/Commission will be or give you an opinion about what it might be.
  • We cannot tell you when a decision of the Court/Commission will be released.
  • We cannot explain orders made by a Member.
  • We cannot let you communicate directly with a Member, other than at the hearing or conference. 

Business hours

The reception of the Industrial Registry is open from 8.30am to 4.45pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays and the compulsory Christmas to New Year closure).

Documents can be filed electronically at any time, however if sent after hours they will be accepted as being filed the next business day.  You will be unable to file documents on public holidays, or closures, or outside of office hours.

If you are filing a document by email and what you are filing is over 30 pages, the Industrial Registry requires you to also provide a hard copy of the document (see Practice Direction 3 of the 2021 - Electronic Filing and Hard Copies of documents).

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