LawAnswers.com.au - Australia's #1 Legal Community

LawAnswers.com.au is a community of 10,000+ Australians, just like you, helping each other.
Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
Join us, it only takes a minute:

QLD QCAT Jurisdiction - Where to Bring Action for Breach of Contract?

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by Tom Hirrington, 27 July 2016.

  1. Tom Hirrington

    Joined:
    27 July 2016
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi there,

    Just a general question regarding the jurisdiction of courts, specifically QCAT.

    When bringing an action against a party for breach of contract, what are the rules generally surrounding interstate transactions?

    Facts:
    1. Offer made in WA
    2. Acceptance made in QLD (received in WA via email)
    3. Breach occurred in WA (Party has received money and is not sending the goods)
    4. No jurisdiction clause in contract
    I would assume that I would have to bring this action in WA as the contract was formed in WA, however, as an affected party in QLD, am I able to bring the action here?
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 May 2014
    Messages:
    2,174
    Likes Received:
    257
    If the contract does not have an exclusive jurisdiction clause (and sometimes even if it does!), you take the running and attempt to have it heard in QLD. Arguments can be made both ways in the absence of a clear jurisdiction clause. For the convenience factor alone it is worth a try. If QCAT decide they do not have jurisdiction it does not prejudice a case you start in WA.
     
  3. @thelawbundle

    @thelawbundle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 October 2014
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    11
    Hi Tom,

    QCAT has considered issues similar to this before.

    In this case, QCAT accepted that: "the contract is formed when and where the offeror receives communication of the acceptance" (see paragraph 21). It would seem then, that this contract was formed in WA.

    However, that is not the end of the matter. QCAT's jurisdiction regarding interstate transactions was canvassed in length in this case. On my reading, the outcome of that case is that you do have jurisdiction to bring a claim in QCAT.

    In line with what Rod says, in practical terms, if you were to file this claim in QCAT, its jurisdiction may not even be disputed (you never know). If the respondent does file a defence which raises the preliminary question of whether QCAT lacks jurisdiction, then the above case should help you.

    There are many other factors to take into account regarding QCAT's jurisdiction (including monetary limits, dispute types etc.). I assume that you are across those.

    Best of luck.
     
    Tom Hirrington likes this.
  4. Tom Hirrington

    Joined:
    27 July 2016
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Perfect thanks @thelawbundle - I thought the contract would be formed where the offeror receives the payment. Regards the interstate contract - was searching for this issue on the QCAT recent decisions for a while, appreciate it thanks for that.
     
  5. praxidice

    praxidice Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 May 2014
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    3
    In my opinion do everything possible to avoid any dealing with QCAT. It is not required to observe rules of evidence, which can lead to absolutely horrifying miscarriages of justice. Far better to pay slightly higher fees to use a 'proper' court which at least demonstrates a semblance of recognition of legislation, natural justice and due process. The existence of major problems with QCAT is shown by the fact of two parliamentary inquiries in the past four years with no published results.

    In theory, the president of QCAT is responsible for the conduct of members (mostly failed lawyers) however he does not respond to submissions. The QCAT website suggests the entity has an internal complaints review facility but in reality its farcical.
     

Share This Page

Loading...