The Industrial Appeal Court dismissed the appellant's appeal, considering it to be ‘moot’, emphasising the Court’s limited jurisdiction under the Industrial Relations Act 1979 (WA) and finding that the grounds presented did not meet the statutory criteria for an appeal.
The appellant appealed to the Court from a decision of the Full Bench of the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission, which unanimously dismissed four interlocutory applications in an appeal. However, the appeal was considered moot as the Full Bench had already dismissed the substantive appeal, and no appeal had been made against that decision.
The interlocutory applications dismissed by the Full Bench involved various claims, including an application to amend the original claim; a request for discovery of documents; an application to invite the respondent to admit facts; and an application for discovery related to conflicts of interest. The Full Bench in its decision, found that these applications were not able to be dealt with for various reasons, including the limited scope of an appeal defined by section 49(4) of the Act.
The Court emphasised the limited jurisdiction of the Industrial Appeal Court to hear an appeal from a decision of the Full Bench. The right of appeal is given by statute, and the Court’s jurisdiction is restricted to specific grounds outlined in section 90(1) of the Act, such as excess of jurisdiction, errors in law, or denial of the right to be heard.
The appellant's grounds of appeal were not clearly articulated, but the Court identified three potential grounds related to alleged errors in the handling of interlocutory applications. The Court scrutinised each ground and found none fell within the jurisdiction of the Court. The appellant's claims regarding the Registry’s alleged errors in handling online lodgement and transcript editing, did not meet the statutory criteria for an appeal.
According to the Court, none of the four interlocutory applications enlivened the jurisdiction of the Court under section 90(1) of the Act to hear an appeal. The Court concluded that the appeal must be dismissed.
In conclusion, the Court found that the appeal lacked merit and dismissed it, reinforcing the limited scope of the Court’s jurisdiction in hearing appeals from decisions of the Full Bench.
The decision can be read here.