In Cahill v Victorian Legal Services Commissioner  VSC 177 (Keogh J);  VSCA 283 (Kyrou JA with whom the other Justices of Appeal agreed), the previous Victorian Legal Services Commissioner closed a disciplinary complaint against a solicitor once related proceedings were commenced. Despite then being functus officio, at the complainant’s request he ‘re-raised’ the complaint once the proceedings ended in what he regarded as inconclusive circumstances. He prosecuted the practitioner, who successfully sought judicial review on the basis that the Commissioner was not entitled to have a second go at the investigation. The Commissioner appealed unsuccessfully to the Court of Appeal. Apparently, that was the end of it.
This case reaffirms the principle that statutory authorities cannot revisit their final decisions because they change their mind or come to appreciate that they are wrong: Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs v Bhardwaj  HCA 11; (2002) 209 CLR 597, 603; Semunigus v Minister for Immigration  FCA 240; (2000) 96 FCR 533, 540 ; Kabourakis v Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria  VSCA 301 (20 December 2016)  (Nettle JA). Continue reading “Re-raising complaints-(not)”