I thought certiorari for error of law on the face of the record was dead – Kocak v Wingfoot

Subject: Error of law on the face of the record can occur when reasons are inadequate – remedy can be quashing of the decision even though jurisdictional error is not established – Supreme Court of Victoria Court of Appeal – Kocak

Case: Kocak v Wingfoot [2012] VSCA 259

Court: Court of Appeal – Nettle, Osborn JJA and Davies AJA

Held: Inadequate reasons, ie reasons which do not sufficiently explain the path of reasoning, where reasons were required by the statute, constituted error of law on the face of the record.  (In Victoria, reasons are part of the ‘record’ by virtue of s 10 of the Administrative Law Act).  The appropriate remedy was to quash the decision by ‘an order in the nature of certiorari’, even though the decision itself was not found to be invalid.

Quote: “If reasons leave a party to wonder which of a number of possible routes has been taken to a Medical Panel’s conclusion, the reasons are inadequate”. (at [69]).

Status: Special leave to appeal has been granted – hearing coming up in July.

(Also see Sherlock v Lloyd (2010) 27 VR 434; and upcoming decision of the Court of Appeal in Georgiou v Capitol Radiology)