Industrial Relations Court of South Australia

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The Industrial Relations Court of South Australia is a South Australian court empowered to adjudicate on rights and liabilities arising out of employment. It was originally established under the Industrial Arbitration Act 1912 and is continued in existence as a court of record by the Fair Work Act 1994 (formerly called the Industrial and Employee Relations Act 1994). The same Act also establishes the Industrial Relations Commission of South Australia.

History[edit]

In 1906, the Factories Amendment Act created a Court of Industrial Appeals, consisting of a single Supreme Court judge who heard mainly appeals from determinations of wage boards. That Court was abolished in 1912 and replaced with the Industrial Court of South Australia under the Industrial Arbitration Act. This Court has remained in existence to the present day, albeit changing its name to its present name, the Industrial Relations Court, in 1994, under the Industrial and Employee Relations Act.

Judiciary and Appointment[edit]

The Court's judiciary consists of the Senior Judge, other Judges of the Court, and industrial magistrates. There are currently six judges and three industrial magistrates.

The Senior Judge and other Judges of the Court may be appointed by the Governor as Judges of the Industrial Relations Court, or may be appointed as Judges of the District Court of South Australia and assigned by proclamation to be Judges of the Industrial Relations Court. Judges of the Court hold office on the same terms as District Court Judges: they must retire at the age of 70 and can only be removed by an address by both houses of the South Australian Parliament.

Industrial magistrates are Magistrates appointed under the Magistrates Act 1983 and assigned by proclamation to be industrial magistrates. Magistrates hold office to the age of 65.

The judges of the Court may also be appointed as the President or Deputy Presidents of the Industrial Relations Commission of South Australia. In practice each judge of the Court is usually appointed as a presidential member of the Commission.

Jurisdiction of the Court[edit]

The Court has both civil and criminal jurisdiction in respect of a wide range of disputes arising out of employment law. Its jurisdiction includes the interpretation of industrial awards and the determination of questions reserved by the Industrial Relations Commission and the validity of determinations by the Commission.

In most cases the Court is constituted by a single judge or industrial magistrate. Single judges also hear appeals from the decisions of industrial magistrates. The Court sits as a Full Court (usually constituted by a bench of three judges) to hear appeals from the decisions of a single judge of the Court and to consider questions of law reserved.

An appeal is available from decisions of the Full Court of the Industrial Relations Court to the Supreme Court of South Australia, with permission from the Supreme Court.

Industrial Relations Commission[edit]

The Industrial Relations Commission is a body that complements the functions of the Court. Most members of the Court are also members of the Commission. The Commission deals with arbitration matters which cannot be dealt with by a Court, in accordance with the Boilermakers' doctrine.

Current Judges of the Industrial Relations Court[edit]

(Date of appointment appears in brackets.)

Senior Judge[edit]

Senior Judge Peter McCusker (January 1990) (also Deputy President of the Industrial Relations Commission and President of the South Australian Employment Tribunal)

Judges[edit]

Judge Brian Gilchrist (1 May 2000) (also Deputy President of the South Australian Employment Tribunal)
Judge Peter Hannon (23 August 2004) (also President of the Industrial Relations Commission since 2006 and Deputy President of the South Australian Employment Tribunal)
Judge Leonie Farrell (27 July 2005) (also Deputy President of the South Australian Employment Tribunal)

Industrial Magistrates[edit]

Michael Ardlie (4 July 2002; Magistrate since 1 July 2002) (also Deputy President of the South Australian Employment Tribunal)
Stephen Lieschke (17 October 2005) (also Deputy President of the South Australian Employment Tribunal)

External links[edit]