Many professions, trades and offices (such as the office of director) are subject to licensing or other regulation and can be the subject of disqualification or banning resulting in a person becoming an excluded individual. Being an excluded individual can prevent a person from earning an income from their trade or profession. Professional registration appeals or other action such as show cause hearings can be necessary to maintain the entitlement to continue work in that capacity.
Directors and company officers might receive a notice to demonstrate why disqualification should not occur under section 206F of the Corporations Act. Recipients of that notice can make representations and submissions to the delegate before a decision is made, and if not satisfied with the decision can appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
A number of other vocational and professional registration appeals can be made to the AAT. As an example, applications for renewal of registration as a tax agent are made to the Tax Practitioners Board, and if refused, can be reviewed by the AAT.
The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) has significant jurisdiction in the review of decisions made by Government and statutory agencies. This includes occupational regulation matters such as dealing with:
- The regulation of teachers;
- Proceedings under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (Queensland);
- Matters under the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act including applications commenced after receiving notices for reasons of the proposed cancellation of a licence, and the making of orders relating to excluded individuals;
- Disciplinary action against licensed real estate agents and sales people.
Steps taken by various regulatory authorities to discipline members or registration holders can have far reaching effects, including impacts upon the ability to carry on business and earn an income. It is important that they are not treated lightly or ignored.
These processes will usually start with some form of notice from the regulatory authority advising of their intention, such as:
- Against renewing registration;
- Terminating registration;
- Declaring a person to be an excluded individual;
- Declaring a corporation to be an excluded corporation;
- Requesting information or submissions to show cause why an order should not be made.
Our Gold Coast litigation lawyers have had extensive experience in representation in these matters including hearings before the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, AAT, and QCAT. It is important to engage in these processes as soon as possible and to treat them seriously so that you have the best prospect of allowing the decision maker to arrive at the decision being fully informed of all relevant facts in your favour.
If you have received any such notice, contact our partner Justin Mathews, who has specialist accreditation in commercial litigation for advice.