In 2007 and 2008, the Medical Board of Queensland (MBQ) brought disciplinary proceedings against the applicant alleging that the applicant had engaged in unsatisfactory professional conduct in his practice of medicine as a surgeon. On 10 June 2010, QCAT found that the applicant’s treatment of two patients amounted to unsatisfactory professional conduct. QCAT subsequently made a costs order in favour of the MBQ in relation to the costs of the QCAT Proceeding (QCAT Costs Order).
On 1 July 2010 the new national uniform legislative scheme for the accreditation, registration and discipline of medical practitioners commenced in Queensland. The transitional provisions of the new legislation abolished the MBQ and subsequently its functions and assets were subsumed by the Medical Board of Australia (MBA). On 24 January 2013, the MBA sought to enforce the QCAT Costs order by applying to the District Court for a costs assessment. A costs order was made by the Deputy Registrar on 14 January 2014 in favour of the MBA (Costs Order).
The applicant, by these proceedings, sought to have the Costs Order set aside on the basis that it was invalid as it ought to have been made in favour of the MBQ rather than the MBA.
Both parties agreed that the applicant was liable to pay the QCAT Costs Order and that the Costs Order should have been made in favour of the MBQ rather than the MBA.
Richards DCJ held that the ‘slip rule’ as per r 388 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld) allowed the Court to amend the QCAT Costs Order to substitute the MBQ for the MBA. Accordingly, her Honour dismissed the appeal and amended the Costs Order so that it was in favour of the MBQ.
The judgment is published here.