Stagg v North & Ors [2014] QSC 8


  1. The applicant contended the GMAT failed to take into account relevant parts of AMA 4 so that the tribunal’s decision involved an improper exercise of its power thereby providing a ground for review under s 20(2)(e) of the Judicial Review Act. In support the applicant also submitted the GMAT did not consider the evidence from Dr Marc Walden and the submissions made at the tribunal.
  2. Justice P McMurdo dismissed the application on several bases:
  • The GMAT did have the report of Dr Walden and the submissions;
  • The GMAT’s decision was based on the examination on the day;
  • Dr Walden did not apply AMA 4 (the relevant standard) in his findings, but in a later affidavit stated AMA 4 required consideration of symptoms over a period of time and on that basis Dr Walden found the diagnosis;
  • The clinical findings by Dr Walden (on the day of his examination) and the GMAT were not materially different;
  • The GMAT more probably than not considered Dr Walden’s report;
  • The GMAT did not have Dr Walden’s later affidavit before them at the time and if correct, it did not displace the decision, as it went to the merit of the GMAT decision;
  • To the extend the GMAT’s reasoning differed to Dr Walden, it was based upon what was apparent, and importantly not apparent, upon their examination of the applicant;
  • The submission the GMAT failed to take into account relevant parts of the AMA 4 (relevant clinical examinations) goes towards the merits of the decision;
  • As to the submission no reasonable person could have reached the decision, it was rejected because the diagnosis was based not only on the material, but the examination and collective experience and expertise of the GMAT members.


Brisbane Barrister – David Cormack


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