Administrative law challenges to merit reviews

All merit reviews by us may be subject to administrative law judicial review in the Supreme Court of NSW.

In this process, a party may seek orders that a decision should be set aside and sent back to us to be remade.

Whenever a challenge is finalised, an assessment is undertaken of the impact of the judicial review decision. This includes an assessment of:

  • the impact of the court's reasoning on how the dispute is to be resolved,
  • the potential impact upon the functions of the Merit Review Service, and
  • the potential impact upon the scheme more broadly

An appropriate response is developed and then implemented. This includes publishing relevant information on the website to support  the consistent and stable application of the law in the administration of the scheme.

Below is an administrative law challenge decided by the court:

CSR V Busbridge

On 10 September 2015,  the Supreme Court of NSW handed down its decision in CSR Limited v Busbridge [2015] NSWSC 1268.

The applicant self-insurer challenged the Merit Review Service (MRS) decision about the worker's entitlement to weekly payments of compensation, seeking to have the decision set aside and remitted back to the MRS to be decided afresh.

The applicant self-insurer sought judicial review on the grounds that there was jurisdictional error in the decision and that they had been denied procedural fairness in the decision-making process. However, the Supreme Court found that none of those grounds were made out. As a result the Supreme Court dismissed the application and ordered the insurer to pay the worker's costs.