Recent Cases

Amir v Director of Professional Services Review [2022] FCAFC 44 (28 March 2022) (Lee, Stewart and Cheeseman JJ)


Catchwords:


STATUTORY INTERPRETATION – the meaning of the terms “decision”, “decide”, “decides” and “decided” in the context of the Health Insurance Act 1973 (Cth) – whether primary judge erred in her construction of ss 88A and 94(1) – where the Chief Executive Medicare requested the Director of Professional Services Review to review the provision of services by Dr Amir pursuant to s 86(1) – whether Director made a decision on 4 April 2019 or 16 April 2019 to undertake the review in accordance with s 88A(1) which set time running for the purpose of s 94(1) – where Director subsequently decided to refer Dr Amir to a Committee pursuant to s 93(1) on 14 April 2020 to determine if inappropriate practice had occurred in providing the services – where primary judge found that the decision to refer Dr Amir to a Committee was made within time and was valid – where primary judge held that a decision under s 88A(1) must be an externally manifested communication of an irrevocable commitment – where the words “decide” and “decision” do not focus on the Director’s mental state but on the external manifestation of that mental state in an irrevocable or firm way – where primary judge was correct to construe a decision under s 88A as being of a firm, committed or final character – where other grounds of appeal alleging errors in fact finding must fail because Dr Amir’s primary construction argument fails – appeal dismissed