Fights With Government Departments

April 18, 2021 Paul Brennan
Fights With Government Departments
Show Notes Transcript

Taking on a government department?  The department will wear you down unless you have a strategy. 

© Paul Brennan 2018. All rights Reserved.

Extract from "The Art of War, Peace & Palaver: The Contentious Guide to Legal Disputes" 

Brennans solicitors
Lawyers - Property, commercial, disputes, Wills and estates

To their credit, government departments have the professionalism and training to listen quietly when you throw a tantrum. But what if slamming the phone down and telling your wife is not enough?

Decisions regarding licences, permissions, trademarks, taxes- there is no end to the decisions that government departments can make to wind you up.

, Government departments even outshine private industry and other non-governmental organisations (except maybe Opus Dei) in inventing ways to be castigated.

Nevertheless, things have come a long way, and unlike in the past, where only “aggrieved parties” could complain, now all sorts of people can get angry and seek an avenue of appeal.

There are four ways to appeal:

1. A letter to the Minister.
2. The Ombudsman - Although he does not have the power to force anyone to do anything, he can investigate complaints in an informal Scandinavian sort of way (they have come a long way since the Vikings).
3. An Appeal Tribunal -  Many appeals can be made to tribunals and the process is usually informal and cheap.
4. A judicial review application-  The court can quash the original decision and make the department’s life a misery:
 a. It does not hear the evidence/witnesses again. It decides if the department had the power to make the decision and if they exercised that power lawfully or with bias, irrelevant considerations, improper delegation or in bad faith etc.
 b. Nevertheless, this method does take time and is expensive.
 c. Even if you win, the matter may just be sent back to the Minister to think again.  In response to this, the Minister can simply remake the decision using the correct procedures.

Note: There is normally an appeal time limit. Don’t miss it, as extensions are unlikely.

I was once a member of an organisation where an aggrieved person travelled for hours just to throw a brick through our window. Simple, effective and does not need to be in writing, but regrettably illegal, even against government departments.

© Paul Brennan 2018. All rights Reserved.

Extract from "The Art of War, Peace & Palaver: The Contentious Guide to Legal Disputes"