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Can a Decision of the Industrial Court be Appealed Against?

Tahirah Manesah Abu Bakar
by Tahirah Manesah Abu Bakar
Mar 28, 2019 at 6:19 PM

The short answer is "NO". The decision/award of the Industrial Court is final and conclusive, by virtue of S.33B of the Industrial Relations Act 1967.

A party aggrieved by the decision of the Industrial Court may, however, apply to the High Court for a judicial review (JR) of the decision if there is an error of law on which the award of the Industrial Court is founded.


What does this mean?

This means that one can apply to the High Court to examine whether the Court Chairman had asked himself the wrong question, had taken into account irrelevant considerations or omitted to take into account relevant considerations, or, if he had misconstrued the terms of any relevant statute, or misapplied or misstated a principle of the general law in arriving at his decision.

An application for JR can be made within 90 days from the date the award is received by the parties. Upon the conclusion of the JR hearing, the High Court will either allow or dismiss the application for JR. If the application is allowed, the court will grant the relief prayed for in the Notice of Application for Leave to Commence Judicial Review, with any necessary modification.

The most common type of remedy prayed for is a certiorari, or a quashing order. If the application for certiorari is allowed by the High Court, it may:

  1. quash the Industrial Court award and the matter may end there; or
  2. quash the award, and refer it back to the Industrial Court to reconsider its decision.

In certain cases, the applicant may also pray for a writ of mandamus together with the certiorari, i.e. an application to the High Court to make an order to the Industrial Court directing it to hear and determine certain issues.

The party who is not happy with the outcome of the JR may take his case to the Court of Appeal.


About the Author

Tahirah Manesah Abu Bakar is a Human Resources expert with 22 years of experience in Human Resources and corporate legal work. She also holds a MSc in Management (by Research) specialising in constructive dismissal.


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