Court of Disputed Returns (Queensland)

Brisbane, Australia

Court of Disputed Returns (Queensland)

The Queensland Court of Disputed Returns is a court that adjudicates disputes concerning Queensland Government and local government elections and state referendums in Queensland, Australia. The Court is a division of the Supreme Court of Queensland.

A disputed return occurs in which the result of an election is questioned. The name disputed returns derives from the practice in common law countries of the issuing of a writ for the election and then the parliament receiving the results by way of returns after the counting of ballots. The court attempts to eliminate the partisan nature of parliament and gives the determination of electoral disputes to an independent and dispassionate neutral body. As parliament traditionally has the sole authority to determine these matters, parliament must create a special law to bring that body into existence to determine those disputes. Where there is no law, the parliament itself determines these disputes. In the Queensland situation, the parliament has decided that the court should be the only avenue for disputing an election result.

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