Specific Delegations

Date Published

These delegations are given to specific persons, usually for a specific task. A specific delegation usually includes delegated powers not covered by a general delegation. For example, senior examiners do not have a general delegation of the power to refuse to accept a patent application following an examiner's adverse report, or to hear and decide an opposition, and require a specific delegation to carry out these functions. Note that apart from the Commissioner, the deputy commissioners and hearing officers, no-one has the power of refusal to accept an application without a specific delegation to do so.

If a delegate is unable to complete a delegated task (e.g. a hearing officer dying between a hearing and the issuing of a decision), no-one else can exercise that delegation, and the task may have to be recommenced (e.g. a new hearing).

However, where the delegation implicitly (or explicitly) relates to several tasks (e.g. an initial hearing and decision, and a final hearing and decision), the unavailability of the delegate after completion of some of those tasks does not invalidate those tasks completed by the delegate.

See R. v Smith; Ex parte Mole Engineering Pty Ltd 147 CLR 340.