De facto Officers

OPCA adherents often raise the proposition that if a judicial oath of office is somehow defective, it disqualifies the judge from the position, and his orders are coram non judice, or void. Under the De facto Officers Doctrine, the acts of a de facto public officer done in apparent execution of his office cannot be challenged on the ground that he has no title to the office. It matters not that his appointment to the office was defective or has expired or in some cases even that he is a usurper. (See G J Coles v Retail Trade Industrial Tribunal (1986) 7 NSWLR 503 per McHugh JA (at 515))

Sir Owen Dixon; “De facto Officers

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