In Sugar Australia Pty Ltd v Southern Ocean Pty Ltd & Anor [2013] VSC 535 (Vickery J), Justice Vickery, the Supreme Court of Victoria Judge in Charge of the Technology, Engineering and Construction List was invalid. His Honour discussed, in detail, earlier decisions of the courts in relation to jurisdictional error, concluding that it was open to a court in considering an application for judicial review to consider the findings of fact made by the adjudicator as to the validity of the Payment Claims in the circumstances of this case which include allegations of misleading conduct and fraud which are pressed by the applicant for relief by way of certiorari. His Honour said, at paragraphs 113-115:

113. For the purposes of s 18 of the Victorian Act,[67] it appears to me that the elements of the section which serve to confer jurisdiction on an adjudicator to make a valid determination under s 23, on the proper construction of the Act, do not permit the adjudicator to finally determine the validity of the adjudication application.[68] If there be any challenge to the jurisdiction assumed by the adjudicator it must finally determined on the basis of facts found by the Court on judicial review, in the course of determining whether a jurisdictional error has been exposed which calls for the exercise of the Court’s discretion to grant relief in the nature of certiorari and, if necessary, mandamus. The Court may grant relief on such relevant evidence as may be adduced before it, whether or not such evidence was before the adjudicator at first instance. Further, the Court may grant such relief without regard to any determination which may have been made on the issue of jurisdiction by the adjudicator. The Court is obliged to arrive at its own conclusion as to jurisdiction based on the law and on the facts as found by it.

114. This is not to say that an adjudicator should not make any findings of fact or rulings on law if a question of jurisdiction is raised in the course of determining an adjudication application. Clearly if an adjudicator is presented with material or submissions which bring into question the jurisdiction of the adjudicator, he or she should determine the question and give reasons for the findings of fact or rulings on law. If however the adjudicator’s decision on jurisdiction is challenged in Court on judicial review, the Court may deal with the matter afresh and receive additional evidence on the matter if the additional evidence is relevant to the determination of the question.

115. To the extent that anything inconsistent with this conclusion appears in paragraphs [115]-[116] of Grocon,[69] in the light of the later reasoning of the High Court in Kirk and of the New South Wales Court of Appeal which followed it in Chase Oyster Bar, I do not follow my earlier ruling.