Building on Australian Public Law, this course aims to deepen student understanding of key aspects of the Australian administrative justice system. Administrative law concerns the legal rules and institutions which seek to keep the ‘governors’ in society (principally, decision-makers in the executive arm of government) accountable. It encompasses both judicial and non-judicial modes of accountability (eg administrative tribunals, the ombudsman, and legislation providing for access to information and limiting the purposes for which government can use information). Administrative law can be conceptualised as the legal regulation of the exercise of public (as opposed to ‘private’) power. More specifically, this course will consider:
• Different ways to think about the reach of administrative law in the context of the changing nature of contemporary governance;
• The function and scope of judicial review of administrative action, with particular attention to the constitutional, statutory and common law sources of judicial review jurisdiction.
• Many of the important legal principles associated with the availability of judicial review remedies, the grounds on which administrative decisions may be judicially reviewed, and ‘standing’ to bring judicial review actions;
• Statutory attempts by Parliaments to restrict judicial review and the extent to which judicial review is constitutionally entrenched;
• The concept of merit review, with particular attention to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal;
• The role played by non-adjudicative accountability mechanism with particular attention to the operation of public sector Ombudsman and Freedom of Information legislation;
• The role played by administrative law in the context of important constitutional principles such as the separation of powers and the rule of law;
• The historical and social context in which Australian administrative law has developed.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- By the end of the course, students should be able to:
- - Explain, apply and appraise the principles of judicial review of administrative action at both the State and Federal levels of government in Australia;
- - Explain, apply and appraise the limits on the powers of the courts to engage in judicial review of administrative action, and the constitutional protection of such review;
- - Distinguish between the different categories of adjudicative review (legality and merit review) and between adjudicative and non-adjudicative accountability mechanisms;
- - Explain and appraise the interaction between the various institutions of administrative law and the role played by each in the administrative justice system;
- - Recognise and explain the relevance of the Constitution and constitutional concepts to the development of distinctive Australian administrative law institutions and principles;
- - Reflect critically on judicial reasoning in administrative law cases, the values underpinning administrative law, and the impact of the law on administrative decision-making;
- - Apply administrative law principles to resolve practical problems, reasoning to a conclusion by analogy to decided cases recognising the way in which statutory context influences the application of these principles.
- There will be three assessment components for this course: (null) [LO null]
- - A report from attending an AAT or ACAT hearing (30) [LO null]
- - Seminar participation (10) [LO null]
- - Essay based on class materials and discussions (60) [LO null]
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There will be 4 hours of lectures each week and 9 one-hour seminars over the course of the semester. The lectures will be recorded; the seminars will be offered face-to-face for on-campus students and online for online students.
The amount of time that is needed for effective learning outcomes will vary according to each student’s abilities and experiences, and any time allocation is necessarily generalised. However, as a general indication, in addition to the lecture and seminar times, students should plan to devote at least 6-7 hours per week to studying Administrative Law.
Requisite and Incompatibility
To be confirmed
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
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