Administrative law in 2020 and the year ahead in 2021

11 March 2021

2020 was a memorable year. The extraordinary events in the community impacted on administrative law, causing the government and the courts to have to grapple with matters such as decision-making under biosecurity legislation, and challenges to lockdowns and State border closures. We also saw the courts addressing a number of significant questions relating to the application of administrative law principles, the validity of search warrants, and misfeasance in public office, and witnessed several royal commissions, and the biggest civil penalty in Australian history.

What will the landscape of administrative law look like in 2021? The composition of the High Court is changing, and upcoming High Court cases to be decided by the new bench will consider procedural fairness, the requirement to give reasons, and apprehended bias. 2021 is also likely to be significant for legislative reform and development. A bill for the Commonwealth Integrity Commission could be presented to Parliament this year, and a potentially wide-ranging review of the Privacy Act 1988 is underway.

Please click here to view the paper written by Will Sharpe, Michael Palfrey and Neil Cuthbert and presented by Will and Michael at HWL Ebsworth’s Australian Government In-House Counsel Day on Thursday, 4 March 2021.

This article was written by Will Sharpe, Partner, Michael Palfrey, Partner and Neil Cuthbert, Senior Associate.

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