In 2022 it appeared that the courts were not necessarily the dominant venue for scrutinising administrative action. We have observed that in this era of large-scale policy initiatives, often rolled out within short timeframes in response to emergencies or other critical incidents, different avenues for scrutiny are emerging to grapple with new forms of administrative action.
That is not to predict a waning of the courts’ role in Australia. New judicial appointments, including that of Justice Jagot to the High Court, mean that the judiciary is as well-equipped as ever to grapple with public law issues. Indeed, there have been significant cases on materiality in jurisdictional error, apprehended bias, and procedural fairness, among others over the past 12 months.
On 9 March 2023, Michael Palfrey and Will Sharpe presented Administrative law in 2022 and the year ahead in 2023 at HWL Ebsworth’s Australian Government In-House Counsel Day. They prepared a detailed paper to accompany the presentation which discusses trends and developments in public law over the past 12 months and into 2023. The paper provides a useful reference point for government lawyers and decision-makers.
Click here to view the paper.
This article was written by Michael Palfrey, Partner, Will Sharpe, Partner, Neil Cuthbert, Special Counsel and Daniel Stewart, Consultant.