Federal judicial review in Australia

Federal government Law Democracy Local government Australia

The report provides a detailed examination of Australia's judicial review system, which is an important avenue of appeal for those affected by government decision making, and makes a number of recommendations aimed at improving its accessibility and efficiency.

The Administrative Review Council has examined in detail the various aspects of the federal judicial review system in Australia. The current system is a product of its constitutional context and the history of reforms in this area. There are several different mechanisms for seeking judicial review of Australian Government decisions and actions, and the Council makes recommendations for better integration of the review mechanisms and access to judicial review in federal courts.

The Council’s recommendations build from the constitutional basis of judicial review, recognising that, while section 75(v) of the Australian Constitution provides an important minimum standard of review, it may not provide the most effective model for review. Ultimately the Council considers that a judicial review statute such as the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth) (ADJR Act) allows the legislature to: affirm the importance of the legal accountability of administrative decision makers, identify potential grounds upon which their decisions can be challenged; provide for the right to request reasons; and offer clear guidance on standing and remedies. The Council’s recommendations therefore focus on restoring the ADJR Act to a central place in the federal judicial review system.

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