Category Archives: Administrative Law

Essendon Football Club v Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority [2014] FCA 1019

ON 19 SEPTEMBER 2014, the Federal Court of Australia delivered Essendon Football Club v Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority [2014] FCA 1019 (19 September 2014).

Justice Middleton dismissed the actions by Essendon Football Club and James Hird seeking declarations, injunctions and a permanent stay against the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA).

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Kable v Director of Public Prosecutions [1996] HCA 24 | 12 September 1996

ON 12 SEPTEMBER 1996, the High Court of Australia delivered Kable v Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW) [1996] HCA 24; (1996) 189 CLR 51 (12 September 1996).

The High Court established the principle that a State Parliament may not legislate to confer a power on a State Court that is inconsistent or repugnant to the State Court’s Chapter III judicial power as a court exercising federal jurisdiction under the Constitution.

The High Court held that the Community Protection Act 1994 (NSW) was incompatible with Chapter III as it required the NSW Supreme Court to order the continued imprisonment of a person convicted of manslaughter after the expiration of his sentence.

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Greiner v Independent Commission Against Corruption (1992) 28 NSWLR 125 | 21 August 1992

ON 21 AUGUST 1992, the NSW Court of Appeal delivered Greiner v Independent Commission Against Corruption (1992) 28 NSWLR 125.

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Haneef v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship [2007] FCA 1273 | 21 August 2007

ON THIS DAY in 2007, the Federal Court of Australia delivered Haneef v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship [2007] FCA 1273 (21 August 2007).

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FCA/2007/1273.html

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WACO v Minister for Immigration & Multicultural & Indigenous Affairs [2003] FCAFC 171 | 15 August 2003

WACO v Minister for Immigration & Multicultural & Indigenous Affairs [2003] FCAFC 171 (15 August 2003).

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FCAFC/2003/171.html

The applicant was a citizen of Iran who applied for a protection visa. Evidence upon which he relied included two letters purporting to show an association with a reformist cleric named Ayatollah Sayed Mohammad Shirazi.

The Refugee Review Tribunal affirmed the decision of the delegate of the Minister for Immigration and Indigenous Affairs not to grant the applicant’s visa, finding that it was not satisfied that he had a genuine fear of persecution and there was not a real chance that he would face persecution upon his return to Iran. The Tribunal concluded that several parts of the applicant’s evidence were implausible and that he was not a credible witness. Specifically, the Tribunal doubted the genuineness of the letters concerning the Ayatollah Shirazi.

It was common ground that the Tribunal did not at any time indicate to the applicant of its doubts about the letters, nor did it give the applicant an opportunity to put his case as to why they were genuine.

The applicant brought proceedings in the Federal Court seeking prerogative writs against the Tribunal’s decision. Those proceedings were dismissed by French J.

The Full Court of the Federal Court allowed an appeal, setting aside French J’s orders, issuing a writ of certiorari and remitting the matter back to the Tribunal. The Full Court held that procedural fairness imposes a duty on the Tribunal to ensure that an applicant is made aware of the case against him or her and given an opportunity to be heard in response to the issues to be decided.

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R v Commonwealth Court of Conciliation & Arbitration; Ex parte Ozone Theatres (Aust) Ltd | High Court of Australia | 9 August 1949

ON 9 AUGUST 1949, the High Court of Australia delivered R v Commonwealth Court of Conciliation & Arbitration; Ex parte Ozone Theatres (Aust) Ltd [1949] HCA 33; (1949) 78 CLR 389 (9 August 1949).

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/1949/33.html

A court has a discretion to withhold the granting of a writ of mandamus:

“For example the writ may not be granted if a more convenient and satisfactory remedy exists, if no useful result could ensue, if the party has been guilty of unwarrantable delay or if there has been bad faith on the part of the applicant, either in the transaction out of which the duty to be enforced arises or towards the court to which the application is made. The court’s discretion is judicial and if the refusal of a definite public duty is established, the writ issues unless circumstances appear making it just that the remedy should be withheld.” (at 400).

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Al-Kateb v Godwin [2004] HCA 37 | 6 August 2004

ON 6 AUGUST 2004, the High Court of Australia delivered Al-Kateb v Godwin [2004] HCA 37; 219 CLR 562; 208 ALR 124; 78 ALJR 1099 (6 August 2004).

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/2004/37.html

The High Court held that the provisions under the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) requiring the continued detention of non-citizens for an indefinite period are not prohibited by the Constitution because the purpose of the legislation is the eventual removal of those persons.

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Administrative Appeals Tribunal

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) http://www.aat.gov.au/ hears appeals of administrative decisions of Australian Government ministers, departments, agencies and tribunals. A decision may only be reviewed if a specific piece of legislation grants the AAT the power to review the decision.

The AAT began on 1 July 1976 under the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth).

The AAT is authorized to review decisions in over 400 pieces of legislation covering areas such as social security, family assistance, veterans affairs, workers compensation, child support, bankruptcy, civil aviation, citizenship, immigration, corporations, financial services, customs, industry assistance, freedom of information, mutual recognition of occupations, security assessments and passports.

The AAT has five divisions: General Administrative, National Disability Insurance Scheme, Security Appeals, Taxation Appeals and Veterans’ Appeals Divisions

Appeals involve a merits review.  The AAT reconsiders the facts, law and policy relating to the administrative decision on appeal and then makes it’s own decision by affirming, setting aside or varying the decision or remitting the matter back to the administrative decision maker. The tribunal is not bound by the laws of evidence and can inform itself in any manner that it considers appropriate. However, it is required to preform its functions in accordance with the law and is bound by the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness.

AAT decisions may be appealed in the Federal Court of Australia.

The AAT has registries all across Australia. The Sydney Registry is located at level 7, 55 Market Street, Sydney NSW 2000.

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Minister for Aboriginal Affairs v Peko-Wallsend Ltd [1986] HCA 40 | 31 July 1986

ON 31 JULY 1986, the High Court of Australia delivered Minister for Aboriginal Affairs v Peko-Wallsend Ltd [1986] HCA 40; (1986) 162 CLR 24 (31 July 1986).

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/1986/40.html

An administrative decision maker’s failure to take into account relevant considerations is an abuse of discretion creating a jurisdictional error that may be remedied by judicial review. The consideration must be relevant and one that the decision maker was bound to take into account.

Determining whether or not a decision maker was bound to take into account a consideration is to be through construction of the statute that confers the decision maker’s power. Implications may arise from the subject matter, scope and purpose of the statute.

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NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal

The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT)http://www.ncat.nsw.gov.au/ncat/index.html commenced on 1 January 2014 pursuant to the NSW Civil and Administrative Act 2013 and Civil and Administrative Regulation 2013.

The NCAT takes over the functions of 22 former state tribunals, including:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Tribunal
  • Aboriginal Land Councils Pecuniary Interest and Disciplinary Tribunal
  • Administrative Decisions Tribunal
  • Charity Referees
  • Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal
  • Dental Tribunal
  • Guardianship Tribunal
  • Chinese Medicine Tribunal
  • Chiropractic Tribunal
  • Medical Radiation Practice Tribunal
  • Medical Tribunal
  • Nursing and Midwifery Tribunal
  • Occupational Therapy Tribunal
  • Optometry Tribunal
  • Osteopathy Tribunal
  • Pharmacy Tribunal
  • Physiotherapy Tribunal
  • Podiatry Tribunal
  • Psychology Tribunal
  • Local Government Pecuniary Interest and Disciplinary Tribunal
  • Local Land Boards
  • Victims Compensation Tribunal (transferred into the ADT in June 2013)
  • Vocational Training Appeals Panel.

The NCAT is constituted by a President (a Supreme Court judge), Deputy Presidents of each of the four divisions, a Principal Registrars and Members including Principal Member, Senior Members and General Members.

The NCAT has four divisions:

  • Administrative and Equal Opportunity, which deals with review of administrative decisions of government agencies and resolution of discrimination matters.
  • Consumer and Commercial, which deals with a broad number of disputes about the supply of goods and services, including agent commissions and fees; agricultural tenancies; boarding houses; consumer claims; conveyancing costs; dividing fences; holiday parks (long-term occupancy); home building; motor vehicles; pawnbrokers and second-hand dealers; residential parks; retail leases; retirement villages; social housing; strata and community schemes; tenancy; travel compensation fund appeals.
  • Guardianship, which has jurisdiction over people who live in NSW or hold property or financial assets in NSW: to make guardianship orders for the appointment of a private or public guardian; make financial orders for a private or public financial manager; provide consent for medical or dental treatment; review enduring powers of attorney; review an enduring guardianship appointment; approve a clinical trial involving people with decision-making disabilities.
  • Occupational, including: administrative review of licensing decisions with respect to transport drivers/operators, security guards, builders, real estate agents, motor dealers and repairers, pawnbrokers and second hand dealers, stock and station agents, business agents, travel agents, valuers and licenced conveyancers; professional discipline of occupations governed by a statutory council, board, panel or authority.

The current President is Justice Robertson Wright SC and the Deputy-Presidents are Magistrate Nancy Hennessy, Mr M D Schyvens, Mr Stuart Westgarth, The Hon. Wayne Haylen QC and Judge Kevin O’Connor AM.

The principal registry is located at Level 9, John Maddison Tower, 86-90 Goulburn Street, Sydney NSW 2000, tel 1300 006 228.

The divisional registries are:

  • Administrative and Equal Opportunity: Level 10, John Maddison Tower, 86-90 Goulburn Street, Sydney NSW 2000.
  • Consumer and Commercial: Level 12, 175 Castlereagh Street, Sydney NSW 2000 (also at Liverpool, Hurstville, Newcastle, Penrith, Tamworth and Wollongong).
  • Guardianship: Level 3, 2a Rowntree Street Balmain NSW 2041.
  • Occupational: Level 10, John Maddison Tower, 86-90 Goulburn Street, Sydney NSW 2000.

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