This book commemorates the achievements of Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE in the field of administrative justice.
Through the eyes of judicial colleagues (Sir Anthony Mason, former Justice Davies, Justice Wilcox, Justice Balmford)), practitioners (Stephen Gageler SC), a former associate (Associate Professor Gerard Carney) and an eminent public lawyer (Stephen Skehill), we develop a picture of this key figure in Australian legal history.
Sir Gerard's own voice is heard on the limits of the court's role in an era of corporatisation and lamenting its removal on politically sensitive issues such as migration. Through the three themes of the work - judicial review, human rights (including the impact of international law) and administrative tribunals - we view a man who adhered strictly to principled reasoning, consistency and constitutional propriety, a man who impressed on administrative law the standards, integrity and high standing which marked his judicial career.
Sir Gerard is a man of principle and of compassion, sensitive to constitutional boundaries, a champion of individual rights, a guardian of judicial integrity and a principled common lawyer. It was to this figure that the stewardship of some of Australia's key administrative law institutions, particularly the Commonwealth's Administrative Appeals Tribunal, was entrusted. It was his wise initial captaincy which set that institution apart, preserved it from a hostile public sector, and ensured that the concept of a merit review tribunal with wide jurisdiction has been or is being copied in most Australian States and Territories.
Sir Gerard's contribution did not end there. His understanding of the need for respect between and tolerance of each arm of government, especially between the executive and the courts, progressed with him to the Federal Court and ultimately the High Court of Australia, where he was Chief Justice from 1995-1998. At each level he produced outstanding and insightful judgments tempered by those personal qualities, and enriched by his deep understanding of law and government.
Traces of broader political battles are evidence throughout The Brennan Legacy which, although titled memorially, often seems more a work about contemporary tumult – including the Howard Government’s efforts at restricting asylum seekers’ access to justice, denounced scathingly (and correctly) by Brennan himself as a “conscious incursion upon the rule of law” in The Brennan Legacy, p15. - David Ritter, Australian Journal of Politics and History, Vol 50(3), 2004
This collection is designed to celebrate Sir Gerard Brennan’s contribution to the development of Australian administative law. Few would argue with the suggestion inferentially made by Stephen Gageler SC in his paper that Sir Gerard and his predecessor as Chief Justice of the High Court, Sir Anthony Mason, were the giants of Australian administrative law in the final quarter of the 20th century. ... The essays ... record the significance of Brennan’s influence upon the AAT, especially in the tribunal’s adoption of a ‘judicial’ approach to its work ... Sir Gerard must be justly proud of the comment in the recent Leggatt Report (on the UK tribunal system) that Australia has the most advanced tribunal system in any common law jurisdiction. Both the Brennan and the Mason papers are valuable because they contain clearly distilled statements about their approaches to the developing jurisprudence of judicial review. ... This is a book for the administrative law aficionado, for law students and for legal historians who seek an insider’s view ... - Reform, Issue 82, 2003
Table of Contents
A Tribute to Sir Gerard Brennan
Mr Daryl Davies
Contribution by Sir Gerard Brennan
The Review of Commonwealth Administrative Power: Some Current Issues
The Hon Sir Gerard Brennan, AC, KBE
Judicial Review: The Contribution of Sir Gerard Brennan
The Hon Sir Anthony Mason, AC KBE
Sir Gerard Brennan and Some Themes in Judicial Review
Mr Stephen Gageler, SC
Sir Gerard Brennan and Administrative Tribunals
Mr Stephen Skehill
Administrative Tribunals and Sir Gerard Brennan: Some Specific Topics
Justice Rosemary Balmford
Sir Gerard Brennan and Human Rights Law in Australia
The Hon Justice Murray Wilcox
Sir Gerard Brennan and Aspects of his Human Rights Perspective
Associate Professor Gerard Carney
Sir Gerard Brennan's Extra-Curial Writings
Associate Professor Robin Creyke
Tables of Cases/ Tables of Statutes/ Index