The Federation Press

Federal Administrative Law


Federal administrative law is a vast expanse of statutory provisions and case law. This text aims to map these provisions, setting out the case and statute law in a structured and amenable way.

Federal Administrative Law commences with discussion of the composition, powers and decision-making processes of the executive government. Then it covers the major remedies available for those who are dissatisfied by a decision of the executive government - reasons for decision, access to information under FOI legislation, judicial review, appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, review by the Ombudsman, remaking a decision, collateral review and special review.

Enright also engages with the perennial conceptual problems of administrative law. Difficulties with separating legislative, executive and judicial power, and in distinguishing between law and fact, are considered insoluble, Enright argues, only because they have not been approached in the right way. Enright argues for going back to basics, emphasising the necessity of asking the right question in the first place.

In a similar vein, Enright investigates problems with legitimate expectation in the law of natural justice and argues that difficulties with standing can be treated better by taking a more analytical approach to the interests involved.

Federal Administrative Law will serve as a basic text and reference book for those who work in Commonwealth administrative law. It is written in a clear and easy to read style that will make it suitable as a textbook in undergraduate courses.


“[T]he emphasis of Federal Administrative Law is on statutory provisions, in particular the four statutes: Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975, the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and the Ombudsman Act 1976.
Although the author has covered judicial review at common law in a basic way, he indicates it is not his intention to deal with this area in his book. Instead, the book covers the vast expanse of statutory provisions and case law in the federal sphere mapping these is a structured and amenable way.
The contents of the book are considerable ... the usual suspects have been rounded up.” - Bar Brief (Law Society of WA), August 2002

Table of Contents

Part 1: Introduction

Chapter 1 - Nature of Administrative Law
Introduction/ Importance/ Structure/ Review and Appeal

Chapter 2 - Range of Remedies
Introduction/ Reasons/ Access to Information/ Judicial Review/ Administrative Appeals Tribunal/ Ombudsman/ Remake of Decision/ Collateral Review/ Special Review/ Tort/ Contract/ Criminal Law/ FOI Act / Participation/ Immunity

Chapter 3 - Choice of Remedies
Introduction/ Substantive Requirements/ Remedies/ Time Limits/ Practical Considerations/ Barring of Remedies

Part 2: Executive Government

Chapter 4 - Outline of Part 2
Introduction/ Composition/ Powers/ Decisions and Actions

Chapter 5 - Composition
Introduction/ Crown/ Cabinet/ Executive Council/ Ministers/ Government Departments/ Public Servants/ Statutory Bodies/ Statutory Offices/ Non Statutory Bodies and Offices/ Tribunals/ Local Government/ Qangos/ Business Corporations/ Decision Maker

Chapter 6 - Powers
Introduction/ Classification of Power/ Sources of Power/ Re-exercising Power/ Altering Power

Chapter 7 - Decisions and Action
Introduction/ Duty and Discretion/ Decision and Action/ Self Executing Statute

Part 3: Immunity

Chapter 8 - Outline of Part 3

Chapter 9 - Dimensions of Immunity
Introduction/ Total or Partial/ Absolute or Qualified/ General or Specific/ Common Law or Statute/ Inside or Outside/ Type of Law/ Type of Review

Chapter 10 - Rules of Immunity
Introduction/ Crown Immunity/ Privative Clauses/ Judicial Review Act / Judicial Review Act

Part 4: Reasons

Chapter 11 - Outline of Part 4
Introduction/ Provisions for Reasons/ Meaning of Reasons/ Function of Reasons

Chapter 12 - Requirements for Reasons
Introduction/ Common Law/ Judicial Review Act/ AAT Act/ Ombudsman Act/ Specific Statutory Provisions

Chapter 13 - Meaning of Reasons
Introduction/ Authenticity/ Clarity/ Recipients/ Chain of Reasoning/ Contents/ Factors

Part 5: Information

Chapter 14 - Outline of Part 5
Introduction/ Rationale/ Freedom of Information Act/ Archives Act

Chapter 15 - FOI Definitions
Introduction/ Agency/ Department/ Prescribed Authority/ Eligible Case Manager/ Enactment/ Minister/ Responsible Minister/ Principal Officer/ Document/ Document of an Agency/ Official Document of a Minister/ Information Access Offices/ Exempt Document/ Exempt Matter/ Excluded Document/ Commercial Activity/ Document in Respect of an Activity/ Personal Information/ Public Interest/ Reasonably Expected/ Unreasonable/ Disclosure/ Third Party

Chapter 16 - General Access to Documents
Introduction/ Documentation and Publication of Information/ Inspection and Purchase of Documents

Chapter 17 - Specific Access to Documents
Introduction/ Document/ Documents Subject to Access/ Excluded Documents/ Exempt Documents/ Grounds for Refusal/ Grounds for Deferral/ Jurisdiction/ Access/ Enforcement

Chapter 18 - Amendment of Personal Records
Introduction/ Requirements/ Amendment/ Annotation/ Onus of Proof

Part 6: Judicial Review

Division 1 - Outline

Chapter 19 - Outline of Part 6
Introduction/ Immunity/ Scope/ Standing/ Grounds/ Remedies/ Jurisdiction/ Function

Division 2 - Substantive Requirements: What Can Be Reviewed

Chapter 20 - What Can Be Reviewed
Introduction/ Common Law/ Judicial Review Act

Chapter 21 - Scope of Common Law
Introduction/ Parties/ Substance/ Remedy/ Jurisdiction/ Procedure

Chapter 22 - Scope of the Judicial Review Act
Introduction/ Decision/ Conduct/ Administrative Decision/ Decision Made Under an Enactment/ Exemptions

Division 3 - Substantive Requirements: Standing

Chapter 23 - Standing
Introduction/ Definition of Interest/ Interference with Interest/ Examples/ Rationale

Division 4 - Substantive Requirements: Grounds

Subdivision 1 - Outline

Chapter 24 - Outline of Grounds .
Introduction/ Common Law/ Judicial Review Act/ General Considerations

Subdivision 2 - Error of Power

Chapter 25 - Error of Power
Introduction/ Exceeding Power/ Misusing Power/ Failing to Use Power/ Altering Power/ Bias

Chapter 26 - Exceeding Power
Introduction/ Jurisdictional Error/ Simple Ultra Vires/ Implied Prohibitions

Chapter 27 - Misusing Power
Introduction/ Purpose/ Bad Faith/ Criteria/ Unreasonableness/ Uncertainty/ Abuse of Power/ Personal Exercise of Power/ Proportionality

Chapter 28 - Failing to Use Power
Introduction/ Duty/ Failure to Perform/

Chapter 29 - Altering Power
Introduction/ Estoppel/ Divesting/ Policy

Chapter 30 - Bias
Introduction/ Application/ Content/ Consequences

Subdivision 3 - Procedural Error

Chapter 31 - Procedural Error
Introduction/ Natural Justice/ Procedural Ultra Vires

Chapter 32 - Natural Justice
Introduction/ Common Law/ Judicial Review Act/ General Considerations

Chapter 33 - Application of Natural Justice
Introduction/ General Test/ Special Test/ Exclusion

Chapter 34 - Content of Natural Justice
Introduction/ General Features/ Specific Items

Chapter 35 - Statutory Natural Justice
Introduction/ General Features/ Specific Dimensions

Chapter 36 - Procedural Ultra Vires
Introduction/ Procedures/ Relationship with Decision/ Status of Procedures/ Failure to Observe Procedures

Subdivision 4 - Error of Process

Subdivision 4.1 Error of Process

Chapter 37 - Error of Process
Introduction/ Labelling the Error/ Locating the Error/ Law and Fact/ Why the Problem

Subdivision 4.2 Labelling the Error

Chapter 38 - Error of Law
Introduction/ Common Law/ Judicial Review Act/ Special Cases/ Reform

Chapter 39 - No Evidence
Introduction/ Common Law/ Judicial Review Act

Subdivision 4.3 Locating the Error

Chapter 40 - Interpreting Law
Introduction/ Model for Interpretation/ General Position/ Special Cases

Chapter 41 - Finding Facts
Introduction/ Obtaining of Evidence/ Admission of Evidence/ Absence of Evidence/ Weighing of Evidence/ Inferring Facts/ Labelling Facts/ Finding Facts/ Jurisdictional Facts

Chapter 42 - Applying Law
Introduction/ Applying Law to Facts/ Sources of Error

Chapter 43 - Compliance
Introduction/ Error of Law/ Other Error

Division 5 - Remedies

Chapter 44 - Remedies
Introduction/ Common Law Remedies/ Judicial Review Act Remedies/ Federal Court Act Remedies/ General Considerations

Division 6 - Jurisdiction

Chapter 45 - Jurisdiction
Introduction/ Federal Court/ Family Court/ State Supreme Courts

Part 7: Review on the Merits

Chapter 46 - Administrative Appeals Tribunal
Introduction/ Tribunal/ Requirements for Review/ Jurisdiction/ Review/ Review of Tribunal’s Decision

Part 8: Ombudsman

Chapter 47 - Ombudsman
Introduction/ What Can Be Investigated/ Decision to Investigate/ Grounds for Intervention/ Intervention / Procedure

Part 9: Other Review

Chapter 48 Other Review
Introduction/ Remaking the Decision/ Collateral Review/ Special Review


Of interest...