How does the Federal Court deal with findings of fact on Judicial Review of Administrative Action?

Date & time
5.30–6.30pm Monday 1 April 2019

Phillipa Weeks Staff Library

ANU College of Law
5 Fellows Rd Acton

Justice Alan Robertson


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Centre for International & Public Law

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Justice Robertson

This paper begins by looking at the state of federal administrative law in Australia just before the time the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) was enacted and how it was then considered that courts dealt with findings of fact on judicial review.  After next considering the Court’s administrative law jurisdiction in its early years, the paper then contrasts the state of the law of federal judicial review of findings of fact in the 1970s with the state of the law 40 years later. The landscape has changed.

The paper does not directly deal with how a court, on judicial review, itself makes findings of fact so as to lead, for example, to a conclusion that a decision-maker has not engaged in an active intellectual process in determining whether or not to exercise a power.


  • Justice Alan Robertson »

    Justice Alan Robertson is a graduate of ANU. He was admitted in 1980 as a legal practitioner of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory. From 1981 to 1983, he worked as assistant to the Commonwealth Solicitor-General, Sir Maurice Byers. In 1983, Justice Robertson moved to the New South Wales Bar and, in 1995, was appointed Senior Counsel. His area of specialisation was public law, including constitutional and administrative law, revenue law, competition law and appeals. He was for many years convenor of the Constitutional and Administrative law section of the New South Wales Bar Association. He was a part time member of the Administrative Review Council between 1992 and 1997. He was appointed a judge of the Federal Court in April 2011, based in Sydney. He has been appointed a Deputy President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and a Deputy President of the Australian Competition Tribunal.  He is the Deputy President of the Australian Academy of Law.

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