Publications

This is a searchable catalogue of the College's most recent books and working papers. Other papers and publications can be found on SSRN and the ANU Researchers database.

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Maladministration: the Particular Jurisdiction of the Ombudsman

Author(s): Greg Weeks

The office of the ombudsman is much misunderstood. Is it better viewed as part of the executive or the judiciary? Is it a fragile institution, unprotected with security of tenure? Is it a ‘toothless tiger’? The one constant in the face of such inquiries is that ombudsmen don’t seem to care, or at least carry on with great effectiveness as though they don’t. I would argue in any case that such queries are beside the point and that the one thing that must be understood about the ombudsman is that it is an office with a particular purpose.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law

Public Finance and Parliamentary Constitutionalism

Public Finance and Parliamentary Constitutionalism

Author(s): Will Bateman

Public Finance and Parliamentary Constitutionalism analyses constitutionalism and public finance (tax, expenditure, audit, sovereign borrowing and monetary finance) in Anglophone parliamentary systems of government. The book surveys the history of public finance law in the UK, its export throughout the British Empire, and its entrenchment in Commonwealth constitutions. It explains how modern constitutionalism was shaped by the financial impact of warfare, welfare-state programs and the growth of central banking. It then provides a case study analysis of the impact of economic condition on governments' financial behaviour, focusing on the UK's and Australia's responses to the financial crisis, and the judiciary's position vis-à-vis the state's financial powers. Throughout, it questions orthodox accounts of financial constitutionalism (particularly the views of A. V. Dicey) and the democratic legitimacy of public finance. Currently ignored aspects of government behaviour are analysed in-depth, particularly the constitutional role of central banks and sovereign debt markets.

> Provides the first constitutional analysis of public finance law and practice in UK and Commonwealth jurisdictions

> Provides an historical treatment of legal and constitutional dimensions of public finance in British and Commonwealth jurisdictions

> Accessibly explains how government, law and economic conditions interact before, during and after moments of economic crisis, using the UK and Australia as examples

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Theory, Law and Technology, Regulatory Law and Policy

Judicial Review’s Exclusion by Privative Clauses: Dead or Just Resting?

Author(s): Greg Weeks

The privative clause is dead – or so we are told. Nonetheless, it remains a topic of conversation and judicial attention in both Australia and England, albeit for somewhat different reasons. The Australian approach to privative clauses is substantially coloured by the relevance attached to the concept of jurisdictional error and is therefore distinctly constitutional in its outlook. The English courts have long ago dismissed the role of jurisdictional error and, although they continue to rely on the precedent of Anisminic Ltd v Foreign Compensation Commission [1969] 2 AC 147, do so while rejecting the reasoning which informs the use of that case in Australia. This article considers the approaches taken in both jurisdictions and attempts to set out the continuing relevance of the privative clause in Australia.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law

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Jurisdictional Error As Conceptual Totem

Author(s): Leighton McDonald

Jurisdictional error is pivotal but not, in any substantive sense, ‘central’. It is pivotal because it marks important boundaries (drawn by reference to other ideas) in the law of judicial review of executive action. This pivotal but not central role has enabled jurisdictional error to function as a ‘conceptual totem’, emblematic of a determinedly ‘statutory approach’ to the articulation and elaboration of administrative law norms. After elaborating these claims, the article goes on to doubt the constitutional case for the retention of the statutory approach that, in recent years, has come to characterise the Australian approach to jurisdictional error. Recognition of the totemic function of jurisdictional error, it is concluded, is a helpful first step in better understanding and analysing administrative law norms which bear no obvious relation to statute.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Theory, Legal Theory

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The Creation of Australian Administrative Law: The Constitution and Its Judicial Gate-Keepers

Author(s): Greg Weeks

For a long time judicial review in Australia was little more than a carbon copy of its English equivalent. In the period before the various Australian states became part of a unified federal nation, judicial review occurred within the inherent supervisory jurisdiction of the various Supreme Courts of those individual colonies and proceeded in a manner similar to that of English courts exercising inherent supervisory jurisdiction. The Australian Constitution is now the defining feature and dominant force of our judicial review doctrine. The key feature of the Australian Constitution that has enabled the recognition and entrenchment of judicial review of administrative action is the express creation and entrenchment of the courts. The express recognition and protection of a selection of the judicial remedies has proved equally important because the constitutional mention of some of the traditional remedies of judicial review has provided the foundation for the courts to entrench by implication that which necessarily precedes the issue of those remedies. While these and other important elements of the Australian Constitution have enabled the development of constitutionally protected avenues of supervisory review, this same constitutional foundation has also provided the source of judicial review principles that increasingly differ from their early English heritage. Many parallels between English and Australian principles remain and the one we discuss about natural justice suggests that, as happens within so many families, Australian judicial review can unwittingly replicate the mistakes of its English parent.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law

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Algorithmic Decision-Making and Legality: Public Law Dimensions

Author(s): Will Bateman

Automating the exercise of statutory powers through algorithmic decision-making carries high levels of legal risk. Fundamental public law doctrines assume that legal powers will be exercised by a particular kind of decision-making agent: one with sufficient cognitive capacities to understand the interpretative complexity of legal instruments and respond to highly dynamic environments. Public law doctrines also assume that clear reasons can be given for the exercise of public power and, by default, attribute legal responsibility for the exercise of statutory powers to a human being bearing political and social responsibility. Those doctrines provide the standards against which the legality of algorithmic decision-making in the public sector must be tested and, until they are met, lawyers should be sceptical of suggestions that statutory powers can be automated.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Theory, Law and Technology, Regulatory Law and Policy

Government Liability: Principles and Remedies

Government Liability: Principles and Remedies

Author(s): Greg Weeks, Dr Janina Boughey, Dr Ellen Rock

Given the degree of power wielded by Australian government officials and entities, it is unsurprising that government decisions and conduct frequently impact on individuals. To find the most appropriate way to resolve a particular case, practitioners must be able to work across the traditional legal ‘silos’, drawing on public and private law principles as well as the important, and often under-valued, roles of non-legal accountability mechanisms. This book familiarises readers with some of the complexities underpinning this area and covers public law remedies, private law remedies, and statutory remedies.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law

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Oral History, Gender and Law

Author(s): Kim Rubenstein

This article considers the relationship between law and gender by sharing information about an oral history project analysing the experience of women lawyers in the public, civic space and women’s experience of lawyering in Australia and of Australian lawyers working in the international context.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

Research theme: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Theory, Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Gender, Legal History and Ethnology, Migration and Movement of Peoples

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Soft Law and Public Liability: Beyond the Separation of Powers?

Author(s): Greg Weeks

Soft law refers to domestic, non-legislative instruments which are designed to influence, modify or otherwise affect conduct. It relies for this result on the fact that people generally assume that soft law requires them to act and has immediate legal effect. Where this assumption is mistaken, individuals have a limited capacity to obtain remedies where public authorities fail to adhere to the terms of their published soft law. This paper examines reliance on soft law and considers a selection of the diverse forms in which it appears. It considers which remedies are available where an individual suffers loss as a result of relying on soft law and asks whether and how the separation of powers doctrine can be updated to attach legal significance to the proliferation of soft law. Soft law is a topic about which little has been written. Given its importance as a regulatory tool, a fuller analysis of its place within the separation of powers model is both timely and original.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law

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Monetary Awards for Public Law Wrongs: Australia's Resistant Legal Landscape

Author(s): Greg Weeks

The idea of introducing a monetary remedy for harm arising out of the misdirected exercise of public power has waxed and waned in popularity in Australia over the years. Though few would dispute the intuitive appeal of the sentiment that ‘wrongs should not go unremedied’, the question of why this is so and how harm arising from maladministration could, or should, be repaired remains unresolved. This article canvasses a number of the potential justifications for the creation of such a remedy, before noting the various avenues the Australian courts have considered, and closed down, which might otherwise have led in that direction. These rejected opportunities have included the expansion of existing tort actions (eg misfeasance in public office and breach of statutory duty), the creation of new causes of action in tort (eg the Beaudesert tort and constitutional torts), and the interpretation of statutory remedial powers (eg the power to ‘do justice between the parties’ pursuant to the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth)). Whatever the virtue of a remedy on this front, it is clear that it will need to be a matter of legislative, rather than judicial, intervention.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law

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Rights in the Australian Federation

Author(s): James Stellios

The Australian Constitution is unique among constitutional instruments. It was primarily designed to federate self-governing British colonies within the British constitutional tradition and to establish institutions of federal government. As such, the constitutional instrument does not contain an entrenched Bill of Rights. Yet, Australia has been a stable federal democracy since its establishment in 1901 and, by international standards, it is consistently assessed as maintaining high levels of personal freedom, political rights, civil liberties and the rule of law. This article considers the place of rights in the Australian federation against Australian constitutional history and its constitutional context.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Theory, International Law

Power, Control and Citizenship: The Uluru Statement from the Heart as Active Citizenship

Author(s): Kim Rubenstein

Who governs and how they govern is central to the questions of power, control and citizenship that are at the core of a democratic society. The Uluru Statement from the Heart is the outcome of the 12 First Nations Regional Dialogues culminating in the National Constitutional Convention at Uluru in May 2017. There the First Peoples from across the country formed a consensus position on the form constitutional recognition should take. This article argues that the Uluru Statement from the Heart affirms a commitment to ‘active citizenship’ that draws from a belief in the equal power of the governors and the governed. This understanding of the Uluru Statement from the Heart enables it to be promoted as a document for all Australians, both in the spirit of reconciliation and in its affirmation of a commitment to an equality underpinning Australian citizenship in the 21st century. By examining how citizenship in Australia has evolved as a legal concept and by reflecting on how law is a fundamental tool for providing a ‘meaningful limitation of the lawgiver’s power in favour of the agency of the legal subject’, this article examines the Uluru Statement from the Heart as a commitment to the importance of recognising the nature of the proper relationship between the law giver and those subject to the law — the citizenry. To exercise power within a democratic framework, as opposed to brute force or sheer will over the subject, involves recognising the agency of the citizenry. This idea not only enables reconciliation to be a meaningful and restorative act but one that recalibrates the exercise of power in Australia to benefit all Australians by affirming a commitment to all Australians equal citizenship as active agents.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

Research theme: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Theory, Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Gender, Legal History and Ethnology, Migration and Movement of Peoples

Court records as Archives

Court Records As Archives: The Need for Law Reform to Ensure Access

Author(s): Andrew Henderson, Kim Rubenstein

The Federal Court of Australia performs a fundamentally important role within Australia’s democratic system. It has served as a site for the disputation, negotiation and resolution of issues fundamentally important to Australian society. It does so in the context of a constitutional system affirming the principle of separation of powers and the rule of law, as a means of preserving and enforcing the rights of individuals and navigating the boundaries of the powers of the state. In that context, its records, gathered both through the internal workings of the court and through the cases that come before it, contain a narrative shaping our contemporary understanding of the rights of the individual and the role of the state. Despite the importance of its records in that narrative, the preservation and access to the Federal Court’s records continues to be seen through the lens of traditional understandings of the management of litigation. This paper explores the Federal Court’s role within the broader context of constructing our understanding of the roles and responsibilities of citizenship and illustrates the importance of the Court’s records as an archival resource. In doing so, it highlights the parallels and inconsistencies between traditional archival institutions and the Court in relation to selection, preservation and access to records.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

Research theme: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Theory, Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Gender, Legal Education, Legal History and Ethnology, Migration and Movement of Peoples, The Legal Profession

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ADJR at 40: In its Prime or a Disappointment to its Parents?

Author(s): Greg Weeks

The commencement of the ADJR Act represented a significant moment in Australian administrative law. This paper will discuss the impact of the ADJR Act and its continuing relevance.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law

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Planning and Soft Law

Author(s): Greg Weeks

Complex regulatory systems are particularly in need of regulation capable of maintaining both high standards and consistency in decision-making. Soft law is frequently the mechanism of choice to achieve these ends, since it can be made and altered with relative ease but is nonetheless treated as though it were hard and enforceable ‘law’. The law around environmental planning decisions, although subject to detailed legislative control, makes extensive and predominantly effective use of soft law. However, the use of soft law always carries some risk and this is generally imposed asymmetrically upon individuals rather than public bodies. This article will consider these issues, taking account of several relevant cases.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law

Government Accountability

Government Accountability As a ‘Constitutional Value’

Author(s): Greg Weeks

Accountability is frequently described as one of the key ‘values’ or ‘ideals’ that administrative law is designed to uphold. Accountability’s greatest claim to hold the status of a value might be its ubiquity: it has been described as the ‘buzzword of modern governance’, the ‘über-concept of the 21st century’, and a ‘theme … central to all discussion of government’. Yet the modern meaning of accountability has developed very recently. The word ‘accountability’ can be found in Australian cases over the last century but most refer to the accountability of fiduciaries (such as liquidators and executors) in equity, of taxpayers, of tortfeasors, in electoral matters and of public companies, rather than of government bodies. The concept of the ‘accountability’ of government to those governed has become prominent only fairly recently.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law

Judicial Review of Administrative Action

Judicial Review of Administrative Action and Government Liability 6th Edition

Author(s): Greg Weeks, Matthew Groves, Mark Aronson

Judicial Review of Administrative Action and Government Liability Sixth Edition is one of Australia’s most respected legal texts. It became the first title in our prestigious Lawbook Library Series, because it represents definitive legal scholarship and publishing excellence in Australian law. For two decades, this work has both mapped and supported development of the law and practice of judicial review of administrative action throughout Australia. Repeatedly cited in the High Court of Australia, this landmark work remains the definitive scholarly work for judicial officers, practitioners and students alike.

The sixth edition includes an entirely new chapter on what is now a substantial body of special statutory and common law rules that apply to government liability in contract, tort, and restitution. Numerous decisions of the High Court and the Federal Court, in particular, are producing a discernible relaxation of the traditional grounds of review, and a more expansive approach to the interpretation of regulatory statutes. In addition, the Full Court of the Federal Court has announced a simplification of the criteria for appeals limited to questions of law, overturning literally dozens of earlier precedents.

In the Sixth Edition, Mark Aronson and Matthew Groves are joined by Greg Weeks formerly from the University of New South Wales, and now at the Australian National University. Their combined expertise ensures that this pre-eminent title continues to provide a fresh and authoritative treatment of judicial review of administrative actions in Australia, and an invaluable guide to the special problems relating to government liability in tort, contract and equity.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law, Regulatory Law and Policy

Crown and Sword

Crown and Sword: Executive power and the use of force by the Australian Defence Force

Author(s):

The Australian Defence Force, together with military forces from a number of western democracies, have for some years been seeking out and killing Islamic militants in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, detaining asylum seekers for periods at sea or running the judicial systems of failed states. It has also been ready to conduct internal security operations at home. The domestic legal authority cited for this is often the poorly understood concept of executive power, which is power that derives from executive and not parliamentary authority. In an age of legality where parliamentary statutes govern action by public officials in the finest detail, it is striking that these extreme exercises of the use of force often rely upon an elusive legal basis. This book seeks to find the limits to the exercise of this extraordinary power.

Free download or order a printed copy

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Theory, Military & Security Law, Regulatory Law and Policy

Peer Review and the Global Anti-Corruption Conventions: Context, Theory and Practice

Author(s):

This article analyses the international anti-corruption framework and the peer review monitoring process. Peer review is described as the “systematic examination and assessment of the performance of a state by other states, with the ultimate goal of helping the reviewed state … comply with established standards and principles.” However, despite its growing importance as a regulatory process, peer review has not been comprehensively analysed, resulting in a “literature famine” on its nature and operations. Indeed, to date, there has been very limited academic discussion on peer review. As a result, one aim of this article is to contribute to a stronger understanding of its process. While our focus is on peer review in the anti-corruption context, where possible, universal characteristics of the process are discussed. The second objective of this article is to consider the merits of the peer review process in incentivising states to take action against corruption. Peer review is the mechanism for evaluation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) under its Anti-bribery Convention and the African Union’s (AU) good governance objectives under good governance objectives under the Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). Whilst acknowledging the criticisms of peer review, this article argues that peer review has been successful in particular contexts in increasing state compliance with these international instruments. In particular, peer review has contributed to the acceptance of anti-corruption norms and focused on the need for all countries to regulate corruption at the national level.

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Centre: CCL, CIPL, LGDI

Research theme: Administrative Law, Law and Psychology, Legal Education, Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy, The Legal Profession

Delegated Legislation in Australia

Delegated Legislation in Australia, 5th edition

Editor(s): Dennis Pearce, Stephen Argument

Now in its fifth edition, Delegated Legislation in Australia provides updated and detailed coverage of all aspects of subordinate legislation, and is an essential reference for legislators, public officials at all levels of government, judicial officers and lawyers. It is the latest addition to the LexisNexis Black and Silver series.

Legislation made by various government and other bodies under the authority of an Act of Parliament far exceeds in volume the legislation made by Parliament in the form of statutes. Delegated Legislation in Australia includes a comprehensive overview of why and how delegated legislation is used to impose obligations on both citizens and business, and in what forms such legislation takes. Commentary is provided for each Australian jurisdiction as to the means used by Parliament to review the content of the legislation, and assess and compare the performance of each parliament.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law, Regulatory Law and Policy

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