Litigating questions of quality

Lawbook Co
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of Administrative Law, 2007, 14 (2), pp. 76 - 85
Issue Date:
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There are some grounds of judicial review which inherently lead the court to consider questions of the quality of the decision-makers decision. The most prominent of these are review for Wednesbury unreasonableness and S20/2002 irrationality or illogicality. These grounds of review require careful application to avoid reviewing the merits of a case. The Australian Retailers case demonstrates another difficulty with quality review that of what detail should be allowed in the evidence both supporting and rebutting the alleged error of law. This article provides a brief examination of the nature of quality review, followed by an examination of the approach used by Weinberg J in Australian Retailers. The article also suggests a method by which judicial review for issues of quality can serve its intended purpose to catch rare and absurd decisions without becoming unduly time-consuming or, worse, degenerating into merits review.
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